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The 5 Elements of a Qualified Lead

People ask me all the time what I think makes up a qualified lead. It’s simple, I tell them. There are five things that every Top 20% producer knows when he or she hangs up the phone with a prospect.

Know these five things and chances are real good you’re going to close this prospect. Leave one out — or two out — and chances are even better that you’re never going to close this prospect.

It’s a simple as that.

Here are the five things you need to know about every prospect you speak with:

  1. Decision maker and decision process. When speaking with your prospect, you need to be real clear on whether or not they are the sole decision maker, or who else is involved. Are there more than two involved in the final decision?

    Also, what is the decision process like? What’s involved? Who’s in charge? If you’re not absolutely clear on this when you get off the phone, you don’t have a qualified lead.

  2. Time frame. Part of knowing who and how the decision is made also involves knowing the time frame for making the decision. You must be clear on when they need your product or service, what type of urgency there is (if any), and when they are making the final decision.

    Moreover, after getting this information, you need to be clear about what needs to happen next.

  3. Other quotes. You also need to know what other quotes, products, solutions, or options your prospect is considering. If they have a regular vendor and are getting other bids, you especially need to know:

    – How many other bids are they getting? – Why they are looking for other bids? (Do they just need to get to other bids before going with last year’s vendor?) – What are they looking for in another bid/product/solution? – What will make yours the one they choose?

  4. Buying motives (needs and wants). It is crucial for you to have a clear understanding of what is truly motivating your prospect to buy. Only when you know this will you be able to pitch to their listening. You must be able to answer these questions.

    – What exactly is the prospect looking for? – What are their unique buying motives? – What do you need to say to sell them?

  5. Why they won’t buy. Just as important as knowing why they’ll buy is knowing why they won’t buy from you. When you hang up the phone you need to know:

    – Why are they really getting another quote? – What are some of their sore spots? – What are they trying to avoid? – Why won’t they buy?

These five elements are the bare minimum of what you need to know about every prospect you qualify. These points form the basis of your qualifying checklist, and you need to have scripted questions that you ask on each and every call to find these thing out. You do have a qualifying checklist don’t you?

If not, use the above questions to form your initial checklist and start finding and qualifying buyers today!

About the author

Do you have an underperforming inside sales team? Talk to Mike to see how he can help you and your team reach your revenue goals. To learn more about Mike, visit his website: