Many marketers believe generating more sales leads is the key to hitting revenue targets. That’s not always true. In fact, most companies need to do a better job managing and qualifying the leads (or more likely the inquiries) they already have.
In this month’s issue of Target Marketing, I wrote the cover article on "What’s a Lead?" There, I offer the most important steps that marketing and sales alike, need to take to end their “tug of war” to improve ROI.
The 5 steps of successful lead qualification are:
- Define and Agree On What the Word “Lead” Means
- Consolidate and Centralize Your Prospect Information
- Pick up the Phone and Qualify Prospective Leads
- Handing Off Leads to Sales
- Closing the Loop
The first step in the process requires marketing and sales to come up with a definition for a lead together. This article also emphasizes the critical role that the (often overlooked) phone plays in the lead qualification process.
Regardless of the ability of the sales team, poor quality leads will guarantee a poor sales return. The sales process starts at the qualification stage. Overlooking this key stage means that sales people spend vast amounts of time following up on leads that really are not leads to begin with. Sales and Marketing need to pull in the same direction which is business development. Unfortuneatly however sales and marketing often act more like enemies than allies. Great advice.
I couldn’t agree more. Leads are always a sticking point. It’s best to agree a lead definition with the sales team. Marketing can then benchmark against this so that they generate leads to that standard.
This brings the sales and marketing teams together so that both teams are working on business development.
A lead definition also helps combat any of the issues that may arise when the quality of leads are blamed!
You’ve hit the nail right on the head.
If only more marketing departments could understand the idea of “lead qualification”
Just because “it’s alive and “moving” doesn’t mean it’ll make a good lead for the firm.
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