Professionals working in sales or marketing role can explain a high level definition of qualified leads as: Prospects who are similar to the company’s ideal customer profile, which can be segregated in terms of demographic information i.e location, organization type, budgets etc. In short these are the customers similar to your past sales closures.
But how does one decides on those ideal prospect characteristics in a particular company? This is where a lot of clarity is still needed. As per a sales performance survey, only about 45% of companies have formal definition of qualified lead that is both adhered by Sales and Marketing teams. 30% of them only had an informal definition and approx.25% had no definition at all.
Clarity not being available in common understanding of qualified lead definition can act as poor leads to sales conversion rates. A study depicts that only 33% of companies with informal definition could lead to a 1st time conversation.This percentage increased to 60% when considering companies with clear definitions.
Bottom line: Companies that formally spell out the term “qualified lead” connects with prospects often.
Question is how can companies get closer to a tangible meaning? One approach that works is defining your perfect prospect profile by checking back into CRMs and other databases that has sales data, and understanding won and lost deals. What do existing customers have in common in terms of need, budget and other characteristics.
Once these similarities are found, script them under Target Prospect Profile, and freeze the definition of “qualified lead” for sales teams for them to be aware of exactly which opportunities to go ahead with and for which to not put efforts.
A clear definition can save sales teams from being a wild chaser. With focused approach once their time is better spent, more sales closures is the result. A well-defined path is half the journey traveled, which could be paraphrased as “If you know what types of prospects you want, you shall end up closing a lot more deals”. Ensure both Sales and Marketing teams are following the same path and they stick to it.
By Rekha Jain
(Co-Founder - Jetleads)