Some leads are good even though some salespeople and their sales organization perceive them to be bad. Other leads are bad, even when some salespeople believe they are good and their sales organization paid money to acquire the lead.
The worst lead: The worst lead is one who does not buy what you sell and could never benefit from doing so. This is true even if the buyer title matches your ideal customer profile, and even if you paid to acquire the lead.
Compelled and engaged but should be disqualified: These leads feel like good leads. They are compelled to do something different, and they are engaged in the process. All of which points towards their being a good lead. However, if this leads should be disqualified, it is not a good lead. If you are a differentiated, value creating sales organization and happened upon a transactional, lowest-priced buyer, the lead is wrong for you.
The following is a list of good leads that are often mistaken for bad ones.
Not ready to buy: Just because a lead is not compelled to change and does not show up to your first meeting prepared to sign a contract, is not an indication that the lead is no good. If the lead buys what you sell or would benefit from doing so, the fact that you are required to initiate the process of change doesn’t mean the lead is not good.
Stalled at discovery: The fact that a lead stalls after a discovery meeting is not evidence that the lead was no good. It is greater evidence that you did not create enough value to command another meeting or lost control of the process.
Leads that don’t buy: A lead that doesn’t buy from you or doesn’t buy in the time you expected them to is not a bad lead. There is a greater possibility you mismanaged it. Even if the engagement ended in a “no decision,” the fact that they engaged in the process just that the lead was good.
It is easy to spend time with bad leads believing they are right when the better choice is to abandon them. The opposite is also true, meaning you can spend too little time with good leads because you perceive them to be bad. In these cases, you are better off asking yourself if another salesperson from another sales organization is going to sell that lead what you intended to sell them.
The fact that a lead is difficult to sell is no indication of the quality of that lead.
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Filed under: Sales 3.0