One of the main problems facing many of today’s marketers is in distinguishing the difference between simple inquiries that will go nowhere and a genuine sales lead that has the potential to be converted. As a marketing enterprise with offices in the UK and Manhattan, PanAtlantic knows that this is often the reason why so many of those ‘leads’ fail to convert. The problem is that a list of contacts that have expressed an interest are not necessarily a viable lead.

Pan Atlantic’s Director, Justin Cobb, believes that marketing needs to focus more on qualifying those contacts prior to submitting a list to sales. “In marketing we embark on highly focused campaigns to engage as many consumers in a given market as humanly possible. We may have lists that are comprised of hundreds of names. Just because someone has clicked on a link or read multiple blogs doesn’t mean that person has expressed a genuine interest in what you have to sell. The task of marketing is to find those who are ‘hungry’ for more knowledge. Those are the leads you can follow up on.”

Justin often refers to a system of qualifying leads established by IMB many years ago. This is called the BANT system which sets out four criteria which must be met. If a person has the Budget to buy, the Authority to make the purchase, a real Need and can buy within a given Time frame, he or she meets the criteria to qualify as a viable lead. “This is what our team focuses on when compiling a list of leads to follow up on and only when we have a solid list of names that meet all four of these criteria can we say we’ve done our job.”

Different marketing firms add more or less value to each of those four criteria but the objective is to make sure a lead has met all four. Some may focus more heavily on authority and need while others may give equal weight to each criterion. In the end, you can save time, effort and a ton of money by following up on just those names that are qualified leads.

Pan Atlantic is in the business of increasing their clients’ market share, especially through direct marketing, so they know the value of a genuine sales lead. Justin encourages marketers to put more effort into qualifying leads prior to letting a sales team spin their wheels contacting people with no intention on buying. “Time is money so use it wisely. Follow up on leads, not on inquiries. That’s the key to success in sales.”