This title is a quote from Ronald Reagan. The status quo—that marketing management doesn’t understand the definition of a qualified lead—is nothing new.

Here’s the problem

  • Salespeople consistently say that they do not get enough qualified leads.
  • StatusQuo_MachiavelliQualified leads, according to sales, are based on criteria they understand but marketing is in the dark about.
  • The result? Marketing tries to qualify a greater number of prospects.
  • However, marketing is still asking the same questions and using the same processes; therefore, they continue to fail in the eyes of the salespeople.

How to Fix It in Six Simple Steps

  1. Travel with reps, listen and take notes.
    Marketing management must travel with salespeople and listen to a few dozen sales presentations. What are the qualifying questions? Inside sales? Listen in on the phone calls. Listen to presentations at trade shows. Listen and take notes.
  2. Ask the reps.Listen and take notes. Survey the sales reps.
  3. Do the numbers.
    • 75% of the qualification questions will be the same.
    • The other 25% of the questions are product related.
  4. Get an agreement on a qualified lead. 

    Now marketing and sales know what a qualified lead is versus an uqualified prospect.

  5. Standardize the qualification questions.Use the same basic qualification questions in everything:
    • All promotions
    • Scripts
    • Landing pages
    • Business reply devices
    • Contact us forms
    • Telemarketing scripts
    • CRM and marketing automation systems

    Some questions will differ by product.

  6. Make a decision for lead distribution.Prospects who admit to a short time frame to buy go directly to reps; others may need to be further qualified.Of course, this depends on the size of your organization and the number of prospects that can be consumed by a sales rep each month.
    • Too many and you waste your money unless you hire more reps.
    • Too few and reps don’t make quota.

In summary, we have to say we agree with George Carlin who said, “The status quo sucks.”