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Four 'Secrets' to Turning Raw Leads Into Real Opportunities

by Dan McDade  |  
September 7, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Four steps for converting raw leads into real opportunities
  • Why you should track, manage, and measure lead flow

Raw leads are inherently neutral entities. If, when, and how they convert to real opportunities is fully dependent on the processes that sales and marketing teams apply to them after they appear at the top of the funnel.

Raw leads are unfiltered, undifferentiated, and unqualified contacts generated by marketing activities such as content downloads, social media use, webinars, and tradeshows. Some are simply people requesting information or companies too small to qualify, and others are perfect-fit prospects—ready, willing, and able to invest in six- or seven-digit solutions. But who falls in which camp?

Real opportunities will have met established lead criteria and warrant further attention from Marketing or Sales. At the right time, real opportunities are confidently moved to the sales forecast and assigned a probability of closing.

The challenge, of course, is how best to qualify "in" those with high-value potential and apply processes that move them to closed-deal status.

Here are four actions needed to make that happen.

1. Align sales and marketing

Call it what you will—essential, imperative, or indispensable—but full sales and marketing alignment is the must-have predecessor of the next three actions.

Everyone is for alignment. The hard part is getting there and making it work. Though our shared sales and marketing history has been characterized by pointing fingers, feeling undervalued, and rerunning processes that fail, it's time to let go and move on to formal discussions between both groups.

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Dan McDade is the CEO of PointClear, an Atlanta-based prospect development company that helps B2B sales and marketing executives fill their forecasts with sales-ready buyers.

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  • by Julia Mon Oct 24, 2011 via web

    Does anyone have a form that they use to track inbound phone calls? (e.g. name, title, company, location - as well as product - solution, timeframe, etc.) I am looking for the fields that marketing wants to capture and that sales needs in order to call someone back.

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Mon Oct 24, 2011 via web

    Hi, Julia. Also try posting your question to our Forum, here:

  • by Julia Mon Oct 24, 2011 via web


  • by Barbara McKinney Wed Jan 16, 2013 via web

    The best thing to do is to analyze every information you have before jumping into a conclusion that these raw leads can turn into real opportunities.

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