Are you tired of wasting time and resources on leads that do not result in sales? 

Do you long for a solution to streamline your sales process so that you may concentrate just on the most promising prospects? 

Well, you're in luck! 

In this article, we'll solve the mystery of lead qualification and provide you with an effective tool to transform your strategy: a complete guide to building your checklist. 

Regardless of your level of experience in sales, understanding lead qualification is essential for ensuring success and increasing your conversion rates. 

So let's dive in and discover how to create your own checklist to sort the good leads from the bad and make sure you spend your time and energy on leads that are actually worth it. 

Get ready to supercharge your sales and eliminate the guesswork!

Lead Qualification Definition 

This is the process of determining if a potential customer is a good fit and is prepared to move on in the sales process. 

Sales teams gather and analyze data to ascertain whether a lead meets a set of requirements or the company's ideal customer profile (ICP).

If you're wondering what qualifies as a lead, here's your answer: a lead with the characteristics of an ideal client and the intention to buy.

Learn as much as you can about leads to qualify them. It will encourage you to choose and pursue the potentially successful ones. 

According to Gartner, lead qualification is becoming more crucial for firms of all sizes and industries. 

However, only 44% of marketing qualified leads (MQL) are considered a good fit by sales.

Marketing qualified leads

So how can you ensure that your lead qualification processes are working to garner more sales-ready leads? 

Spoiler alert! Lead scoring.

But we’ll walk you through that in a bit. 

Let's first take a closer look at qualifying leads in sales.

Lead Qualification in Sales 

Lead qualification is part of the sales funnel shown below. 

The 7 stages in sales cycle

In this stage, your sales team should assemble customer contact information from spot checks, email subscription services, and social media activity to determine if potential leads fit the ideal customer profile (ICP).

Then they should initiate contact via phone calls, emails, or in-person encounters. 

During this period, sales representatives will learn about the leads' demands, project schedules, purchasing power, and financial restrictions.

Ultimately, the data acquired helps you determine whether leads and the company are a good fit. Once confirmed, your sales team can assemble a proposal when contacting the leads.

But here is the thing:

80% of sales require follow-ups after the first contact, but 45% of salespeople give up after one.

Importance of following up on leads

Where do you belong?

Be consistent. 

Focus your sales qualification efforts on the leads that are most likely to convert, freeing up your time to concentrate on closing deals and generating income.

You’ll arrive at a point where you understand which leads are qualified and which leads are disqualified, as well as lead generation costs.

Qualified Leads Vs. Unqualified Leads

Qualified leads vs. unqualified leads

It's a classic sales dilemma:

There are many possible leads on your list, but not all of them are suitable.

Some are perfect for your products or services, while others waste time and resources.

How can you sort the leads to focus your sales efforts on the ones most likely to convert?

Separating qualified leads from unqualified leads, holds the secret to the problem. 

But what exactly do "qualified leads" and "unqualified leads" mean?

Let's put it this way:


  • Know about your business and the solution you offer.
  • Have the ability to pay for the good or service you are selling and have a clear budget.
  • They are in charge of their buying cycle and doing their research. Have either closed the sales deal or are in the process.
  • Have low churn rates after becoming customers because they closed the deal on their terms.


  • They need clarification about what your business offers and how it may assist them.
  • They need to figure out what solution they need and what needs to be taken care of more to close the sale.
  • They would have sky-high churn rates even if you could turn them into customers.

You may save time and money, prioritize your sales efforts, and enhance your overall sales success by concentrating on the leads most likely to convert into paying clients.

Why go through all the trouble, though?

Importance of Lead Qualification 

According to MarketingSherpa, 57% of B2B organizations rank "converting qualified leads into paying customers" as their top priority.

Converting qualified leads is a top priority

But why is it so crucial? 

First, it can save you time and money.

You can save time by concentrating your strategies on quality leads rather than unqualified leads that might never convert into paying clients. 

Lead qualification can also assist you in setting priorities for your sales efforts and enhancing your overall sales effectiveness. 

You may spot trends and patterns in your sales cycle and refine your strategy to better serve the needs of your target clients by concentrating on the prospects that are most likely to convert.

Therefore, if you're prepared to advance your sales performance, it's essential to start giving lead qualification top priority.

When incorporating AI strategies for lead generation, identifying qualified leads becomes more efficient, saving valuable time and resources."

Want to know another secret?

Following the proper process for lead qualification can save you a lot of headaches.

Lead Qualification Process: How Does It Work? 

