The definition of a quality business lead is...

20 August 2015 Karan Vidal

As every company is different, so is what they’ll consider to be a quality business lead. Sales and marketing in the same company can have different ideas about what a quality lead looks like. A definition isn’t easy to come by as there’s rarely a standard description.

One definition

New York Times business bestselling author, Sharon Drew Morgen offers this definition of a quality lead:

“… one in which the buying decision team is formed or being formed, has considered or accomplished their buy-in activities, and may be ready to choose (sic) solution”

The above definition is a starting point to understanding what makes a quality lead. You will need to dig deeper to find out which of your leads make the ‘cut’ in terms of quality.

Look for these commonalities to determine if a lead is of enough value to achieve your desired outcome:

Quality begins with your business

You should have the necessary processes in place to make sure that the leads you capture are quality. How you get and nurture your leads will affect the quality. Look after the leads you have by asking these questions:

1.How deep is your lead?

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Just getting the name and number of a contact doesn’t amount to a quality lead. Given the amount of revenue at stake with most B2B sales, it’s important to get as much valuable information about your potential customer as possible. ‘Beef’ up your leads with the following information:

  • Firmographics are to companies what demographics are to people. Firmographics should include annual revenue, market share and number of divisions. As luck would have it, DueDil give you firmographics for any company.
  • Several contact details and channels, especially when it can take up to 17 attempts to close a deal. Email addresses, social media information and postal addresses should all be included.
  • Buying signals. A watchful eye should be kept on activity that indicates that a business is ready to buy one of your services. Press releases, job listings and new partnerships are indications that they may be in the market for what you’re offering.

2.Is your information junk?

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Your CRM is bursting with new leads and marketing are continuing to generate them thick and fast. Imagine the frustration that can build when there are mistakes in the information. You spend time crafting the email or gear yourself up for the sales call but the email bounces or the number is not recognised.

Reduce these irritating and time consuming moments by:

  • Making sure all fields of your database are filled in.
  • Checking that you lead gen source regularly updates details.
  • Allocating specific times for data-cleansing.

3.Do your leads tell the truth?

As businesses change, so will the lead gen information that you rely on. At DueDil, we take data accuracy and reliability very seriously. If you delay in taking action on your leads, it’s likely that some of the information will become obsolete. We update most of our information every 24 hours and in the rare instance we find a source of data more updated than ours, we’ll provide a link to it.

Keep your leads fresh by:

  • Acting on them quickly.
  • Subscribing to a quality lead gen service.
  • Implementing a process to check the accuracy of the leads.

Quality further afield

After you’ve made sure that your leads ‘house’ is in order, it’s time to look at your prospective customer’s quality criteria. This is where you ask about budget, authority, need and timing (BANT):

  • Budget – Your lead could really want and need your services, but do they have the reddies? Ask about their budget at the earliest opportunity. Be prepared to offer discounts or walk away if what they can afford is not even in your ‘ballpark.’
  • Authority – You should have already collected as many contact details as possible. Use these tips to uncover who the decision-maker is. When you do find out who the person with the clout is, make contact at the earliest time.
  • Need – Identify the ‘pain-points’ that your product or service can solve. Think about how you can meet that need and present your solution.
  • Timing – You need to determine whether your lead’s time-frame for buying fits in with your product life-cycle. If the business needs your product, have the budget but are only willing to buy a year down the line, then this is at best a warm lead. An organised approach to following up at regular intervals could transform this warm lead into a hot, quality lead.

Lead generation can be simple but separating the ‘wheat from the chaff’ is another issue all together.

Although it can be a hard slog to identify those businesses that are motivated and ready to buy, you’ll be glad you stuck at it when see the financial returns.