When is a lead really a lead?

The question is as old as commerce itself, “when is a lead really a lead?”  We are asked this frequently by our customers who are faced with the daunting task of creating, attributing and managing sales leads out to a time challenged sales team.

Of course, for each particular business and industry sector, the criteria to be applied will be slightly different but overall, there are some simple guidelines to score rate leads, so that they are as close to sales ready as possible.

Digital marketing has re-shaped the way that business can communicate with prospects and customers to drive lead generation and more importantly, valuable pipeline engagement at the right touch point to close a sale.

Today, we are able to identify, clarify and build data that maps our customer base as never before and the outcome of this should be less volume of leads but a higher enrichment of the value and readiness to purchase of each lead in the bottom of the sales funnel.

BANT (budget/authority/need/timing) qualification is a standard way of addressing and rating leads, often used in telemarketing but there are additional considerations that can be applied to broaden the depth of rating of a lead.

– Behaviours – what has the ‘prospect’ done when engaging with your offer?
– What does the prospect business look like – do they match your customer base, are they a good fit for your services
– Are they working with your competitors?
– Is the contact within the organisation the real decision maker or do they have other influence?
– What do the prospects customers look like?
– What knowledge does the prospect have of your offer?
– All of these considerations should be added to the lead generation mix in order to produce creative and informative campaigns to engage.

So when is a lead really a lead – when you know so much about them that they can’t not work with you!