How Do You Define a Sales Lead?

. . . is a question Jeff asked in the comments yesterday.

I thought it was a great question.

Leads are an opportunity. They are a “suggestion” that a company or person may be interested in buying your stuff. But, more than that they “suggest” your product or service is a good fit and the lead could benefit from what you’re selling.

If you want to know what a good lead is, start by asking what a good customer looks like. Don’t do it backwards. A lead should reflect the traits and buying patterns of the majority of your existing customers.

To define a sales lead, define your customers, create a customer profile.

What are the commonalities of your customers? Are they women making 100k or more a year? Are they companies with TDM phones? Are they start-ups? Are they plumbers and contractors with more than 10 employees? Are they technology companies with revenues over 25 million? What do your customers look like? Why do your customers buy? Do they buy because they are looking for low cost products, or because they rely on your service? Do they buy what you sell because it’s easier to repair and find parts or because it’s the most attractive widget in the game? Get into who your customers are. Build a customer profile.

Once you know what a typical customer looks like and why they buy, the lead part is easy.

A good lead has a lot of the traits and qualities of your existing customer base. Build a customer profile. Know what your customer looks like. Be exhaustive and complete. Then take your customer profile, compare it to the lead, you’ll know if it is a good one. It will be plain as day.

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