5 Lessons Learned About Sales Leads

Sales leaders spend a lot of time emphasizing the importance of a steady stream of sales leads to their team. An ample supply of prospects is essential to high conversion rates and revenue numbers. However, a large database filled with low-quality leads is actually worse for sales development than a smaller pool of highly qualified targets.

Adding a single qualified lead into your database is better than adding a high volume of unqualified contacts. Here are several key points that explain why.

1. Contact Dilution

Imagine that you have an important question that only a small percentage of people can effectively answer. You have a list of 10 random people that you can call to attempt to get an answer. It is possible none of the people on the list can give you an accurate response. Even if the odds support one or two of the contacts knowing the answer, you could waste a lot of time and energy calling the other eight or nine before landing on the correct person.

Apply this same contact dilution logic to calling leads in an unqualified database. The difference is that you have the answers, or product solutions, and the people you call may not have a problem that you can resolve. After all, consistently calling on many unqualified sales leads before getting to a qualified lead is extremely inefficient and expensive for your business. It is also a scenario that is likely to lead to a demoralized sales team, as calling down an unqualified list is a waste of everyone’s time.

Another critical point is that your competitors are making calls as well. All of the time you spend reaching out to people with little or no buying potential leaves the door open for competing sales reps to grab up all of the preferred buyers.

All of the failed calls to low-quality contacts frustrate sales reps, which negatively impacts effectiveness when calling on a qualified lead.

2. Cost Concerns

There are additional costs in a random database beyond the wasted time investment. Lead data decays at a rate of between 3 to 5% per month. Regular enrichment is a cost worth bearing, given expiration dates. Often the difference between clean, updated lists and dated, old lists can be a few hundred dollars … per lead

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Also, the more contacts you store in a database, the greater your technological expenses. If you maintain your own tech infrastructure to support your data, you need more hardware and bandwidth to hold large amounts of data. If you pay for cloud-based data services, your costs are normally higher when you enter and maintain a higher volume of contacts. Useless data plagues many organizations that load up their software with the wrong contacts.

At some point, a cleansing process becomes necessary—plan on spending here. 

3. Qualification Criteria

Understanding the drawbacks of a large quantity of poor-quality sales leads is only half the battle. You still need to develop an effective strategy for identifying and going after a qualified lead.

Here are a few common qualification criteria companies start with:

  • The level of genuine need of a prospect
  • The financial ability of the prospect to purchase your solution
  • The decision-making authority of a contact to buy
  • The sense of urgency a buyer has to purchase

If buyers have a need, decision-making authority, financial viability, and urgency, then they are ripe for prospecting.

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4. Depth of Qualification

Understanding the efficiency gains of a smaller pool of qualified prospects is hugely beneficial. However, your company must also consider the depth to which time invested in further qualification creates quality enhancements. Beyond the criteria noted, you can go into much greater depth by identifying qualified sales leads. This can be based on such factors as location, industry, and job title.

The trade-off in gaining more depth is the time it takes to get it. In a manual qualification process, it may take your reps too long to gather this additional information relative to the refined ability to select the right prospects to call. Furthermore, the ideal point is where you have enough details to interest prospects in listening to your presentation. Then you convert a high percentage of those opportunities.

Quality is often a function of time spent. Best results are combinations of human resource and advanced prospecting tools.

5. Best of Both Worlds

With advanced sales acceleration services like CIENCE, you receive only targeted, highly-qualified sales leads with high efficiency. Configurable targeting opens the door to custom research — finding, researching, even validating your targets quickly. Same goes for lead enrichment. 

CIENCE combines human intelligence, machine learning, and best practices for superior lead gen. First, we identify through a collaborative process your ideal client profile. Then, we define the relevant data points that your sales reps, marketing team, and data analysts need to drive a successful outreach campaign. We leverage our human-driven, machine powered approach as we deliver accurate and reliable sales leads. 

A prospecting strategy that combines the precision of manual processes with the efficiency of technology is a powerful weapon.

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The Power of Qualified Sales Leads

The value of an efficiently developed and highly-qualified database should become clear as you consider any part of lead nurturing. Faster selling cycles, increased conversion rates, larger average buy orders and higher total revenue are all common financial benefits (ROI).

When a rep meets with qualified sales leads, it is easier for him to quickly ask the right questions to uncover deep pain points. As the salesperson realizes the full scope of the problems faced, he is able to align the presentation to clearly articulate the value provided by the right solution. After all, emotional appeal helps offset the turmoil or tension to enhance the persuasive appeal of a targeted presentation.


Despite the desire in many sales organizations for a large prospect pool, it’s clear that efficiency and precision are just as important. Prevent your database from becoming clogged with distractions. Instead, focus on a strategy that allows you to identify and attract qualified leads efficiently. Tapping into your ideal customer profiles puts your sales staff in the best position to close deals and achieve strong financial objectives.

CIENCE knows that building a qualified pipeline is a strategic science. Our research team delivers highly curated, extremely targeted sales leads lists quickly. Book an appointment with us and we’ll send you a list of free leads to start.

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