Billions of dollars from business-to-business marketing budgets are spent
each year on sales lead generation. Billions more dollars are spent to
fulfill and follow up on marketing responses, and to determine which sales
leads are qualified and ready for sales attention. Unfortunately, much of
this investment in sales lead generation is wasted. Why? Because many
sales lead generation programs and lead qualification efforts are not in
harmony with the needs of sales.
With this in mind, have you optimized your company's sales lead generation
programs to be in harmony with the needs of your salespeople, reps,
resellers or distributors? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Have you built consensus with sales management on the definition of a
qualified sales lead? Has this definition been clearly communicated to all
Typical definitions include criteria such as:
Does the prospect have a need or an application for your product or
What is the prospect's role in the decision-making process?
What is the prospect's timing for purchase or implementation?
What is the status of the prospect's budget?
What is the size of the opportunity?
2. Have you calculated how many qualified sales leads are needed in the
sales pipeline in order to meet or exceed the company's sales revenue goals? Have you broken that number down into how many qualified sales leads are needed each month and each quarter? Have you built your company's sales lead generation programs with those target numbers in mind?
3. Have you put in place programs specifically designed to weed out the
non-prospects and nurture the longer-term, not-yet-qualified
opportunities-only forwarding the truly qualified sales leads to
salespeople, reps, resellers or distributors for follow-up? Have you
budgeted appropriately for this important sales lead development function?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, the good news is that you are not
guilty of wasting your company's sales lead generation investments. Instead, you are probably well respected by the people in sales and corporate management. -Mac Mcintosh