Sometimes you get asked a question that’s actually several questions in one: What is a lead?

Or, more specifically here at Stern Inbound Marketing, we’ve often heard people ask, “What do I do about leads?

What they really mean is:

“How can our business spend less time cultivating leads while dramatically increasing the number of leads we generate?”
“How should our business organize its leads to create maximum efficiency with our lead nurturing?”
“How can we maximize the money we’re spending on inbound marketing to generate those leads?”
“How can we turn more of our leads into actual sales?”

These are very important questions. The way you answer them can determine whether or not your business profits and grows. Which is why we’re going to take them apart in this seven-part blog.

Before we begin, let’s establish a working vocabulary.

What is a lead? What qualifies as a lead?

Suppose one of your current clients recommends someone to you as a potential customer. Does that person count as a lead?

Suppose you meet someone at a private event. This person asks about your business, so you tell them a bit about what you do, and they seem very interested. Does that person count as a lead?

Suppose the phone rings one afternoon. It’s someone you’ve never met before. They’re asking about your business because they came across your website. In speaking with them, you realize that they seem to have a problem you might be able to help them with, although they don’t specifically say this. Does that person count as a lead?

The answer to each of these questions is yes! These people are all leads!

So then, what is a lead?

In fact, we might as well say it like this:

Anyone who demonstrates that they have eyes on your business, and that they regard you as a provider of either a good or a service for which they might pay you should be considered a lead.

(Another term we use for lead is prospective customer.)

Are leads important to the success of your enterprise? Absolutely!

Your business runs on leads the way a freight train runs on diesel fuel. Without new leads, the engine of your commerce will shut down and you’ll be forced to close up shop.

Leads are one of the most important resources your company can and should be actively cultivating.

So why do so few businesses do it?

And why do even fewer businesses do it well?

We’ll explore this further in PART TWO: LEAD NURTURING.

Stern is an Inbound Marketing firm. We focus on taking your leads and turning them into closed sales through strategic Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. We carefully measure and report our results. Our top clients report an 8 to 1 or higher #MarkeingROI on their investment.

We would love to have a conversation with you about lead generation, follow up, nurturing and the true ROI on your social, inbound, and content marketing.

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