Why You Need Leads Not Inquiries (And Making Sure That Happens)

Olin Hyde
April 21, 2016

Generating sales leads is about bringing in as many people as possible who want to buy from you. But where many businesses slip up is when they fail to separate leads and enquiries. An enquiry is often categorized as a lead, when it’s actually something different entirely.

It may not seem like a problem, but if you want to generate solid leads this sort of data can completely ruin your strategy because it will skew the metrics that really matter. This guide is going to show you why you need to be looking at leads not enquiries when growing your business.

They are Not the Same

Just because you brought someone to your site and they downloaded your free eBook doesn’t make them a lead. Just because someone from your chosen demographic visited your site doesn’t make them a lead. Just because someone read a lot of your blogs doesn’t make them a lead.

This is an important point to comprehend. These are individuals visiting your website. Until you start a dialogue with them, they are nothing. And even if they do contact you the chances are they are just a raw responder. They are names and address on a list.

It’s your job to gather intelligence and to sift through this data to find out who potential leads are and whether they should be passed to the sales team.

To boil this down, an enquiry is someone who has expressed that they may have an interest in getting you to solve a problem. And this problem may not be anything to do with you. You may not be able to help them. They are simply trying to find out if you are the person for them.

How Would You Define a Lead?

The key to generating a lead is to make sure that it’s a qualified business opportunity. Based on the brief interaction you’ve had; you know this person has a problem that your business can solve. Most importantly, you are convinced that they are interested in what your company has to offer. That’s how you define a lead.

Anything short of this is not a lead. You are actually hurting your sales team by sending leads that aren’t qualified. They are not call center reps and they don’t know how to turn absolutely anyone into dollars. They are trained to sell your product and nothing else.

How Do You Know if You Have a Lead?

This depends entirely on how you want to rank the various people you come into contact with. You would use a scoring system of your choice. For example, you may give one potential lead a point if they answer one of your questions in the right way.

After you have come to the end of your lead generation process, you would look back at your personal score and then decide whether they are worth passing to the sales team or not. Every business view this differently, so it’s impossible to tell you exactly how you should be doing this.

What is the Average Conversation Rate for a Lead?

Taking an inquiry to a lead is a process of trial and error. One study says that the average conversation rate is a mere 4.4%. And most studies agree that the number is tiny, even if they fail to agree on the exact number. Companies using best practices are still going to struggle to hit double figures.

So what does this mean for you?

It means that sifting through enquiries is essential. Sending every enquiry to your sales team is going to lead to disaster because the majority of these people have no interest in you. By catching them early, you are going to vastly increase the efficiency and productivity of your sales team, and this is all going to lead to higher profits and less wasted capital.

Qualification Matters

It goes without saying that qualification is an essential part of the process. Yet there are so many companies that have no qualification procedure. They just send everyone to the sales team and get them to do it instead. Set up a small team, even if it’s just one person, and get them to qualify potential leads before declaring them actual leads and sending them on to the sales team.

You will have a far greater strike rate and you are not going to be wasting your time. Knowing the difference between a lead and an enquiry really can change your life!

Curious to know how LeadCrunch does B2B data differently? In our video series, learn more about what we do and why the best B2B marketers are loving it.

Further Reading

Lainey Mebust
July 9, 2020
Lainey Mebust
November 4, 2019
Lainey Mebust
. 15 min read