Small Business B2B Marketing Blog

What is a B2B Sales Lead?

Posted by Robert Hennessey on Mon, Dec, 07, 2015

B2B Sales Lead Generation DefinitionWe know what a B2B sales lead is not. It is not: 

  • A name and email address
  • Contact information purchased from a mailing list company
  • Someone who might be interested in your product or service
  • Someone who completes a form but does not give you all of these five sales lead criteria:
    1. Accurate and Complete Contact Information: Name, Title, Company, Email & Phone
    2. Specific Product or Service Request
    3. A Specific Business Application or Problem to Solve
    4. Specifies Their Preferred Method of Contact: Phone or Email
    5. Specified Timing of Their Product or Service Need

What is a B2B sales lead?

The first aspect of defining a sales lead requires you taking the time to write down your company’s definition of a sales lead. The last thing you want to do is assume everyone in your organization has the same definition. To gain a consensus definition will require obtaining input from the sales team, your marketing group, senior executives and how your organization is classifying sales leads and tracking them.

When it comes to defining what a sales lead is you, often hear, “No one’s definition of what constitutes a sales lead is necessarily wrong.” I find this comment the epitome of why there is so much anarchy in the types of marketing snake oil being peddled as sales lead generation solutions.

While theoretically, I guess you can call anything a sales lead and just about, everybody does. The business reality is if you expect to grow your sales, you will need to be very specific in establishing your sales lead definition and have everyone agree. 

How do you define what is a sales lead?

How you define a sales lead, I do not know, but here is how we define it. We know that for our business the only “real sales lead” is someone who actually contacts us first and provides complete and accurate contact information and is willing to talk with us about the business problem they are trying to solve. Nothing short of a sales prospect, contacting you is a sales lead that is likely to convert.

One of the biggest benefits of clearly defining what constitutes a sales lead for your company is you can then eliminate wasting your time with most marketing companies trying to sell you their version of what constitutes a sales lead. 

Instead of the old method of buying "sales leads" from mailing list companies which is only contact information or the more recent marketing automation approach of sending annoying emails and praying for leads, we believe that focusing on helping buyers find your business solutions is the smart and least expensive way that convert sales prospects into real sales leads at affordable sales lead acquisition cost.

Low Acquisition Cost Sales Leads that Convert 

Therefore, defining what a sales lead means to you and your team is a critical first step before you invest in how you are going to generate B2B sales leads that produce sales. If you decide that sales prospects that contact you are the best kind of sales leads giving you the best opportunity to convert them into a sale, then we recommend the following:

  1. Develop as many quality B2B content like articles, application stories, case studies and white papers that demonstrate your ability to solve business problems.

  2. Check out this exclusive B2B marketing platform that showcases your content allowing sales prospects to self-qualify themselves generating ready-to-buy sales leads. You can post your content free and the best part you only pay for the leads you want.

Define what you mean by a sales lead & avoid allowing others to define it for you.

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Bottom Line
Define what you mean by a sales lead and avoid allowing others to define it for you. Best of all when someone promises you a B2B sales lead if it does not mirror your definition you can avoid wasting your time and money.

Comment below and tell us your definition of a B2B sales lead.

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