When you run a small business, generating leads is a great way to find new business opportunities and grow your client base. Finding sales qualified leads is an effective way to turn your contacts into paying customers. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term and why it’s important, we can help. 

This guide covers sales qualified leads, including:

  • What is a sales qualified lead?
  • Why is it important?
  • How can you make the most of them for your business?

See also: The best lead generation strategies for startups.

What is a sales qualified lead?

A sales qualified lead refers to a potential customer that has travelled the sales pipeline until they are ready for you to convert them into a customer

Let’s break the terminology down a bit. A lead is a person who has come in contact with your business and might benefit from it. 

The sales pipeline models someone’s path towards making a purchasing decision. It starts when they become aware of a business and ends when they decide to buy. 

The types of leads

There are a few stages of leads as they make the sales journey, including:

  • Marketing qualified lead – has shown interest in your business after coming across your marketing efforts 
  • Sales accepted lead – a marketing qualified lead that you labelled worthy of pursuing further
  • Sales qualified lead – a lead you’ve confirmed is worthy of pitching to 

Ultimately, a sales qualified lead is at the end of the sales pipeline. They have: 

  • Confirmed they need a product or service you offer 
  • Expressed interest in a particular product or service you offer
  • Shown they have the budget to pay for it

These leads are in their final stage before becoming a customer. All you need to do is give them that final push

See also: How to improve your sales pipeline

Why is a sales qualified lead important? 

Identifying sales qualified leads is crucial to earning new business because they’re already half convinced to say yes. These potential customers know about your business and are ready to make a purchase. 

If you reach out to them, you only need to prove that your business is the best choice and guide them towards the right products or services.  

As a one-person operation, it’s important to identify sales qualified leads. Doing so can improve the efficiency of your sales strategy and increase your success rate. Plus, you’ll waste less time on people who aren’t ready to buy.

These leads deserve prompt and direct action because they take the shortest time to win over. If you approach them properly, you can secure the sale, improve your profits, and diversify your customer base.  

How can you make the most of sales qualified leads?

If you want to boost your sales qualified leads and turn them into active customers, here are a few tactics. 

Qualify and track your leads

With larger companies, the sales team usually qualifies leads. But, you can create a system that allows you to manage it productively on your own.

Start by compiling your leads. Then, create criteria to qualify them. To do this, you’ll need to know who your ideal customer is to determine if these leads fit well with your business.  

Consider sending a mass email to all of your leads. You could ask them what they need or see if they’d like any assistance from you. Qualify leads from those who respond. 

Reach out to sales qualified leads

Once you have a list of sales qualified leads, pursue them further to win their business. Start by getting to know these leads a bit better. 

Try setting up a meeting or phone call to strengthen the relationship and show you’re interested in helping them. When you meet with these leads, ask clear and specific questions to better understand what you can offer. 

For example, if you might ask them:

  • What products or services they need
  • When they need them 
  • What they need them for 
  • What their objectives are 
  • If this is a single purchase or continued need 
  • How much they wish to spend

Suggest a specific way you can help them

As you learn more about your lead, develop a purchasing suggestion tailored to them

If you can show that you understand what they need and how you might help, they’ll find it easier to say yes. Plus, they’ll trust you more because you offer personalised attention.

Another way to win over a lead is by offering them an incentive to say yes, such as a first-time discount or free perk. This approach can set you apart from other businesses they may consider. 

Follow up

When you convert your sales qualified lead into an active customer, be sure to follow up to retain their business. Focus on the long game. Selling to existing customers is more efficient than just focusing on new leads. 

Alternatively, if the customer isn’t ready to make the purchase, try reaching out again in a few weeks. Reminding them of your products or services without being pushy can eventually help you win over the customer. 

How can you improve your sales techniques to win leads?

Now that you understand what a sales qualified lead is and why to track them for your business, you can make the most of these opportunities. Focusing your attention on this type of lead can earn you new customers efficiently. 

But you’ll still need strong sales skills to convince leads to buy from you. Next, you might want to check out how to improve my sales techniques

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As you convert sales qualified leads into new customers, it’s crucial to stay on top of your growing finances. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

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