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Qualified opportunities are ones that have met specific criteria determined by an organization and/or its sales leader. Most use the BANT criteria (budget, authority, needs, timeline) to qualify opportunities, but companies sometimes set their own criteria.
It goes without saying that a higher number of qualified opportunities leads to a higher sales velocity. But instead of trying to stuff your pipeline, increase your qualified opportunities by optimizing the MQL to SQL stage of your pipeline. Here are three ways to increase the number of qualified opportunities in your sales pipeline:
Because online leads go cold so quickly, it’s crucial that sales follow up with them quickly. Yet, a Harvard Business Review study found that only 26.1% of businesses surveyed responded to leads within 5 mins. Of the companies that responded to the lead within the first 30 days, the average response time for 42 hours. This is why so many leads are lost early in the pipeline, and why sales teams should follow up with leads as quickly as possible.
The faster you contact a lead, the higher its chance of converting. In fact, contacting a lead within 5 mins increases the likelihood that they will maintain interest in your solution rather than seek out your competitors. Ensure that your team has a process in place to respond to customers, preferably in real time.
Prospects/leads are most engaged while they’re on your site, which makes it the best time to engage with them. As mentioned above, online leads go cold quickly, so talking to them in real time allows you to capture them while they’re hot.
Additionally, adding chat to your site allows you to answer questions in real time, guiding the lead along in her understanding of your solution. This way, she doesn’t have to fill in her own blanks or seek out another source for information. Talking to prospects/leads and addressing their concerns early on in the funnel allows them to see you as knowledgeable, provides an excellent experience, and showcases your dedication to providing solutions that make their lives easier.
Most leads that come across your site for the first time are not immediately ready to buy from you. And if you try to sell to them before they are ready, they will run in the other direction and never look back. Instead of trying to push the sale at all costs, nurture your leads with engaging content that addresses their pain, highlights the best solutions, and teaches more about your product and brand. Since most prospects and leads educate themselves on solutions before they even talk to a salesperson, it is important that you use content to do some of this work. Great content increases website conversions and causes the lead look to you as a source of knowledge in your field.
In addition to win rate, average deal size, and sales cycle length, the number of qualified opportunities in your sales pipeline directly impacts your sales velocity. Be one of the agile and forward thinking sales leaders of today who can calculate, measure, and improve their sales velocity with our step-by-step guide. Download your copy today!