Lead Generation – What’s in a Lead Definition

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.

Social Marketing Leads have a Short Shelf Life

Leads that are generated from your website have a very, very short life span and need to be dealt with within the first 5 minutes of their arrival.

That’s not a very big window of opportunity, but you are 4 times more likely to successfully qualify your lead than if you called back between 5 and 10 minutes. If you call within those first 5 minutes rather than waiting 30 minutes to get in contact, you are 21 times more likely to qualify your lead than if you waited. Astounding!

Do you contact your new enquiries back within 5 minutes or are you of the idea that you don’t want to look desperate so you’ll wait a couple of hours and call them back later, possibly making yourself look busier than maybe you are?

I have taken this information from a good book by Geoffrey James. Called “How to Say It: Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies from the World’s Top Sales Experts.”