Marketing–“Sales can’t close my leads!” Sales–“Marketing leads are weak!”

February 4, 2010

These comments seem to come up over and over in my discussions with management teams at expansion stage companies.

Who is right? Who is wrong?  How do I stop from hearing this every day?

One key is defining what a qualified lead handed to sales is. If you start with this, each group will know what to expect from each other creating a great synergy. This will also enhance your lead generation systems as you look to implement a scoring model.

Definition of a Qualified Lead

A qualified lead is defined by a set of criteria agreed upon by the sales and marketing organizations. These criteria are used to filter leads produced via marketing’s demand generation efforts. The result is a contact with demonstrated interest and/or attributes aligned to your ideal customer profile. A qualified lead should position sales for the best chance of success.

 This is a list of possible minimum defining criteria

  • Contact info
    • Full name
    • Company name
    • Title and department
    • Email
    • Phone
  • Demonstrated interest or call to action
    • Requested demo
    • Downloaded information (white paper, product specs, etc.)
    • Filled out web form
    • Communicated with someone in the organization that they want to move to the next step
  • Additional qualifying criteria
    • Number of users
    • Number of employees
    • Number of publications
    • Alexa ranking
    • Google Page Rank
  • Auto qualifying criteria
    • Lead score based on a series of behavioral inputs
    • Specific data points that fit your ideal customer profile. This could include any of the above criteria that fits specifically to your company and product eg:
      • If you sell SQL Server tools, the title of “SQL Server Administrator” would be an auto qualifier
  • Auto disqualifying criteria
    • Direct Competitor
    • Fake Name “Johnny Prospect”
    • Fake Number “555-555-5555”
    • Fake Email [email protected]

SVP Marketing & Sales

<strong>Brian Zimmerman</strong> was a Partner at OpenView from 2006 until 2014. While at OpenView he worked with our portfolio executive teams to deliver the highest impact value-add consulting services, primarily focused on go-to-market strategies. Brian is currently the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at <a href="">5Nine Software</a>.