“The good leads are for closers” – but what’s a good lead?

A cautionary tale for Marketers about lead scoring and the importance of talking to Sales. I was leading an eMarketing team that implemented a fairly sophisticated system for capturing online registrations and turning them into near real time leads for Sales. Leads were categorized based (in part) on answers to qualifying questions on the forms. Each lead was assigned a letter/number code, A1, B3, C2, etc based on the score. We thought it was pretty clever….

After running the system for a while, we sat down with the lead qual team to get feedback on how it was working. Of course, we expected kudos for helping them decide which leads to work. Know what they said?

“The A leads are junk, but the C leads are where all the money is. We love the C leads!”


After taking a look at every part of our scoring model, we found one of those simple “duh” things. If a site visitor zipped through the form and answered every question by selecting the first entry in every drop-down box, they became an A lead! I have a budget, I want to buy in 3 months, etc…we were obviously projecting what we wanted the answers to be.

We changed the order of the dropdowns so mindlessly selecting the first entry lowered your score, instead of raising it, and voila! our lead qual team started going after our A leads first.

Remember, it’s the end result you’re looking for and that means keeping tabs on your leads after you hand them over. Partnering with Sales to understand how your leads fare later in the pipeline is THE simplest and best way to make Marketing invaluable.

(Oh, and you know that the title is a quote from Glengarry Glen Ross, right?)

Peter Tait“The good leads are for closers” – but what’s a good lead?
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