So, how precisely does the sales lead qualification process work? 

Here is a step-by-step guide with frameworks and strategies that can help you decide whether a sales lead needs to be qualified.

Lead qualification process‍

Define The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) 

How do you find leads for your business? Do you have data about individuals and companies?

This is the information you should use to create an ICP, which is a fictional representation of the kinds of people you might do business with.

An ICP helps you find consumers that suit your company, resulting in happier, more successful customers. Customer retention rates rise when consumers are satisfied.

In fact, creating an ideal customer profile results in 20% higher customer satisfaction rates, 10% to 15% higher sales conversion rates, and 20% to 30% greater employee engagement.

Your sales staff may customize customer experiences with a clear ICP. 

Businesses that suit your ICP are essential for generating income since they are likelier to purchase from you, remain devoted to your brand, and recommend you to others.

Choose a Lead Generation Strategy 

Your company's best lead generation strategy will depend on several variables, including your target market, industry, and marketing budget. 

You should test several approaches and monitor your performance to find the best strategy for your unique requirements.

But wait!

What is the best way to formulate your strategy using these matrices? 

Here's what you need:

Social Media

You can utilize social media platforms to provide interesting content, distribute targeted advertisements, interact with online communities, and hold giveaways or contests to attract new clients.

Currently, 47% of social media marketers claim their company sells directly through social media apps.

Selling through social media

Why not join the bandwagon? 

The good news is that if you are smart, you will have nothing to lose.

Content Marketing

You can position yourself as a thought leader, address the issues of your audience, and gain the trust and credibility of potential customers by creating and disseminating valuable, timely, and consistent information.

The Content Marketing Institute reports that content marketing produces three times the number of leads while spending 62% less than conventional outbound marketing.

Content marketing produces three times the number of leads 

Content marketing is six times as effective as conventional marketing at turning prospects into customers.

Search Engines

You can generate organic traffic from consumers typing in relevant keywords by optimizing the content and structure of your websites for search engines. 

Pay-per-click marketing on search engines can also help focus on particular keywords and draw in leads with high intent.

By adding a few more blog entries per week, following best practices for advertising, and optimizing those blog pieces, you could boost blog traffic by more than 2,500% in just one year.

You can use the lead scoring method to evaluate the propensity of leads to make purchases.

But what is lead scoring, and how is it different from lead qualification?

Lead Scoring 

A lead scoring system or model helps you decide whether a lead is qualified and when to contact them. 

Lead qualification is based on the lead's behavior and demographic data, whereas lead scoring is exclusively based on their engagement and behavior. 

This is the primary distinction drawn between the two.

Lead score focuses on identifying the lead's level of engagement and readiness to buy, whereas lead qualification focuses on determining the lead's quality.

It is very important because conversion rates may rise by as much as 50% using lead scoring.

A lead scoring model assigns points to lead behaviors like visiting a website or opening an email. 

Lead scoring Model

A combination of these factors will enable you to ascertain the stage of the sales cycle a lead is in, enabling you to more accurately decide when to get in touch. In the example below, you can see how the lead score on the left connects to how close a lead or prospect is to converting.

Track Leads' Engagement 

Benefits of lead tracking

You can identify prospects at each stage of your funnel or sales pipeline by tracking customer and account-related activity.

Your prospects are more likely to pay attention to your company online if your lead score is higher.

Why does the source of a lead matter? 

Knowing how a lead found you is important for effective sales prospecting.

You may identify the lead generation strategies that are most effective and narrow your attention to them if you keep track of how potential buyers first discover your company.

Email interaction: Opening an email is significantly less impactful than clicking links. Moreover, joining an email list has much less significance than opening an email.

Social media engagement: Marketers increasingly rely on social media for lead generation because there are 4.65 billion active social media users worldwide. 

B2B and B2C brands are active on social media, and customers have come to love this trend.

A more active social media client is more likely to like, retweet, share, and click on links.

Reach Out to Your Leads 

Did you know that only approximately 27% of leads actually get contacted?

Reach out to your leads

Failure to follow up with leads can seriously harm your company's income, reputation, and return on investment. 

You need to have a clear strategy for following up with leads to ensure you maximize your possibilities for sales and growth.

Prospecting often involves emails and warm calls, but creating original ideas can also be beneficial. 

Knowing your prospects is the best way to generate some original ideas. Finding a sales prospect's social media profile has made this work much quicker and easier.

Look at personal details when getting to know them on social media to engage with a qualified prospect effectively. 

