It’s easy to take a blanket approach with technology appointment setting and try to set up a meeting with every lead that comes through your pipeline. But to avoid wasting the time and resources of your sales reps, ensuring that the leads you book are truly qualified will result in much higher conversions.
While we’ve talked about how to score leads in a general sense before, this post is specific toward figuring out whether the technology solution you’re offering is a fit with each IT lead you’re calling. Read on to discover how to find the information you need to make that decision with every prospect.
Clean the Data
Before you even pick up the phone, one of the most important actions you can take to maximize your time is to make sure your data is clean and complete. This means knowing the right people to call at each company on your list and having complete and accurate contact information for each of them.
If you’ve been following best practices for data quality management, you can probably just glance over your list or skip this step altogether. But if not, update any information you’re unsure of and fill in any gaps before dialing.
Research the Prospect
At least do a quick Google search and scan the prospect’s website for signs that they’re the type of company that you usually work with and have a need that you can fill. Looking up any news about them will also shed light on recent events that could disqualify the lead or make them an even stronger fit with what you’re offering.
The point here is to look for anything that clearly takes them out of the running for your solution so that you avoid wasting time. If you happen to gather any other insights through your research, those will help you sound more confident and informed if you decide this prospect is worth dialing up.
Ask Insightful Questions
After you’ve completed the last two steps and you’re really ready to start teleprospecting, you should already have a basic script that includes thoughtful questions designed to determine whether this prospect is qualified or not. While you should definitely ask more questions than the ones listed below, these are a few examples of insightful things to ask IT leads specifically:
- What’s your project budget? In addition to qualifying for price, a solid answer is a sign that they’re serious about finding a solution.
- What competing products are you considering? This question also leads to clues about how high priority a decision is as well as giving you an idea of their needs.
- Likes and dislikes about solutions you’re considering and your current product? The answers you get with this one will tell you more about whether your solution could solve their problem and align with their preferences.
By focusing on questions that will give you a complete understanding of the prospect’s pain points and their company’s situation, you’ll be able to decide with confidence whether your solution would help and if it’s worth everyone’s time to set up a meeting.
Don’t Bluff An Answer
As a final tip, remember that the lead you're speaking with possibly knows more about technology than you do. If they ask a technical question during the qualifying conversation you don’t know the answer to, this is not the time to bluff.
Instead, offer to check on that and get back to them, or get an expert on the line to give a detailed answer. Either way, you’ll leave them with a positive impression of your company while acting as a helpful resource.
By mixing these tips into your cold calling technique, you’ll boost your success rate and save time for both you and the leads you’re speaking with. Quickly discovering whether an IT prospect is a good fit for your solution helps connect them to a product or service that they’ll benefit from, avoids spending time on leads that will never convert, and sets up the sales rep for a successful appointment.