what is a lead and what is conflict between the Sales and Marketing ?

What is a lead?

What is a lead - the definition of lead

In simple terms, a lead is an individual or organization with an interest in what you are selling. The interest is expressed by sharing contact information, like an email ID, a phone number, or even a social media handle.


The definition seems so simple, that “what is a lead” doesn’t seem like a question worth answering.


But, that’s not true.


The single biggest debate between marketing and sales arises from the question “what is a lead.” And it’s no small debate!


It’s what causes a marketer’s myopia. Marketers revel in the number of leads they have generated, closing their eyes to continuous sales complaints about lead quality.

Marketing myopia - Calvin and Hobbes - What is a lead

It’s also what causes sales to dismiss marketing leads as low-quality, without cross-verifying. They end up delaying follow-ups, losing opportunities that might have converted. In the end, the blame lies with marketing for not generating quality leads.



The biases are well-documented:


  • Only 25% leads are legitimate and should advance to sales – Gleanster Research.
  • Sales reps make 1.3 (average) call attempts before giving up on a lead.

So are the consequences the company faces:


  • Companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline year on year.

What is a lead - Business loss - Calvin and Hobbes


The marketing – sales conflict

What is a lead - the marketing sales conflict

So, there’s a continuous conflict between marketing and sales about leads. Marketers spend countless hours and dollars generating leads, but most of those leads are junked by sales.


This is devastating for the business. Because, no matter how one defines a lead, the business aim is the same – to increase the revenue. Therefore, it is really important to have both your marketing and sales team in sync with each other.


The need for marketing-sales sync


Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate. Whereas, companies with a poor Sales-marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline.

Companies with aligned sales and marketing generated 208% more revenue from marketing (MarketingProfs)

So, as a marketer, you should not think about just generating leads, but about generating high-quality leads. And as a salesperson, you should share constant feedback with the marketing team, about the quality of leads.



Latest Magazine