Two years into a pandemic, and one thing is very clear from a sales and marketing perspective: buyers now demand a digital-first experience. While COVID-19 dramatically altered many facets of business, the shift to digital buying and selling in the B2B world was inevitable because it’s the way we buy things for ourselves in our daily consumer world. However, just because something is inevitable doesn’t mean it comes without consequence. Today, marketers who work with Dynamics 365 are tasked with catering to these new digital demands to fill the pipeline and drive the bottom line – and that starts with scrutinizing your leads and clarifying what’s considered a qualified opportunity. 

1. Establish a Lead Qualification or Scoring Framework

For many B2B organizations, the last two years saw a dip in customer demand, resulting in over-compensation from sales teams to accept leads into the pipeline that might not be the best fit for the sake of survival and revenue generation. Today, we’re seeing companies in a less reactive position, not merely acting to stay afloat but crafting strategy to drive pipeline fulfillment based on a predominantly digital B2B buyer journey rooted in five key behaviors:

  1. Every interaction is treated like a calculated time investment from someone who is accustomed to getting what they want immediately.
  2. Prospects believe they can find any info they need online and on their own and want to do research and exploration without the interference of a salesperson.
  3. When buyers can’t find the info they’re looking for on their own, they want a concierge to help them get info rather than searching the web – and they want the concierge immediately.
  4. Prospects would rather not spend time educating a seller; however, they do want confirmation that the seller understands their objectives.
  5. Buyers don’t want to repeat themselves to people or to a computer and they don’t respond well to conflicting messaging.

Forming a strategy that addresses these shifts starts with lead qualification.

The lead qualification process involves interacting with potential customers via digital channels and determining whether they are able, ready, and willing to buy your products or services. It’s an important process because it ensures your sales team is only dedicating time and energy to the most qualified prospects, improving productivity and boosting conversion rates. Lead qualification has grown more complicated over the last two years (with some estimates putting qualification rates as low as 27%), but businesses that properly define the differences between leads can ensure the process runs more efficiently.

  • Organization-level leads are in the very early stages of qualification. For these types of prospects, ensure your team confirms that the lead matches up with your buyer personas, including interests, industry, and company size.
  • Opportunity-level leads mean the prospect is a good fit for your company’s products or services, and your solutions meet their needs and solve for specific pain points.
  • Stakeholder-level prospects must fit your customer persona, realize the value in your product, and have the ability to move forward with the purchase. If they’re not capable of making the final purchase, you need to identify and connect with the proper decision-maker who can.

2. Keep the Pipeline Clean

Marketers and sales teams working with Dynamics 365 looking to refill the sales pipeline post-pandemic must prioritize cleaning out the pipeline to make room for new, qualified leads. Determine a cadence that makes the most sense based on the length of your sales cycle, and then get tactical.

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