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The Definition Of A Qualified Lead

By M. H. “Mac” McIntosh
Expert Author
Article Date: 2003-06-06

Q: What is the definition of a "qualified lead?"

A: Although the definition changes from company to company (and rightfully so), generally you need the answers to the following "BANTS" questions to determine if a lead is qualified:

Do they have an appropriate BUDGET for the purchase? (Or can they find the funding?)

Do have the AUTHORITY to move the purchase forward?

Do they have a NEED or application for your product or service?

Do they have a reasonable TIMEFRAME in mind for buying?

Is the SIZE of the opportunity large enough to warrant sales attention?

Some combinations of the answers to these questions will be used to determine if the sales lead is "qualified" as ready for sales attention.

The best approach is to score the opportunity. For example, if they have an appropriate budget, they score five points. If they don't have a budget they score zero points. If they are a decision maker, they get five points. If they are a recommender or influencer they only get two points. If they have a clear need or application in mind for your product or service, they score five points. If they plan to buy within six months they get five points. If they plan to buy in a year or later, they get one point. If they plan to buy $50,000 worth of your products or services they get five points, but if they plan to buy $10 worth, they get zero points. Then you add up all the points, sending only those with twenty or more points along to sales as qualified leads.

And be sure to get sales managements input when developing the lead qualification criteria and buyoff on the final definitions. That way they can't later complain about that the quality of the sales leads you are scoring as "qualified."

About the Author:
With 20+ years of high-tech marketing communications experience, B2B sales lead expert, M.H. "Mac" McIntosh can help you drive sales for your hardware, software, and information technology products and services. To learn how you can generate more sales leads, improve awareness for your IT products and services, reduce your cost per lead and ultimately generate more profits for your company go to for a free Decision Makers Kit.


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The Definition Of A Qualified Lead