The Missing Link in Lead Qualification Systems: Sales


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Demand generation marketers often spend countless hours designing and fine-tuning their lead handling systems. Complicated flow charts are created, lead questionnaire content is debated endlessly, forms are designed, and telemarketing and email scripts are reviewed ad nauseam. Yet, many of these sophisticated marketers overlook the single, most crucial element of a successful lead qualification system. What is it?

Field buy-in is crucial

For some reason, the sales force is often left “out of the loop” when it comes to lead planning. This only adds to the age-old distrust and outright enmity between marketing and sales organizations in so many companies. No matter how sophisticated your lead handling and qualifications systems are, they won’t achieve optimum results unless your sales force is empowered to take ownership of the process.

To make this happen, good demand generation marketers need to follow these simple guidelines:

  • Explain your objective upfront— Make it clear that your lead handling system is being designed to make the sales force’s job easier, not so marketing can “look over their shoulder” or take the credit for their success.
  • Solicit input, accept criticism— Painful as it may be, remember that sales people are the ones who make the sales. Ask them what types of prospect information they find most crucial for setting up a successful sales call.
  • Ask for their help in rating leads— At the end of the day, lead processing systems are useless without feedback on lead quality.
  • Let them take ownership— Design your system so that salespeople can shape the entire lead-handling process, from deciding which prospect information is critical to how and when they access the leads.

“Pull” systems can offer a natural advantage

Implementing a “pull” lead management system instead of the conventional “push” model can make it far easier for you to involve the sales force in the process and give them ownership. Today, with the advent of secure, web-based tools, such a system is far easier to implement than it used to be. If you are still using outdated “push” lead handling, ALEA can show you how to migrate to a “pull” model painlessly, and increase your results and your sales force satisfaction.

Have feedback on this or any other topic? Let me know lfoong (at)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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