What Are Your Criteria for Qualified Leads?

Written by Dave Goates, Director of Human Capital at Launch Leads

This is a question that comes up in every engagement we enter into with a new client. We only charge for leads that meet the qualification criteria our clients give us, so it’s important to define those needs carefully. These criteria, when discussed and agreed to up front, save everyone a lot of grief and discord later.

Let’s look at a few common ones:

  • Company size
  • Annual value of the client’s product or service
  • Titles of the people we are calling to schedule
  • Number of inside sales people we are supporting
  • Closing ratios of the client’s sales team
  • Average length of their sales cycle
  • Geographical area of potential customers

Our goal at Launch (and it’s going to be similar for everyone in our space) is to help our clients cost justify an investment in outsourcing by helping them create a valid ROI that makes sense for everyone involved.

Let’s discuss company size today. The size of the companies you are targeting really makes a difference in putting together a qualified lead generation list.

Let’s suppose we are being directed by our client to call only those companies with $500 million or more in annual revenue. The number of companies we can go after to find that list may be much smaller than the client hoped for if that constraint is important to them. Often we will ask them to do some research first on who they have sold to in the past. Lowering that data point opens up the market to otherwise well-qualified prospects.

Of course, just the opposite may hold true too. If a client is looking to move up the food chain from where they’ve been, it may make perfect sense to restrict the number of companies on the list, and to go for greater precision and a higher probability of closing. The point is knowing what you want before you randomly pick up the phone and start dialing away.

Here’s a rule of thumb:

The size of the companies you go after works like this:

Generally, the higher the annual company revenue, the fewer there are. Sounds pretty simple — that’s the reason the Fortune 500 is ranked according to revenues. If that’s not your target market, then you may expect to have more prospects as you move down the food chain.

When you cut the targeted companies’ revenues in half, the size of your potential lead list doubles!

Its’ not always true, but it’s a good estimate.

So two questions emerge from this analysis –

1 — What size company do you normally do business with?

2 — Is there a good reason for moving outside that target range?

In upcoming posts, we’ll discuss more criteria. Making certain you’ve answered a few basic questions about your targeting assumptions will help you save time later.

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