I believe you qualify leads multiple times through the selling process. One way at the pipeline phase is to match the person to your "business persona" - thy type of people you seek to sell to. If that is a match, timing, funding, evaluation and selection process, are essential to determine. I find that clients who identify other people in the decision process are often more qualified - at least in software sales. Its not too often that one person makes the buying decision. Hope this helps.
I agree with Bob. You've got to qualify your leads throughout the process. I was reading an article about a lead-scoring model that's pretty helpful. It helps you differentiate the tire kickers from the people who are ready to go. And for my numerical brain, it works out perfect because it helps me figure out how to rank who I should be focusing on heavily vs. focusing on "loosely". They talk about it in this article: 13 Tips for SMB Sales: How to Strike It Big Selling to Small and Medium Businesses | Propeller CRM Blog -- Hope this helps!
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