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How to Qualify a Lead or Prospect For a Sale

Lead generation is an exciting and vital part of any business. But it can also be a timely, and potentially costly, endeavour. As such, it is important to qualify whether leads are the right fit for your business or specific product. You don’t want to waste resources on a lead that is unlikely to result in a sale. The question is, are they a valuable lead to pursue?

To qualify a lead or prospect for a sale, you need to follow these four steps: 

LinkedIn Assessment

Is It Needed?

The most fundamental aspect that you must establish about a lead is this: do they actually want or need what I have to sell them? 

This needs to be identified as soon as possible, and a simple assessment of who the lead is can get you there. An industry competitor, for example, is highly unlikely to be a sales prospect. If your lead has neither want nor need of your product or service- and are unlikely to ever- then they are simply not worth the energy. Such leads should be disqualified from your sales efforts. 

Money Matters

So, your prospect has the want and/ or need for what you have to offer. This is a great indication. But, a valuable insight into the potential of a sale also lies in the budget of your prospect. This can be especially relevant when pitching to companies; since they likely have a specific budget allocated for this matter. Money may not be the ultimate factor in qualifying leads, but it should be carefully considered. 

You must establish that the prospect has the ability to pay for your product or service in order to evaluate whether they are qualifiable. 


Another factor about your lead that must be considered, especially when dealing with a company, is the chain of command. 

Whilst your lead could be extremely interested in what you are selling, if they are not in a high enough position of authority to make the final decision about purchasing it, then a sale is unlikely. A lead of value is going to be one that has the authority to make the decisions that will ultimately lead to a sale. 

Determining Accessibility

If your lead or prospect meets the above criteria, then this is promising. However, there is one more vital consideration: how are you going to reach them? 

A successful sales strategy involves connecting with leads over social media platforms, such as LinkedIn. These platforms allow for familiarity between lead and business to be created, increasing the likelihood of a sale, as opposed to cold selling techniques. So, a valuable lead is going to be active on such platforms if you are using this sales technique. It’s important to establish how you are going to be able to contact your lead before qualifying them for a sale.

Time For Sales

To recap, qualifying leads or prospects means that only the most viable leads are being pursued, which is the best way to secure accounts. By following these four steps, you can qualify a lead:  

  • Ensure they have a want or need for what you are offering.
  • Consider whether they have the budget for your product or service. 
  • Establish that they have the authority to make the decision.
  • Decide the most effective way of contacting them. 

By effectively qualifying leads, you can be confident that the most valuable leads are being contacted in sales efforts.


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