What Makes a Lead a Good Lead?

A dozen leads came in today and among them were leads from DELL and Bose.  Both are large companies and might even make great clients but are they good leads?  That all depends on who you ask.

So I pretended to ask 6 salespeople that I’ve worked with over the past several years.  I pretended to say, “I have leads from DELL and Bose – are you interested in either of them?”  And here is how the imaginary conversation went from there:

Salesperson #1 – Yeah!  I’ll take them both!
Me: Why?
SP1: They’re awesome leads, man.  Think about it!

Salesperson #2 – Sure – if nobody else wants them.
Me: Huh?  Why don’t you want them?
SP2:  They’re leads man – all your leads suck!

Salesperson #3 – Send them over!
Me: Why?
SP3: If I have a lull next week, I’ll send them emails.

Salesperson #4 – No thanks.
Me: Why?
SP4: I called on both companies last year and they weren’t interested.  It’s a waste of time.

Salesperson #5 – Interesting…
Me: What do you mean?
SP5: Well they must have a reason for contacting us now.  What did they request?
Me: They were interested in these things and those things.
SP5: OK – I’ll take them – the timing might be perfect.

Salesperson #6 – Maybe.
Me: Why maybe?
SP6: Well, who by title made the requests?
Me: Sales Manager at Bose and a Coach at Dell.
SP6: Not the right people.
Me: So?
SP6: So I can start with them, learn about any issues and get introduced to who I need to speak with.
Me: Are you sure?
SP6: Give me the leads so I can call them right after I’m done wasting time talking with you about it!

Do any of these salespeople work for you?  Are you sure?

Does it drive you nuts when you need salespeople to follow up on leads and they don’t have time, don’t ask questions, don’t strategize, but they have preconceived notions about outcomes?

If the leads were from C-Level Executives, but small companies rather than large, would your salespeople react differently?  Would you?