B2B Lead Gen Tip #1: Define “Lead”
Surprisingly, the term “lead” means very different things to different marketing organizations. Some reserve it for only the qualified, sales ready prospects; while others indiscriminately refer to any name and number as a lead. Even within the walls of some organizations, the label can be corrupted, especially between a marketing and sales group.
Therefore, your critical first step should be to clarify and solidify your organization’s definition of the term “lead”.
The definition of a lead (especially a qualified lead) should have several components:
- Demographic traits
- Firmographic traits
- Behaviors or actions that indicate degree and type of interest (including recency and frequency measures)
- Source of the lead
But don’t stop there. You’ll want to gain clarity and consensus on the different stages a prospect goes through during the journey through your purchase funnel.
Here are some starter questions for you to answer:
- What’s the difference (at your company) between a prospect and a lead?
- How does a lead become a marketing qualified lead?
- When should a qualified lead get handed to sales?
- How does sales confirm a marketing qualified lead is truly ready for sales?
- How long should marketing continue to nurture?
- When and how should sales return leads back to marketing for more nurturing?
Like an architectural blueprint, these definitions are critical to understand before you start ramping up your B2B lead generation activities.