The Importance Of The Qualified Lead Definition

The qualified lead definition is what defines the success of a Sales Development Rep team.

Once you define a qualified lead, you can build the team, processes, methodology to deliver on a quota for qualified leads.

The qualified lead definition is the point at which marketing is ready to hand a lead to sales.

Once a qualified lead has been specifically defined, then sales must sign off and agree to follow up.

The important factors for a qualified lead definition include:

Demographic Qualifiers – demographic qualifiers need to be very specific and can include:

  • Company Variables – these include company size, industry, and geography.
  • The Contact’s Role – emphasize what the person does, as opposed to their title

Behavioral Qualifiers – behavioral qualifiers depend on your target market. For some companies, there is a large quantity of leads and SDRs act as gatekeepers trying to only send sales the best ones.

For other organizations where there is not as much lead flow, sales will accept anyone who fits the demographic qualifiers and is willing to take a meeting with sales.

Here are some examples of common behavioral qualifiers:

  • Willing to meet with sales – this is a mandatory requirement and it’s recommended the definition states that the meeting between the prospect and sales must happen to be defined as a qualified lead.
  • Pain and need – does the prospect have a problem your product or service can solve?
  • Timing – is there enough urgency that the buyer is willing to work on this right now?
  • Budget – most sales development processes have moved away from asking abut budget on the first call and qualify leads on demographic qualifiers, need, timing, and a willingness to meet.

Depending on your target market, you may want to create two lead definitions.

For example, sales development groups generating demand from a constrained list of companies such as the Fortune 1000 or specific industries may want to pass leads to sales based on the following parameters: right company, right role, and a willingness to meet with sales.

Sales operations expert Lars Nilsson calls these leads ‘meaningful interactions” or MI’s.

Whatever definition is right for your business, the qualified lead definition is the first step to success and the number one factor in sales and marketing alignment.