What is a Lead?
There are many different lead definitions available, I use the following as a basis of a lead within ProAptivity: “a qualified prospect that is starting to exhibit buying behaviour”. I look at this further in a recent article called ‘qualifying a prospect.
Once we an agreed lead definition, there are other criteria that we can apply to assist us in qualification. In a recent blog i explored the importance of understanding the number of leads needed to achieve quota. Another of these criteria is Firmographics.
Firmograhics: when are used as criteria by B2B companies, are organizational characteristics which help find your ideal customer organization, e.g.:
- Name of company
- Company size
- Company location
- Number of divisions
- Number of products/services sold
- Geographic markets served
- Products already owned
You can also often determine a prospect’s place in the buying process by analysing his or her BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) attributes.
Lead Definitions – BANT
BANT is a more advanced lead qualification practice than demographic and firmographic analysis alone.
- Budget: Can this lead afford your product or service?
- Authority: Does your lead have the authority to purchase your product? Is he or she the decision maker?
- Need: Your lead has to need your product or service. Is there a pain that your product or service can solve?
- Time: What is your lead’s purchasing timeframe? And does that align with your sales cycle?
The next stage is then to look at the lead stage definition
Lead Stage Definition
To agree on lead handoff qualifications, your sales and marketing teams must define together the two main categories of lead stages:
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): These prospects are considered viable marketing leads, taking implicit scoring criteria, explicit scoring criteria, and (if available) BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) into consideration.
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs): These leads are sales-ready, which often must be determined through direct contact with sales. Once sales has tested to determine the qualifications of an SQL, marketing can use that data to improve MQL quality.
“Act Now” scores, which elevate leads to “Act Now” status when they engage in activities that indicate buying intent. Examples of these include:
- Filling out a free trial form
- Filling out a “Contact Us” form
- Downloading key late-stage content
- Viewing a weekly live demo
- Viewing a “deep dive” demo
A CRM system benefits an organisation through the visibility of its sales activities. This visibility is fundamental to managing lead definitions, sales performance and control of the sales process. This visibility enables management to understand why, when, who and how opportunities are being won, stalled, or being lost. If it cannot be monitored, it cannot be managed. The visibility offered within the CRM system also allows management to make educated business decisions based on hard data. A CRM system will enable structured data to be used to access performance. This assessment should indicate which sales person is out performing others.
ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful sales process management.
Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation. This helps organisations become more competitive, customer focused and ultimately more profitable.
If you need help in understanding your businesses lead definitions, maybe some of our eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM for more information. Contact us today in Belfast on 028 9099 6388 or at our Bedford office on 01234 214004. Alternatively email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact us today for a free CRM consultation that will assess if your business is CRM ready.