How can you reduce the time spent manually qualifying prospects?

Lead Scoring

Manual lead qualification is an essential step for any company aiming to improve its overall performance. However, it can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Fortunately, advances in scoring techniques and methods, and in particular the advent of artificial intelligence, mean that the time spent on this task can be both gradually and significantly reduced.

In this article, we present approaches and tools for optimizing and automating the lead qualification process, leaving the teams assigned to this task free to develop other essential marketing skills.

How does manual lead qualification work?

Manual lead qualification refers to a method used by a company's marketing team to assess a prospect's level of interest in the services or products it offers. This scoring is based on information gathered upstream concerning the lead, which will determine whether the prospect is ready to move on to the next stage in the purchasing process.

In contrast, AI lead scoring is based on an automated lead ranking system that uses predefined criteria and requires no human intervention.

Manual qualification is open to criticism in many aspects

As its name suggests, manual lead scoring is carried out manually, i.e. by human intervention. However, this approach is not without risk. Humans are no strangers to bias in their judgement and in their perception of the prioritization of criteria to be taken into account for this evaluation.

This can lead to divergent and sometimes even contradictory results within the same team, depending on the person carrying out the study in question.

So, although lead scoring is not the most reliable system, it is still used by some companies, and its technicality is being improved.

This improvement involves the use of marketing automation tools.

Reduce time spent on manual lead qualification by implementing marketing automation

Marketing automation tools automate much of the lead qualification process, as they proactively collect and analyze prospect data. There are several ways of doing this, which we'll describe in detail below.

  • AI lead scoring

Marketing automation tools can be used to optimally identify the leads most likely to convert into customers, by scoring them according to criteria (such as reactions to e-mails, interaction with the website or social networks, etc.).

  • The principle of advanced segmentation

Thanks to the concept of advanced segmentation, it is now possible to segment leads according to specific variables concerning the company (such as its size, the sector in question) or the prospect himself (online behavior, etc.), enabling marketing teams to tailor their approach to each segment, thus increasing the chances of conversion.

  • Campaign and Workflow automation

It is now possible to implement automated marketing campaign tools, relieving the teams usually in charge of these campaigns and enabling them to focus their actions on the leads that are most likely to convert.

  • Integrating CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), via marketing automation tools, are one of the key measures for effectively reducing the time spent on manual lead qualification. Indeed, this type of system eliminates the need to manually enter prospect information, and provides a more comprehensive overview.

Teams have also streamlined the lead qualification process thanks to several advanced features that are offered by the majority of modern CRMs, such as bidirectional data synchronization, lead and opportunity management, as well as customized dashboards to monitor performance and key performance indicators (or KPIs) in real time.

  • Set your own qualification criteria

Reducing the time spent on manual qualification goes hand in hand with the establishment of defined qualification criteria. In fact, a list of criteria enables the teams in charge to rate prospects quickly, and at the same time realize their probability of conversion. In this way, they can maximize their efforts and avoid wasting time on unconvincing leads.

The need for well-trained teams with the material capacity to qualify leads efficiently

It is obviously necessary to have teams that are properly educated and trained in the lead qualification process, in the most efficient practices, as well as in modern lead qualification tools, to be able to envisage a reduction in the time allocated to manual lead qualification.

This goes hand in hand with providing teams with the material resources they need to carry out their tasks in the best possible conditions, thus reducing the risk of errors and wasted time.

In this way, we can affirm that reducing the time spent on manual lead qualification is one of the key elements in a company's overall success. What's more, the use of marketing automation tools, coupled with the integration of CRM systems and the implementation of precise qualification criteria, enables trained and well-resourced teams to take part in a faster, more efficient lead qualification process. As a result, companies are able to transform their lead qualification process into a truly scalable growth engine.

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