The Ultimate 5 Step Lead Qualification Checklist (+ Infographic)

Carlos Silva

A day’s worth of work is much more manageable when it’s broken down into individual tasks, right? Like a to-do list. 

When it comes to lead qualification, a checklist has the same effect. 

Think about it for a sec. 

Every lead that comes in has to be evaluated for a variety of attributes in order to be qualified. Without a structured process, how do you know where to start? 

It’s incredibly difficult. And the longer your list, the more overwhelming it can be. 

A lead qualification checklist breaks this process down into a simple framework, making it feel more manageable and intentional. Let alone, it keeps your process consistent. 

Help your team establish the criteria and step-by-step structure they need to spend less time on unqualified leads who fall through the cracks and more time closing. 

Let’s see how you can build that lead qualification checklist.

The definitive 5 step lead qualification checklist

  • Are they genuinely interested?
  • Do they have a use for your product?
  • Do they have the budget?
  • Is now the best time for them to buy?
  • Are they the decision-maker?

Think about your checklist as a list of all the characteristics that define your ideal customer profile. It should, at the very least, include the most basic prerequisites for buying a product. 

Start by adding the above questions to your checklist. 

When assessing a lead, you should be able to check every box off as a yes. If not, they aren’t a qualified lead — at least not right now. 

5 questions your lead qualification checklist should have

1. Are they genuinely interested in what we’re selling?

Not every lead who downloads a resource on your website or checks out your pricing page is there to buy your product. It’s the simple truth. Maybe all they really want is your ebook or they’re a competitor peeking into your pricing structure. 

To find out if a prospect is genuinely interested, you’ll need to gauge their level of interest by asking them questions to see if they’re looking to purchase a product or if they need help getting started with one of your pricing plans. 

If your prospect answers no to any of those questions, they’re likely not a qualified lead.

2. Do they have a use for our product?

There’s a big difference between wanting a product and having a use for it. 

That’s a problem for sales reps because they can end up wasting valuable time working with a lead who ultimately may decide they don’t need your product. 

Save your team the headache by asking your prospects questions like what their current challenges are, what their immediate and long-term goals are, and what roadblocks they anticipate will hold them back. 

Once you know the answers to those questions, you can then assess if your product is capable of meeting those needs or not.

3. Do they have the budget to buy what we’re selling?

Money is never easy to bring up with a lead, but the fact is, you shouldn’t pursue a lead if buying your product isn’t within their budget — the BANT methodology taught us that. 

Approach the topic delicately by asking questions like what products they’re currently using, if they think they’re paying a reasonable price for that current solution, and what their ideal price range is. 

If you’re analyzing the budget of a B2B lead, you can also look into their business profile to get a ballpark figure of their budget. 

4. Is now the best time for them to buy what we’re selling?

Timing is relative and dynamic, so be cognizant of that as this qualifier isn’t as black and white as the others. 

Just because a prospect isn’t ready to buy right now doesn't mean they won’t be later down the road. 

To find out if now is the best time for them to buy what you’re selling, ask them where they are in the buying journey, if they’ve started comparing prices and vendors, if they have obligations coming up that might delay their ability to buy the product, and what their time frame is.

Try to stick to leads who show signs they’re ready to buy now or within the next month, but don’t completely discount a lead just because the timing isn’t right. 

5. Are they the decision-maker?

If you work in B2B, you know that making a sale requires approval from the ultimate decision-maker. However, identifying that person is easier said than done. 

Your lead’s job title might indicate purchasing authority, but if you aren’t sure you can always ask questions like who decides what product or service their company should use, and who should you speak with to discuss solutions for the problem your product solves. 

Also, keep in mind that in B2B sometimes the decision-making process involves a group of people. Factor that into your questions by following up and asking if there’s anyone else you should speak with. 

Closing thoughts

Let’s not kid ourselves, lead qualification is complex. You have to assess prospects for multiple attributes and it can get real messy without a structured tactic in place. 

Start with the questions above and take it to the next level by making it specific and unique to your ideal customer profile.

With the definitive lead qualification checklist above, your team now has a tool to stay aligned, organized, and accurate when it comes to assessing prospects.

About the author
Carlos Silva

Carlos Silva is an SEO Content Manager at Chili Piper. He's passionate about the craft of writing and the power of storytelling. You might find him trail running through the mountains of Valencia, Spain, or writing in his journal at home, but you'll always find him reading something new!

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