First, you need a significant number of leads so that your sales team works with qualified leads. You need to create a demand generation engine and apply the revenue engineering methodology that we discussed earlier in this series. Today, you have a conversion rate of market qualified leads to sales opportunities, and a conversion rate of sales opportunities to close. These conversion rates dictate a specific number and type of leads that you need to make your numbers every quarter. The first step is to understand your conversion rates today, and the second step is to improve your conversation rates through better lead qualification or selecting better prospects that fit your “sweet spot.”
Second, if the “grey-haired lead” is in the marketing funnel, you need to determine how to convert market qualified leads (MQL) into sales qualified leads (SQL). We call this marketing or nurturing with a purpose. Your marketing and demand generation programs should be focused to help acquire leads, and graduate them into sales opportunities, or close them as sales. Many companies use demand generation programs to generate leads or prospects, but they do not have processes to graduate them into sales opportunities or closed deals.