You’re probably getting tired of hearing this but software leads aren’t sales. You or your other marketers have probably been nagged to death about how the volume of your production doesn’t mean squat unless it wins any actual buying decisions.

On the other hand, you don’t always have to take offense. Sometimes it really helps to be reminded of what software leads are and why your sales reps want them in the first place.

Part of this lies in the fact that the B2B sales process really is complex and if not complex, it’s still quite lengthy. For example, the fine line between cold calling and warm calling may not be so fine. Gone are the days when calls are completely unsolicited with sales and marketers still barely having a clue about the prospect’s business. However, just because a call went well doesn’t mean you should throw a party. A little victory dance maybe but again, it’s just a step. What is the essence of a step?

  • It’s a mark of progress – Starting with the obvious, a step means you’re closer to hitting a goal. In this case, the goal is sales. (And hence, the many complaints that B2B marketers replace that goal with just their lead quota.) That has never been the case. You are only marking a significant part of the buyer’s journey but it’s not the end of it.
  • It’s a mean to an end – Steps also provide a means to an end. For your sales reps, software leads provide them with the information necessary to win a sale. But at this point, it can get tricky because you need to provide divide the responsibility of nurturing the lead without necessarily reducing the rep’s role into a cash register.
  • It’s a requirement – Finally, a step is a requirement. It not only tells you how close you are and it only helps you get there. Put those two together and it shows that they (like your software leads) are necessary. You don’t magically warp from point A to B in a B2B sales process. Furthermore, this is the asset that can keep your reps from complaining too much. If they can’t accept this, it’s either they’re already generating leads on their own or they’re carelessly cold calling.

On that last point, they’re still acknowledging that your software leads are necessary for winning sales. The success of your marketers becomes the crucial step to the success of your sales reps. That makes your leads important but not the only thing important in your business.

Read More: Can Software Leads Be Too Unique?