Brian Carrol has a nice post over at his B2B blog. His first point to settle upon a universal lead definition with the sales team is a good one. We went through that process sometime ago and I wanted to share my thoughts.
In our effort to break down a qualified leads and easily measure them, we came up with two categories for these leads. We called them actively and passively qualified leads. An actively qualified lead is defined as an action that a prospect takes to "raise their hand" and signify interest in your products or services. Our sales people decided that if a prospect "raises their hand", they are a qualified lead and warrant a call. Some of the ways a prospect can actively qualify themselves are (some are quite obvious):
Filling out a form with a pricing offer
Requesting a free trial or live demo
Inbound phone call or email
Tradeshow booth visit and card received/conversation with salesperson
Referred by a partner/customer/employee
Asking for more info at one of our webinars
Passively qualified leads are done through our lead score algorithm. These leads come in through various sources some of which are:
Whitepapers/Case Study/Testimonial downloads
Registering/Attending web seminars
Trade show lists (double opt-in)
Networking attendee lists (double opt-in)
A visit to our pricing page (with duration of stay)
These leads are not considered qualified until we gather 5 critical pieces of information on them. For the sales team, those pieces are:
Time frame for purchasing decision
Marketing is in charge of getting these pieces of information gradually through our lead nurturing programs.
This is how our sales team has decided to define a qualified lead. We did it this way to be able to easily measure the leads and provide metrics to marketing on how many qualified leads we are supplying sales. In the next blog, I will talk about how we measure these leads.