Terminology: Qualified Lead

by Barbra Gago on August 16, 2010

It used to be that a qualified lead simply meant a potential customer that has expressed interest in your product or brand, and that meets some general buying criteria.

While that’s still true, a qualified lead must accompany a lot more information before it is prioritized for contact. In order to achieve “qualified lead” status, it must first adhere to the criteria of both the sales and marketing departments. With technologies such as CRM and Marketing Automation the process of setting criteria and organizing leads accordingly has never been easier, but the key of course is the Sales and Marketing Alignment–the agreement of what a “qualified lead” actually is to both parities.

In order to attract more qualified leads, it’s important that you understand your buyer, and speak their language–avoiding gobbledygook (or marketing jargon). Also, nurturing plays a large role in the process of qualifying leads, a job that both Sales and Marketing are responsible for. When initial leads aren’t “qualified” or ready to be passed to a Sales person, or contacted, nurturing is a way for you to help educate them through their buying process, while keeping in touch and supporting them until they meet the criteria of a qualified lead, and are contacted by Sales.

Increasing qualified leads comes from knowing your buyer, providing value to them at various stages of the cycle, and addressing their needs at the appropriate time. Because of Sales 2.0, we are able to identify not-sales ready and qualified leads sooner, and take action faster.

To converse about this topic, please join the Revenue Accelerator Group on LinkedIn

  • http://topsy.com/cloud9analytics.com/2010/08/16/terminology-qualified-lead/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Terminology: Qualified Lead — Cloud9 Analytics — Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barbra Gago, Cloud9 Analytics. Cloud9 Analytics said: Terminology for today: Qualified Lead: http://ow.ly/2qnI6 What does it really mean? [...]

  • http://www.derbymanagement.com Jack Derby

    Good comments. I would add another “qualifier” that works for us in all of our companies.

    1. Marketing's job is to generate leads.
    2. Since Marketing decided the methods, events and processes through which the leads were generated, then a Marketing person should be the person who “qualifies” the lead. Maybe it is a qualification through contacting the lead or maybe it is done through background research and is a “no-touch” lead.
    3. Marketing, who has a monthly quota for Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), then hands over the lead to Sales, who can either accept it as “qualified” or reject it as “non-qualified”.
    4. The definition of “qualified” then becomes “when Sales accepts the lead from Marketing.

    Both Sales and Marketing are joined at the hip in monthly sales objectives and both parties have objectives that get them there.

  • Barbra Gago

    Interesting point. I like that “qualified” is simply whether or not Sales accepts it, and indeed if they are on the same page then there should be more “qualified leads” coming in.

  • paul_pruneau

    More than ever, sales and marketing must work together to move prospects through the sales cycle. Relevant link that adds detail to this essential requirement for an organization's success: http://bit.ly/9gqdAa

blog comments powered by Disqus

Previous post:

Next post: