Who’s your perfect customer? The Bridge group reports that an average sales representative makes 46 calls a day. You’d think that would be sufficient to be certain about what makes someone a qualified lead.

Even so, Entrepreneur magazine reports that only around half of companies surveyed actually possess a formal definition of a qualified lead used throughout their organization. An additional 19 percent revealed that they didn’t have a definition at all. This takes a toll on conversion. Only 34 percent of companies with no formal definition are able to advance a lead past a first engagement. On the flip side: 63 percent of those who have a formal definition of a lead continue on toward the sale.


Lost in translation

At first, it might seem difficult to believe that an organization wouldn’t have a clear idea of what constitutes a qualified lead. But let’s remember that various parts of an organization look at prospects in different ways. It’s why overall we have two basic flavors of leads – otherwise known as the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and the Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). But even looking at one group versus the other at this level can cause confusion. It isn’t because of incorrect information. It’s all about interpretation.

Here’s an analogy. You’ll probably get a puzzled look from a professional chef if you tell them that you don’t like curry. It’s because curry is a term for a blend of spices. The blend varies, and a curry from Asia will taste quite different than a curry from India. Both will have little in common with a curry from Africa. Specific spices – such as cardamom, galang, or kaffir lime leaves – and liquids – such as broth, yogurt, or coconut milk – define and determine types of curry.

Your organization’s perfect qualified lead has specific qualities. Plus, one group is being pursued by your marketing efforts (MQLs) until they demonstrate an intent to purchase and are transformed to SQLs.


A standard recipe

The statistics we began with show why it’s crucial to have a clear definition of a qualified lead. It’s why many of the organizations saying they have a formal definition of a qualified lead also work with what are known as buyer or marketing personas.

These personas are a result of a comprehensive study of the makeup of existing customers so that you have a clear understanding of what a prospective buyer wants or needs. Lead generation becomes easier when you base it on marketing or buyer personas.

It’s the difference between knowing that a qualified lead for your company likes curry and knowing that your best qualified leads like Thai green curry because they enjoy the flavors of fresh coriander (cilantro), kaffir lime leaf, basil, lemongrass, ginger, shallots, and fish sauce.

Reaching that level of specificity gives your marketing and sales teams a clear and defined target. Efficiency is increased, and some organizations actually reach the point where it’s no longer necessary to engage in cold calling. Online advertising becomes less costly because relevancy scores increase, and cost-per-clicks drop.

Once you know the precise flavor of your perfect customer, it’s time to find out which ones in your market are looking for your product or service right now. Learn how we can help you identify them using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Identity Resolution.