Does this lead have a serious profile, or do they appreciate hilarious memes? Do they share any traits with you?

Knowing your prospects allows you to establish a human connection with them and make offers.

And lead qualification frameworks define the steps to follow.

Lead Qualification Frameworks

Sales representatives employ specialized frameworks to qualify prospects, making their jobs easier. The following frameworks are the most popular ones: 


Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing are the four characteristics that make up BANT. It is an industry-wide lead qualification methodology that was created by IBM. 

The following are possible BANT questions based on the four characteristics:

  • Budget - Does the product or service fall within the prospect's purchasing range?
  • Authority - Is the prospect in a position to make the purchase, or is the decision-maker someone else?
  • Needs - To what extent does the potential customer need your product or service? Is there really a need, or is the potential customer only looking into the good or service?
  • Timeline - Is the customer prepared to buy the good or service?

The BANT method is appropriate for pricey goods or services that nobody can afford. The list includes B2B brands. 

BANT’s pros and cons


1. It is easy.

2. It is simple to utilize and put into practice.

3. It has a track record of success.


1. It moves slowly and is inappropriate for businesses that move quickly.

2. It is unable to handle customers with unidentified needs.

3. It is unable to address many stakeholders.


This framework was developed by InsightSquared. It stands for Challenges, Authority, Money, and Prioritization. It makes sure that one asks the key questions first. It starts with the issues, needs, and frustrations that the prospect’s company experiences. 

  • What goals does the potential customer hope to accomplish by getting rid of the issue or discomfort? (Challenges)
  • How do people decide what to buy, and who makes those decisions? (Authority)
  • How much should the product or service cost to purchase? (Money)
  • From what date may implementation begin? (Prioritization)

When leads are unsure regarding the purpose of your product or service, the CHAMP approach works well. This approach starts by comprehending the difficulties that prospects face. 

If the product or service is appropriate for the prospect, it will be determined by your sales staff. It aids in eliminating leads who are not in need of the requested goods or services. 

CHAMP’s pros and cons


  1. It emphasizes the client's needs.
  1. It screens leads who are oblivious to their needs.


1. It is not fast enough 

2. It requires you to figure out the ROI


The lead qualifying framework MEDDIC places a strong emphasis on overlapping parameters.

  • Metrics: What numerical outcomes does the prospective client anticipate from your solution?  For instance, it can be to boost sales by 10% yearly.
  • Economy buyer-Who makes buying decisions in the economy?
  • Decision criteria-What factors do prospects consider before deciding whether or not to buy? 
  • Decision-making process: What steps does the prospect take when considering a purchase?
  • Identify pain points: What issue does the potential customer hope the product or service would solve? Is there someone who can serve as an advocate for your products or services within the prospect's organization?

The MEDDIC framework is appropriate for high-ticket items and services with modest sales volumes. Most frequently, it is for really expensive software items. 

The sales staff can afford to speak with the lead in-depth and learn everything there is to know about the products or services. It is ineffective for cheap goods that are purchased in large quantities.

MEDDIC's pros and cons


1. It enables you to determine whether the lead is likely to make a purchase.

2. It makes it possible for you to learn more about how potential customers decide what to buy.


1. To manage information, it requires the appropriate software.

2. The needs of the leads are not the main concern.

3. The answer must be presented by a corporate employee. 


ANNUM has components similar to the BANT framework. It is just that the order is different. The acronym stands for Authority, Need, Urgency, and Money. The prospect's ability to make decisions is essential in this situation, and financial considerations come last.

It is appropriate for those prospects where you are unsure about the decision-maker's authority. It frequently occurs in new businesses with no well-defined processes. 

ANNUM’s Pros and cons


1. It works for budgets that change. 

2. It aids in prioritizing client needs. 

3. It gives excellent results when you reach out to the right person. 


1. It doesn't work when clients lack prior experience with your solution. 

2. It cannot qualify leads who haven't made up their minds to buy your solution.


The acronym stands for Funds, Authority, Interest, Need, and Timing. In this type of BANT, budget and purchasing authority are the primary factors considered. There is also the "interest" component to consider. The sales and marketing teams must both ascertain the prospect's level of interest in the product or service. 

This methodology for lead qualification works for prospects who are unaware of the existence of your product or service. It stands in stark contrast to customers who are knowledgeable about your products or services and for whom the BANT technique is appropriate. 

