Sales lead success checklist

    September 17, 2003

You’ve spent a great deal of time, effort and money putting together your sales lead generation programs. How you handle those sales leads once you get them makes the difference between happy salespeople and new customers or unhappy salespeople and lost sales.

Here’s a checklist of questions to ask yourself to determine if you have the best chance of being successful:

Are you prepared to send requested information immediately?

  • Do you know what to send in response to different types of inquiries?
  • Do you have electronic versions for those who want the information by email or by download from your website?
  • Do you have adequate supplies of printed materials ready for those who prefer them?
  • Do you have the people, systems and processes in place to get the requested information out the door quickly?

Are you prepared to capture all inquiries in a database for ongoing nurturing and qualification efforts?

  • Do you have the database ready to go?
  • Do you have the data entry people or outside services lined up to get the inquirers into the database?

Do you have a program in place to “qualify” sales leads before sending them to your salespeople, reps, dealers or distributors?

  • Have you agreed with sales management on which questions to ask in order to determine which leads are qualified?
  • Have you agreed what information is required to know which sales contacts to route the qualified leads to?
  • Are you asking these questions on all response devices?
  • Do you have pro-active programs in place to contact and qualify your leads?

Do you have a process in place for distributing qualified leads to sales contacts as they are identified?

  • Is it designed to get the leads into salespeople’s hands without delay?
  • Have you made it easy for your salespeople, reps, dealers or distributors to use?
  • Can they access leads over the Internet?
  • Does it integrate with their existing contact management or email systems?

Do you have a program in place to nurture or cultivate your not-yet-qualified leads?

Salespeople generally focus on those one-in-four sales leads that are ready to buy soon. However, research shows that three of four sales come from longer-term prospects that are frequently ignored by sales.

  • Does your company have a prospect relationship marketing program in place to keep in touch with these longer-term prospects using email, fax, mail and phone contacts until they are identified as being qualified and ready for sales attention?
  • Do you know what messages to send as part of your prospect relationship management program?
  • Do you know how often to contact prospects with these messages?
  • Do you know what offers to use to get them to further identify their needs and situation so you can determine if they are ready for sales?

Do you have a program in place to measure and track the results of your various sales-lead generation, cultivation and sales follow-up programs?

  • Can you determine your cost per lead, cost per qualified lead and cost per sale?
  • Do you know which lead programs generate the highest return on investment?
  • Do you know which nurturing techniques worked and which didn’t?
  • Can you prove to management that your lead generation programs are paying off in increased sales and market share?

M. H. Mac McIntosh is described by many as one of Americas leading sales and marketing consultants and an authority on inquiry handling and sales lead management. Visit his website at, email Mac at or call him at 1-800-944-5553.