Knowing where to focus effort is an important part of the sales process for any agent. Most insurance agents are aware of the many lead scoring techniques and complex quality algorithms, but few are looking a step further to determine the “quality score” of each opportunity. The great news is that you don’t need uber-complex software to help you determine a lead scoring model of your own.

If you have strict sales quotas and longer sales cycles, like most insurance agents, qualifying leads can be especially useful. Agents who are effective at lead qualification distinguish the potential “quality” or assumed “success rate” of each opportunity and use this information to prioritize insurance leads based on the potential success rate. Making this distinction is crucial to maximizing the number of closed leads in a given time period.

How to score qualified insurance leads

Quality is like art...it can’t really be defined. What is a great lead for one agent, might be poorer quality for another. The common characteristic in lead scoring, however, is identifying and labeling the overall estimated “potential” using a number or a system of identification.

Qualified leads have information that allows the agent to determine how "qualified" they are for certain insurance products based on factors like budget, authority, need, and timescale. In other words, the BANT approach. 

BANT is a frequently used strategy to help determine lead qualification. These four factors form a basic rubric off of which you can start distinguishing qualified leads from unqualified ones.

  • (B) Budget: do they have enough money for the product?
  • (A) Authority: can they make a decision?
  • (N) Need: will the product they want fulfill their needs?
  • (T) Timescale: is this the right time for them to make a purchase? Is there a specific time when they prefer to purchase?

Another more modern model for determining lead quality is CHAMP: Challenges, Authority, Money, and Priority.

More agents prefer this model because it puts the customer's needs before financial ability. Each category also has its own set of qualifying questions, which can be read here. A key point to remember is that the lead's challenges and needs should take priority over any other questions. Once you address the problem, then you can work on a budget and buying process to guide your customer's decision.

Determining the quality of a lead above all requires communication. Once a lead generates, wait no more than a few hours to follow up. Responding quickly shows them dedication, and they will be more likely to close with you. After connecting with them, assess their potential by asking lead-qualifying questions. 

Use these questions as a reference:

  • What motivated this person to contact you?
  • What type of policy and coverage are they looking for, and can they afford them?
  • Is anyone else influencing their decision?
  • Are they interested in competing products or services?
  • How long have they been interested, and what's holding them back from purchasing a policy?
  • Do they need any more information before they decide?
  • How long do they need to make a decision?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea about the lead's qualifications. You can also ensure their qualifications by verifying that the details provided are correct. Use automated checks on a form or even calling the person to confirm their details. From there, you can determine how much effort to put into trying to convert your leads. There are multiple systems for classifying the levels of lead qualification, and numerous CRMs that can help you classify all of your leads as they move through your sales funnel.

The most important point, however, is simply that agents should prioritize leads by their level of qualification, and spend their time and effort accordingly.

Why is this? Well, qualified leads tend to have better conversion rates because their interest is higher than basic leads. Although more qualified leads cost more, the higher conversion rates will help generate a decent ROI for you, the agent.

What’s your agencies most important qualifier?