That’s a pretty in depth, philosophical question to ask, eh?
But think about it. What is a lead?
Wikipedia.com has a thorough definition on it’s website. The beginning line really sums it nicely:
¨A Sales Lead is the identification of a person or entity that has the interest and authority to purchase a product or service.¨
That’s it. A lead is someone who has interest in what you do, and has the ability to make the purchasing decision.
So, why am I writing about something as basic as that?
In my experience, the word “lead” is thrown around the office erratically, and is used interchangeably to mean different things.
Let me show you what I mean.
Let’s say I came to your office, and asked your marketing manager “How many leads did we get last month?”
They might respond back and say “We got 100 leads last month”.
OK, so now I’ll walk over to your sales manager and say the same thing. “How many leads did we get last month?”
And your sales manager might say “Our sales team ran 50 leads last month”.
But wait a second, that doesn’t add up! Did you get 50 leads, or 100?
This is exactly the point I’m referencing to.
Your marketing department might use the word “lead” to mean a new contact, a new person to schedule an appointment with to sell a job to.
But, as we know, not all of those leads are scheduled into appointments and end up as meetings between our sales staff and the prospect.
But you sales department likely doesn’t care, or even think about that. They only think about the “leads” they were given to run appointments.
So, in a way, both answers are right, and both answers are wrong!
Hopefully that didn’t confuse you. The point I’m making here is that, it’s very important that you become keenly aware of the different terminology that relates to your contracting business, know exactly what they mean, and know how to use them properly.
A lead is that person, as we originally said, that has interest in your products/services, and has the ability to make the purchasing decision.
Your sales team actually have “meetings” with prospects. These meetings are the “leads” that you started with, that have went through the conversion process of scheduling an appointment, and having that appointment “stick” (i.e. – have not cancelled), so that your sales team has the ability to “meet” with that prospect.
So, how many leads did you get last month?