FAINT’s pros and cons


1. It is perfect for first-time customers who are unsure about their needs.

2. It facilitates receiving a more effective and tailored sales message.


1. Clients who are aware of their demands already cannot use it

2. It takes a lot of time.


This lead qualification framework's acronyms stand for Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timelines, Budgets, Authorities, Negative Consequences, and Positive Implications. HubSpot created the structure and includes the following possible questions:

  • What objectives does the prospect's company have?
  • Do they have the means to put the strategy into action?
  • How are they addressing the current pain points?
  • When can the implementation of the plan start?
  • Is the budget already being used to address the issue?
  • What would those with the power to make decisions say?
  • In what ways might reaching the objective have personal repercussions or implications?

Strengths: Sellers can determine in a flash whether a prospective client is a perfect match for their goods or services. It gives salespeople enough information to judge whether it is worthwhile to follow up on the lead.

Weakness: In order to gather as much information as possible, the salesperson must walk the prospect through each inquiry. Therefore, novice sellers or those who are unfamiliar with the lengthy method may come out to potential buyers as detectives. 

Lead Qualification Checklist 

Here are some questions you can present in every lead qualification checklist;

Lead qualification checklist

1. Interest

Does the lead seem like someone who might want to buy my product or service?

Even though it is seemingly a simple question, the answer can be tricky. 

You can directly ask someone if they want to buy your product to find out if they do. 

If the reply to your questions is "no," or if the lead doesn't respond, the information is not qualified.

2. Need

Does the lead need my solution?

Sometimes, people who want your product or service don't need it. 

They might figure this out eventually, and if they still buy from you, you'll have to deal with rejection or bad reviews.

Bad for you. Why?

According to Hiver's research, following a bad customer service experience, 70% of respondents said they would tell their friends and coworkers not to purchase the product or service, and 18% would also take their complaint to social media.

It is an essential part of a list of things you must consider.

3. Budget

Can the lead pay for my solution?

Inquire about the lead's finances and the amount they will spend on your goods or services. 

It will aid in your comprehension of their constraints and the viability of your proposed solution.

By focusing on its benefits, describe how your product or service may help the lead achieve their goals. 

You can convince the lead to buy your product or service by emphasizing the advantages of your solution.

4. Timing

Is this a good time to buy my solution?

A lead may want your solution but have yet to be ready to buy it. But one day, they'll be prepared for it. 

You can divide your leads into groups and keep careful tabs on where they are in the sales funnel so you can contact them at the right time.

If the prospect is still waiting to buy, ask them when the best time would be to contact them to close the deal.

5. The boss

Is the lead the one who makes decisions?

Typically, six to ten people are involved in a B2B purchase decision, each with more than four pieces of information they have gathered separately.

To get high-stakes B2B prospecting in today's buying environment, you need to know who these people are, their preferences, and how their needs could conflict or overlap. 

Gartner's research identified six B2B buying "jobs" that consumers must complete before closing a transaction to understand how to effectively assist them in moving through a complex acquisition:

  • Recognizing the issue. "Something needs to be done,"
  • Exploration of solutions. What options are there to address our issue?
  • Requirements development. What specifically do we require the purchase for?
  • Choosing a vendor. "Does this fulfill our expectations?"
  • Validation. "We believe we have the solution, but we must be certain."
  • Creation of consensus. "We need to involve everyone."
The decision process

So, these questions need to be on your list of qualifying leads.

Next Step with Prospects in Lead Qualification

A prospect is a lead that's been qualified. 

After the first call to learn more about the information, you'll have to decide whether you want to follow up with the lead. 

When you deem a lead to be sales-ready, you forward them to the sales team, where the deal will get closed.

Before doing that, ensure you have the necessary lead generation tools to streamline the lead qualification process.

How To Turn New Leads into Qualified Leads 

Lead generation is important because you can promote business growth and maximize return on investment by pointing out the prospects most likely to become paying clients and concentrating your efforts on those leads.

Giving out free items is one easy technique, for instance, to get people interested in your company and persuade them to make additional purchases. 

You should make offers that lead to sales, keep in touch with potential clients, and use good keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to improve your website. 

Site users' experiences significantly impact organic traffic, and you should use social media to find leads and turn them into customers. 

It would help if you optimized your SEO and pay-per-click pages to keep up with trends.

Creating buyer profiles, utilizing marketing automation technologies, and nurturing your leads with tailored content make it possible for you to turn new leads into qualified ones.

Lead Qualification Tools

Tools for lead qualification are software platforms or solutions that assist you in classifying and ranking prospective clients according to their propensity to become paying clients. 

