What Is a Lead: A Quick Overview for Starters

A while ago, I had several exciting conversations regarding lead generation.

My first few discussions were with lead generation candidates from India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Spain, and Germany.

Then, I had another one with a German consultant/coach based in Southern Germany. We discussed how far lead generation can go and when does the sales or business development aspect begin.

From the 6 people I’ve talked to, I came back with 7 different opinions. Everyone has their own definition of what lead generation is and the benefits that come out of it.

But ultimately, this brings me to the most fundamental question: what is a lead?

This question will lead to an 8th opinion, which I’d like to share in this following blog.

Different Definitions of Lead

If you ask Google what a lead is…

A lead (plural form: leads) is a sales/marketing term describing initiation of contact and/or provision of contact information by a potential prospect.

Leads are classically generated by marketing and then passed on to colleagues in sales. 

Therefore, a lead is a person who voluntarily leaves the company with their own contact details and is possibly interested in its products or services.

There are several methods of obtaining leads. A tool that has been gaining traction recently is Google Ads’ Lead Extension Forms – allowing businesses to quickly capture the contact information of leads online.

However, such leads can be purchased from various providers only if they are not generated by marketing or the website through inbound.

Imagine you have now generated or bought 500 leads. Now put your Sales or Business Development team on it. Sure, 500 leads is a considerable amount, but do you know how qualified they are?

Not surprisingly, your Sales or Business Development team comes back and reports that only 25 of these 500 pre-qualified leads want to talk to you.

A massive portion of these obtained leads fails to become qualified due to several reasons. Some leads have already decided on another option, some don’t have the budget, and some have postponed their projects.

Related article: Is Cold Calling Still a Thing During an Era of Digitalization?

How to Identify Qualified Leads

With this knowledge, I  approached various companies from different industries. I asked them two things: what kind of lead are you looking for, and how much are you willing to pay?

Here are some indicators of a qualified lead:

  1. It is clear what the lead wants to buy
  2. We know when they would like to make their purchase
  3. They have released their budget information
  4. We’re talking to the right decision-maker or influencer
  5. When they make a call to request a quote.

How Much Is a Qualified Lead Worth Up To?

What is a qualified lead worth up to these companies? Here are the various sums or & values for a lead to become a quote – or possible, becoming an order.

First, there was how likely it is that a qualified lead or offer will become an order. 

In this case, a ratio of ¼ to 1/10 of an offer to order was mentioned. Thus, a qualified lead was quantified with a value of 1-4% of the offer or order value.

How hard do you think it is to actually generate qualified leads from a pool of leads? And come to think of it, how many of these 25 leads want to talk to your team – especially those who meet the 5 criteria?

Is Lead Generation Worth the Trouble?

Now, you’re probably saying it’s hardly worth it. But think again.

However, thanks to our qualified team, we optimise various tools to fulfill our lead generation goals.

Some of the tools we’ve used include LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Ads, and more. We’ve also gone out of our way to utilise resources like SEO, social media, and email campaigns to attract qualified leads.

If you require assistance to drive your organisation’s lead generation, reach out to us. Combining our expertise and resources, we give you the push you need to meet your goals.

Read our previous blog: Looking at the Bigger Picture with Solution-Oriented Conversations

Klaus Knops

Klaus Knops

Klaus is an experienced manager, CEO and entrepreneur with over 30 years in the construction industry as a manager and consultant, having lived in Europe and Latin America.

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