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by John Bonini John Bonini on November 5, 2012

Who Should Define the Characteristics of Qualified Leads?

November 5, 2012

qualified leadsWhen it comes to marketers and salespeople, the holy grail of marketing is qualified leads.

It's what they're all in search of. Salespeople don't want to waste their time on the phone with prospects who, as it turns out, don't have an immediate need or don't have the money. And marketers want to more effectively target their content and campaigns so it's attracting more qualified leads.

So what makes a lead qualified? And more importantly, who at your company should be defining this?

Here's where the marketing and sales teams often get mixed up in regards to what each team is looking for, and also, what each team values. However, when it comes to inbound marketing, one of the cornerstones of a successful campaigns is aligning your sales and marketing in order to deliver and market toward more qualified, sales-ready leads.

Interested in learning more about aligning your sales and marketing? Contact IMPACT and learn how we can help!

The Power of Success Stories

While both the marketing and sales teams can both learn a great deal from each other, the sales team definitely holds a trump card as to what has worked in the past to close a sale.

Here's where the marketing and sales team need to get together. What types of leads are working out better on the phones? And not only that, but what can your sales team tell you about these leads?

The marketing team should ask the sales team the following in regards to leads who have converted to customers:

  • How did they find you?

  • What offers did they download?

  • What pages did they visit?

  • What content/blogs have they read?

Once the marketing team has found out what has appealed to customers, now they can more effectively target their efforts toward what has already proven to work.

In this sense, the sales team is in a better position to establish the criteria for qualified or sales-ready leads. Just for the fact alone that they're usually in direct contact with leads, and have a better working knowledge for how certain prospects and leads interact during a sales call.

So while you marketers out there are responsible for generating traffic, leads, and raising brand awareness, it is the sales team that ultimately sees which of these leads turns into dollars for the company.

So...What Does it Mean?

Well...for starters, it means that your marketing and sales teams should hold a weekly meeting to ensure they're always on the same page. What are the common threads between all qualified leads? Once sales can give the marketers this information, the marketing team can more effectively allocate their resources to ensure they're doing more to target the "right" kind of leads.

It also mean that the sales team should be constantly relaying information to the marketing team regarding the types of leads that are coming in.

Sales: "I've noticed that your blogs and offers on social media are bringing in a lot of unqualified leads just looking to learn a little about Facebook."

Marketing: "Okay. We'll change the tone of the content a bit to make it more advanced, but we'll also focus more on other areas." 

This is the kind of interaction that will produce the results the entire company needs, however it's only possible if the marketing and sales team are in sync with one another.

Generate More Qualified Leads

Looking to learn more about aligning your sales and marketing teams to produce more qualified leads? Contact IMPACT and learn how we can help!

Proving the ROI from Inbound Marketing
John Bonini

John Bonini

John is the Marketing Director at IMPACT, responsible for the overall marketing and branding strategy. He also writes for the HubSpot Blog, Social Media Examiner, and Convince & Convert among others. He enjoys playing guitar, high-fives, and anything with marinara sauce.

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