Monday, May 23, 2011

Lead, Prospect, or Dead Wood...

from Pat McGraw:

What is a ‘lead’?

Posted: 19 May 2011 02:44 PM PDT

leads [mcgraw | marketing]

Stumbled across this question over on LinkedIn Answers and since it’s a damn good question that is frequently asked and only occasionally answered across organizations, I thought I would share my answer here. Let me know what you think.

A little more than you asked – but I hope this helps. Based on my experiences, the following progression is a good place to start and a little tweaking for your specific industry/business might add value.

Suspect > Prospect > Lead > Sales Ready Lead > First Time Buyer > Repeat Customer > Evangelist

A ‘suspect’ is someone within your target audience that you suspect needs/wants your products/services.

A ‘prospect’ is a ‘suspect’ that engages with you in some way – they have raised their hand and made themselves visible on an individual level to you.

A ‘lead’ is a ‘prospect’ that has been qualified in terms of the following criteria – they have a need for your products/services, the budget to purchase your products/services, and the authority to spend that budget and make the purchase.

A ‘sales ready lead’ is a ‘lead’ that has a specific time frame in mind for making the purchase and requires assistance from sales to successfully complete the sales/buying process.

A ‘first time buyer’ is a ‘sales ready lead’ that has completed their first purchase. You will want to ensure that the experience meets/exceeds the buyer’s expectations and positions your business for future sales.

A ‘repeat customer’ is a ‘first time buyer’ that has made at least 2 times and considers your business as their primary source for the products/services you offer.

An ‘evangelist’ is a ‘repeat customer’ that actively refers ‘leads’ to your business and actively promotes your business to Suspects, Prospects, Leads, Sales Ready Leads, First Time Buyers and Repeat Customers.

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