Everyone knows what a closed sale is! It is real and measurable. But can anyone say with certainty that there is a universal understanding on what a “Lead” is?
Consider the following progression from simple leads to more complex qualified leads:
1) Individual name/title, company, phone number/email.
2) Individual name filtered by self-identifying action via a website download, social media, participation in a trade show, etc.
3) Individual who has committed to an appointment with a sales rep to hear “the pitch”.
4) Individual who listens to “the pitch” and wants to learn more.
5) Individual who in speaking with a lead generator/business development/sales rep reveals details about their interest, needs, initiatives, and timeframes.
6) Individual who has revealed they are buying a solution and are considering purchasing yours.
For Business Development, Marketing, and Sales professionals, what is apparent is that there is a “pipeline” for leads, just as there is a pipeline for sales opportunities. Both pipelines are important to engage, follow-up, nurture, and track. It is crucial to establish a working definition so that you can avoid duplication of effort and prevent losing touch with prospects.