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It goes without saying that sales people like receiving new leads; but what defines a qualified lead?

In larger organisations, it’s typically the role of the marketing team to generate new leads through email campaigns, social media campaigns, attendance at industry events and so on. Typically, such leads consist of basic contact details (Company name, contact name, email address, phone no etc) and perhaps some high-level information about the area of interest. We normally refer to these leads as being “marketing qualified”.

The sales person’s role is to contact these new individuals and further qualify them in terms of the specific business challenges that the contact is facing and demonstrating how the product or service addresses these needs, thereby turning them into a “sales qualified” lead.

Over the years, I’ve worked with many sales people who complained about the quality of leads they received from their marketing colleagues. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that the lead isn’t qualified simply by looking at the company’s name, the size of the company, or the person’s role within their organisation. By making assumptions like these, you’re projecting your own experience and bias onto the lead without so much as a phone call.

You could also be too slow to respond to the lead, believing that you have more important activities to complete first, and since most leads aren’t great, there’s no rush… is there? Of all the mistakes you might make, the worst is to believe that converting a marketing qualified lead into a sales qualified lead requires that the prospect is ready-to-buy. Working on this basis turns you into an order taker and “order taking” is not selling.

Any leads you receive may not be fully qualified and, unless you’re incredibly lucky, will almost certainly not be “ready to buy”…… they’ll have questions, they’ll want to explore how what you sell benefits them, they’ll have concerns they need to discuss before they buy.

Converting a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead requires prompt attention, skill and perseverance….. you need to play the long game.

Are you or your sales struggling to convert marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads…….. Perhaps we can help.

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