Using data analysis and lead scoring algorithms, these systems analyze leads and give scores based on variables, including demographics, behavior patterns, and interaction with your company's goods or services.

Here are some:


Without making any website updates, you may increase your ability to qualify leads by using the Pathmonk lead qualification tool.

To begin selecting and prioritizing the most promising leads, Pathmonk will uncover crucial facts about the visitors to your website and compare their activity patterns with those of past visitors.

The AI system is more than simply a bot that asks arbitrary queries. Your whole qualifying logic may be deployed in seconds on your website, allowing leads to be qualified or rejected immediately. 

This will make life much simpler for your marketers and SDRs.

ProProfs Survey Maker

Asking prospective clients directly may help you understand their needs. You'll know whether they're a lead when you know what they want.

ProProfs Survey Maker is a cloud-based application that helps marketers to gather qualified leads and identify their issues and pain points by asking the questions your team needs to evaluate purchase intent and capabilities.

This tool creates surveys, forms, quizzes, evaluations, polls, and popups. These techniques help measure consumer loyalty and satisfaction.


It is a CRM software combining content management, sales, service, and marketing

It has capabilities for lead generation, meeting scheduling, quotation generation, marketing automation, customer feedback, etc. 

This platform makes managing your leads, contacting new prospects, and continuously updating and improving your material easy. It will take you all the way from website design to the conclusion of sales.


Most of your prospects will initially see your landing pages, which showcase certain offers or goods. Better pages attract more qualified leads.

Unbounce lets non-coders develop landing pages.

This solution employs a built-in AI to increase conversions and simplify A/B testing for each page.

Modern buyers have done so much research online before visiting your site that they know precisely what they want. 

If your landing page has the final information they need, you will get guidance through every step, from creating the website to making sales.


Prospects occasionally only require a quick response to one or two questions before entering the sales pipeline. 

You can offer this kind of direct contact with Acquire's web chat interface.

Acquire also offers a chatbot that can address the most frequent queries prospects are likely to ask because, of course, most sales teams lack the time or capacity to respond immediately to every question that comes in this way.

To begin the qualification process, these chatbots can also assist you in gathering more information about these possibilities.

AI bees Tools

This is us! 

AI bees offer some unique tools for lead generation, which can help you get leads and turn them into customers. They include AI Nectar, AI Memory, and AI Harvest.

AI bees tools analyze sales leads and help sales teams find high-quality prospects using AI and machine learning techniques. 

The platform gathers lead data from CRM systems, email campaigns, and social media accounts.

AI bees tools analyze this data using predictive analytics to identify the most probable leads to become consumers. 

Each prospect receives a lead score based on demographics, behavior, and corporate interactions. This helps sales teams prioritize promising prospects.

AI bees tools may also build up rules and processes to automatically route leads to the right salesperson, depending on the score and other parameters. 

Sales personnel spend less time manually analyzing and qualifying leads, which enhances efficiency.

We can assist your sales team in qualifying leads and concentrating on the most likely to convert.

Fix Your Lead Qualification Once and for All With AI bees

AI bees, a B2B lead generation agency, is here to help you create excellent business networks, connect with new clients, and schedule appointments with decision-makers and prospects.

How do you qualify leads?

From warm calling to lead generation tools, we've got your back. 

Let's help you sort through a sea of leads to locate the ones that matter.

To concentrate on the most promising leads and upgrade your chances of turning leads into customers, your sales and marketing teams can use AI bees to expedite and improve the lead qualification process.  

Book a demo with us today!

FAQ Questions:

Why is lead qualification essential?

Sales leaders may quickly identify leads with the potential to become customers when a robust lead qualification procedure is included in their workflow. 

Also, this lessens the likelihood of running across leads that need to be more accurate or have no potential to become customers.

What does qualifying a lead mean?

It involves getting information about a lead's needs, budget, decision-making power, timeframe, and other meaningful factors. 

You then employ this data to assess the lead's suitability for your company's goods and services and their propensity to purchase.

What do you do after lead qualification?

Following lead qualification, the objective is to drive the qualified leads further down the sales funnel to convert them into clients. 

This calls for continual interaction, focused marketing initiatives, and a readiness to respond to the wants and needs of your qualified prospects.

Is a qualified lead a prospect? 

Certainly, a prospect can be a qualified lead. 

Any person or business that can need a company's goods or services and hence become a customer is considered a prospect. 

A qualified lead is a prospect you have assessed and found more likely to buy something than others.