Finding in-market leads for B2B businesses is crucial to achieving revenue goals.
The problem is that the B2B market is enormous. Locating the right person worthy of your outreach efforts can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And in today’s buyer-focused sales landscape, it’s important for reps to always be developing new techniques and strategies for effective prospecting. In this guide we’ll outline some proven lead qualification frameworks and practices to find in-market buyers that can improve your conversions.
Defining “In-Market” Buyers
An in-market buyer is someone who exhibits strong purchase intent signals indicative of an impending purchase decision.
To find these buyers, marketing teams need to develop a sales qualification process that separates the in-market wheat from the out-of-market chaff. This will prevent businesses from wasting time on leads that won’t convert into paying customers. Moreover, it’ll allow salespeople to pour their efforts into those who are more likely to buy.
The goal is to organize prospects through a lead qualification framework, which will help to prioritize all sorts of leads, namely:
- Unqualified leads: Unqualified leads meet a certain level of interest in a company’s services or products. However, they aren’t ready to receive targeted marketing content.
- Marketing qualified leads: MQLs are leads that took certain actions that qualify them to receive marketing content. Some examples are downloading a free resource, repeated visits, and clicking a display advertisement.
- Sales qualified leads: Past the MQL stage, an SQL is someone who’s in the market to make a purchase. These are the leads that typically get funneled down to a company’s sales team.
- Product qualified leads: PQLs are leads that showed a verifiable desire to do business with a service provider. The telltale signs of a PQL include creating a trial account or using a product’s free version.
- Conversion qualified leads: As the name suggests, a CQL is a lead who already converted by signing up, filling a form, or clicking a CTA. While these are strong purchase intent signals, they don’t gauge the lead’s readiness in committing to purchase soon.
To find in-market buyers among these types of leads, B2B marketers can use one of these lead qualification frameworks.
CHAMP stands for “Challenges, Authority, Money, and Prioritization.” It is a straightforward framework that requires salespeople to focus on the challenges that prospective buyers are facing. This means understanding their problems, how long they’ve been grappling with them, what solutions have already failed, and so on.
The rest of CHAMP (Authority, Money, and Prioritization) is all about the lead’s qualifications:
- Are they authoritative enough to make purchase decisions?
- Do they have money that can be allotted to products or services you offer?
- How much do they prioritize the problems that you propose to solve?
The BANT lead qualification framework involves digging for four key pieces of information: Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.
To uncover these, salespeople need to ask the right questions that will determine if a prospect is worth pursuing:
- Budget: Do they have the budget for your solutions?
- Authority: Can they make the final decision for this transaction?
- Need: Do they have an absolute need for your product?
- Timeline: How soon do they want to lock in the deal?
Once these details are obtained, B2B service providers will be able to sort leads on an opportunity level.
MEDDIC means “Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion.” Unlike the previous two frameworks, MEDDIC drills down into the decision-making process of prospective B2B buyers.
Metrics involve crunching the numbers and providing prospects with a clear picture of how the service provider’s solutions can benefit them. This will be redirected to the Economic Buyer, who is someone that can authorize spending in the target company.
B2B service providers will then map out the prospect’s Decision Criteria, which will influence how they’ll choose between similar solutions.
Once this is established, the vendor will then analyze the Decision Process that takes place—including their timeline, the formal approval process, and so on. Of course, sellers must also Identify Pain points that their solution can address, like inefficient processes, high expenses, and low ROI.
Finally, MEDDIC entails building a relationship with a potential Champion, which is an employee at the prospect company, to “sell” the solution to the rest of their team.
Doing all of these steps will help B2B vendors sell to large corporate customers.
Optimizing your sales qualification process is the first step toward finding in-market buyers and improving sales performance. But there’s more to sales prospecting than just knowing who to target.
Remember, sales prospecting is an ongoing process that depends on active, continuous effort from sales and marketing teams.
Sales Prospecting: 3 Keys to Success
Here are three crucial practices that will help B2B companies identify high-quality sales leads and maximize profits:
1. Make Use of Intent Data
Buyer intent data can help marketers provide content experiences that seamlessly match the prospect’s intentions, helping to uncover in-market buyers.
At the same time, understanding the prospect’s level of purchase intent can help salespeople determine the best time to act.
Predictive intent analytics utilize data from first-party and third-party sources. This includes surveys, keyword research, and information gathered from browser tracking cookies.
2. Establish a Strong Social Media Presence
Be visible on social media platforms to enable your past customers to connect with your brand and generate social proof in the form of comments, reviews, and likes.
Your audience can also share your branded content, which other would-be buyers can see as a vote of confidence in your brand.
Trust and buyer confidence improve if prospects receive recommendations from their peers. In this case, the reputation and authority of happy clients will help B2B service providers win more business.
3. Don’t Follow a Rigid Prospecting Schedule
If your prospects fail to pick up or respond during your first and second reach outs, switch things up by engaging them at different times.
For example, if you did your first two reach outs in the morning, consider calling them in the afternoon or at night.
Their daily routines could be preventing them from responding to unexpected calls or messages early in the day.
An Effortless Solution to Prospecting In-Market Buyers
Sales prospecting is an intensive, time-consuming process, but it can also reward B2B companies with extremely valuable leads.
DemandScience is a turnkey solution that can bolster your sales pipelines with targeted leads to find in-market buyers. We use first-party data from surveys and quality thought leadership content to compile 131 million B2B prospects updated monthly.
Contact DemandScience today and discover how we can aid your sales prospecting efforts.
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