How to qualify your leads on Upwork. Stop calling!

How to qualify your leads on Upwork. Stop calling!
Photo by Christine Roy / Unsplash

Table of contents:

  1. Intro. Why this problem is crucial?
  2. Why the call is not a step?
  3. Suggestions how to qualify your leads on Upwork.


It's such a typical story for me to hear:

  • All leads on Upwork are poor
  • Every time I have a call, I see the guy who wants to do a Facebook for 100$
  • They either don't have money or disappear

Sounds familiar? Of course, every time I hear the same.

Let's dig into why is it working for you like that. The answer is: your funnel has a call as a step not as a task. Who said, it's a step and required? How often do you order lasagna or pizza by phone call and how often do you order via the site/messaging?

James Franco Pizza GIF - James Franco Pizza Lasagna - Discover & Share GIFs

And every time, really every time I hear the same answer:

  • because I can sell better via call
  • I need to qualify and I can do it normally only via the call
  • our leadgen is not professional enough to qualify lead
  • my boss said I need to follow this strategy

All mentioned above are acceptable for people without results. Sit there without results and follow your co's rules.
However, if you get contracts, no one will fire you because you break the rules. Rules will be broken because you will show the results.


  1. Your closer/sales call time is expensive. More expensive than a few questions in the chat to filter the clients
  2. What is the problem with having a list of questions to qualify your lead BEFORE the call? For example, what is your budget? Where are you from? What is the size of the project/company?
  3. You can give the range like it will cost: $10000-50000, would you like to jump on a call? That's how you also can know their limits or oppositely they will decide to talk. If not - you will know it's not your client.

This advice works only for the marketplaces sales channels like Upwork.


No. No I don't think I will.
  1. I would suggest starting with the client's portrait (someone calls it ICP). Show it to your leadgen.
  2. Make a checklist of questions/requirements and give it to your leadgen. Push your lead further to the closer/call only if you know the client's budget or approximate readiness to pay for your service.
  3. The next argument is always: estimation/quote time is too expensive. We can't come to our CTO every time for each non-qualified lead. True. That's why:
  • give rough estimates
  • make limits: 5 mins max per estimate from CTO. So that your leadgen should be able to make a brief. Don't send him 60 pages of docs. Only a brief!
  • start making the DB of those estimates/quotes. At the end of the day, you'll have something like an estimates book for your leadgens so they won't touch your CTO for non-qualified leads.

You don't need calls. You need a result.

If my article has been helpful, you can buy me a coffee through Monobank.