How To Qualify Leads



As the table above indicates, only about 19% of companies have an agreed upon definition of a qualified lead. How about you? Do you have a definition of a qualified lead that both marketing and sales have signed off on? This is a very important element to creating an alignment between sales and marketing. The definition of a qualified lead will vary from company to company, but all will be based on historical lead data and the desired demographics and behaviors of your target market.

Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone. If, for some reason, the qualified leads being sent to sales aren’t working out, rework your definition of a qualified lead as well as your scoring system.

So, where do you begin? Here are the key steps I recommend sales and marketing tackle together to reach an agreed upon definition of a qualified lead.

What Do We Consider A Lead?

Before you can begin to define a qualified lead make sure everyone agrees on what is considered a lead.

  •       Leads will come from your target market
  •       Leads will fit certain behavioral characteristics
  •       Leads will show a certain level of interest in your product or service

What Do We Do With The Leads?

Once there’s an agreement on what a lead is, you’ll need to decide what you’re going to do with the leads. Those leads at the top of the funnel who have shown interest by taking action like downloading a white paper or registering for a webinar or e-book will need further nurturing by marketing. Leads that fall in the middle of the funnel are those leads who have requested a free trial or more information and will need to be passed on to a lead qualification team. Finally, leads at the bottom of the funnel are the hottest – viewing pricing pages or completing an application – and will need to be sent to sales as quickly as possible for further action.

What Do We Consider A Qualified Lead?

You’re finally at the point where you can begin to construct your definition of a qualified lead. You should consider the following:

  1. Is this person a decision maker?
  2. Do they have the means to buy?
  3. What is their analytics score?
  4. Are they ready to talk to sales?

If the lead meets these qualifications, they should be considered a qualified lead ready to be passed on to sales.



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