Managing Under-Qualified Online Sales Leads

Analyzing the sales funnel

Not all leads are created equal - some of the best are near the end of the purchase journey, and with some product details from you, are ready to make a purchase. Others, however, are not as far in their journey and may take more attention from you to finalize their decision. Take advantage of this opportunity to grow your business with these potential customers.

Best Practice #1: Ask Discovery Questions

Customers who complete a lead form on your website have a need, however urgent. Your first contact with the customer is your opportunity to fully understand their needs, and how you can help solve them. The product or service that they initially researched may not be the best solution, giving the perception that they don’t want to buy. A series of questions to fully investigate their intentions will give you insight into their actual problems. As their local expert, when you fully understand their needs, you can guide them to the best solution, and ultimately turn an under-qualified lead into a sale.

Best Practice #2: Share Educational Content

For customers who are not ready to buy, offer to share educational content on their product options. Consider sharing links to YouTube videos that show the products or service in use, easy maintenance steps, or use brochures that compare your product to the competition, or demonstrate how the product will provide extra benefits. Educational content will provide insights for potential customers to help them make a purchase decision. People value content that is useful and ultimately helps them make the right purchase choice, even if that decision takes longer than anticipated.

Best Practice #3: Follow-up Regularly

For prospective customers who aren’t ready to make a purchase, follow up with them regularly to check-in on their changing needs. By keeping the customer on your check-in list, they will feel valuable to you as a customer, and view you as their local expert when they’re ready to buy.

Ongoing communication often includes email newsletters with product updates. If you have completed your discovery questions and understand the customer’s needs, your emails can be customized to include details best suited for their needs. You can also share promotional offers that become available for the product, including financing options or extended warranty offers. Demonstrating patience with the customer by keeping them informed with current information will help you stay in front of mind when they are ready to buy.


Not every lead is going to result in an immediate sale, but by working to understand the customer and their needs, educating them on their options to make the best decision, and following up with them on a regular basis, you have an opportunity to increase the percentage of leads that convert into sales. You are their local expert, and by working with them over time, you can turn an under-qualified lead into a sale, and even a long-lasting customer relationship.

written by

Stephanie Shreve

Stephanie Shreve is the Vice President of Partner Engagement.

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