B2B lead generation terminology: Getting on the same page

Sales Lead Definitions

A lead is a lead. Or is it?

I always recommend to my sales lead consulting clients to create a glossary of terms related to their B2B lead generation programs. Why? To reduce misunderstandings with Sales.

Here’s the first draft of a glossary I gave one of my clients to help them start writing theirs. Perhaps it can be a starting place for yours too.

Contact:

A person at company or contact name on a database

Customer:

A company, division, department, or facility that has purchased from our company.

Database:

A listing of contacts at specific companies and facilities is available for ongoing use. Also often called the Sales & Marketing Database or Customer & Prospect Database.

Decision Maker:

A contact who makes or approves the final decision to buy.

Influencer:

A contact who recommends or influences the buying decision. Also called Recommender.

Inquirer:

A contact who has responded to our company’s marketing (e.g., website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising). Also called Responder or Prospect.

Inquiry:

A response to our company’s marketing (e.g., website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising). Also called Response.

Lead:

A broad term used to describe everything from lists to inquiries to tradeshow leads to sales-ready opportunities. However, to avoid confusion, this term shouldn’t be used.

List:

A list of contacts at specific companies and facilities, as in a rented list. Also called “Database” if available for ongoing use.

Marketing Qualified Lead:

An inquirer, responder, or prospect at a particular company and facility who has been “qualified” as meeting the minimum definition of what represents a sales-ready opportunity.

Prospect:

A contact who has responded to our company’s marketing (e.g., website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising) or has been contacted and determined to have some protentional, but has not yet been qualified as being sales-ready. Also called Inquirer or Responder.

Recommender:

A contact who recommends or influences the buying decision. Also called Influencer.

Responder:

A contact who has responded to our company’s marketing (e.g., website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising) Also called Inquirer or prospect.

Response:

A response to our company’s marketing (e.g., website, direct marketing, exhibits, advertising). Also called Inquiry.

Sales Accepted Lead:

A Marketing Qualified Lead accepted by one of the sales team.

Specifier:

The contact who specifies our company’s products or services.

Suspect:

A contact which appears to be similar to our company’s Prospects, Marketing Qualified Leads, Sales Accepted Leads, and Customers, but who has not specifically expressed interest or determined to be a Prospect.

Do you have terms and definitions to add to a BtoB sales lead glossary?

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