Another milestone achieved! We’re excited to announce Espresso B2B Marketing merging with eMa.
Another milestone achieved! We’re excited to announce Espresso B2B Marketing merging with eMa.

These leads suck! Why you must define what constitutes a good lead.

Does your sales team complain about the leads from your marketing team? It’s a common problem. Marketing sends leads over to sales and then complains that sales doesn’t follow-up on the leads. Sales complains that they can’t get through to the prospects, or that the prospects are not interested in meeting with them. “These leads suck!” If this sounds familiar, read on.

Marketing Sherpa conducted a survey of marketing departments in B2B companies. See the chart below. I’ll blog more about this chart in the future, but today let’s focus on the results for “collaborate with sales to define sales-ready leads.”

How Organizations Manage Their Marketing-to-Sales Process


The results of this survey show that 55 percent of marketing departments are not collaborating with sales to define what constitutes a sales ready lead. That’s like going to a restaurant and saying, “I’m starved, bring me whatever’s quick.” Then, when a peanut butter and jelly sandwich arrives, you complain that you really wanted a hamburger. Yes, sales is hungry and wants leads now. They also want good leads – hot leads. They want a lead that is sales ready.

What constitutes a sales ready lead? The exact definition is going to vary from company to company. Each company has to define a sales ready lead based on their target market, their ideal target customer, their products/services and their own sales force. Some things to consider when defining a sales ready lead are:

  • Is the prospect in your target market?
  • Does the prospect have the right title?
  • How busy is your sales force? Do they already have a lot of good leads to work with?
  • How many touch points have there been between the prospect and your company? This can include:
    –  Emails read and clicked through.
    –  White papers and other documents downloaded from your website.
    –  Webinars and in person events that the prospect has attended.
    –  Any conversations between the prospect and your inside or outsourced telesales group.

This is not a onetime exercise. Once sales and marketing have met and reached agreement on what a sales ready lead is, they need to plan on reviewing and adjusting this definition at least every six months.

Agreement between marketing and sales on what constitutes a sales ready lead is one of the keys to a happy productive relationship between marketing and sales. Other keys include establishing a lead nurturing system, having a process for sales to send leads back to marketing for further nurturing, and having a system for scoring how leads are progressing through the nurturing system. These will be the subjects of upcoming blogs.

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