So you’ve identified a lead, matched it to an account, and now you’re hard at work building a relationship. That’s great. But there are additional stumbling blocks that many sales reps run into in the later stage of the sales game.

In this post, the final in our four-part B2B sales Q&A series, we will answer two common questions about moving leads further down the funnel, and how to take the relationship to the next level.

1. When should I move a conversation from email to the phone?

How to move a conversation from email to phone – or from phone to in-person – is a common concern among salespeople. And unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

When and how to transition to phone calls or in-person meetings depends largely on your business. Peter Thiel discusses a good rule of thumb for distinguishing between high and low touch sales approaches in his book “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.” High touch tactics, like phone calls and in-person meetings, are best used if your solution is complex, niche, or higher cost. Low touch tactics, like cold emailing and inbound marketing, are best used if your solution is cheaper and requires less debate about a purchase.

And if you’re struggling to determine whether cold emailing or cold calling is right for your sales team, RightHello has a good infographic outlining the pros and cons of each.

2. When is a lead qualified enough to hand to an account executive?

Handing off a lead to an account executive is a delicate situation. Without the right information in the CRM, the account exec won’t understand the pain points, budget, product she is interested in buying and more. And often, this lead will become frustrated at the apparent lack of communication at the company, and move on to a competitor.

That’s why it is essential for SDRs to qualify leads well before passing them to an account exec. But too often, sales departments don’t actually have a formal definition of what a qualified lead looks like, to help SDRs make that decision.

According to Close.io, there are four areas that SDRs should consider when qualified leads:

  • How well they match the customer profile
  • Their needs
  • How their decision-making process typically plays out, and who is involved
  • Who you are competing against

Asking leads questions pertaining to the topics above will show you whether or not they are qualified, and when they are, they can be passed on to account executives to close the sale.

If you’d like to learn more about common B2B sales questions, take a look at our previous three Q&A posts: Personalization, targeting the right prospects and following up the right way.