Defining a Qualified Lead for a Startup

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Continuing with yesterday’s post on The Value of a Qualified Lead for a Startup, the next logical question is how to define a lead as qualified. Most leads aren’t qualified, and treating unqualified leads as qualified often results in contention between sales and marketing. At a base, I like to think of it as startup-specific criteria that often incorporate Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline (BANT).

Here are startup-specific criteria I like to look at when defining a qualified lead:

  • Specific job titles or functional responsibilities (usually related to Authority)
  • Specific verticals/industries along with number of employees or amount of revenue
  • Specific pain points or situations that are present (usually related to Need)
  • Ability to make a purchase within a specific period of time (usually Budget and Timeline)

Defining the criteria for a qualified lead, and having everyone in the startup agree on it, results in better communication and results. Instead of pointing to the number of leads generated on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, the metrics should be the number of qualified leads generated in a time period.

What else? How do you define a qualified lead?

2 thoughts on “Defining a Qualified Lead for a Startup

  1. A qualified lead is a lead that can lead towards generation of qualified revenue – must meet 2 of the 3 criteria – fun, fame and/or fortune.

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