Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The difference between "best" and "top"

Understanding what a qualified sales lead is a difficult concept for some to grasp. When you are selling, if the lead isn't qualified on several levels (the right buyer, the buyer has money, the buyer has a problem they want to solve etc...) then the chances are, there isn't a sale to be made. Right?

So, I'm in a discussion with my boss about our "active leads" list. On a conference call, we're going through our "best" leads. It turns out, that our "best" leads are unqualified, have no real buyer pain and we have no idea if they have money.

I ask a simple question - "Boss man, do you REALLY think we have a chance in hell of closing these 3?"

His answer is most obviously, "No."

I politely ask him why then, are those 3 our "best" leads.

What he says next will haunt me for a long time. His response was to clarify for me that there is a difference between "best" and "top." A lead that is "best" is not placing a value on how close that lead is to being closed. It is simply a relational term one would use when comparing other leads.

So, what this means is that our "best leads" have no shot in hell of closing. Got it.

And the rest of the list is a piece of shit. Got it.

We're in trouble.