Not all ‘leads’ are created equal, so what is real lead generation and what isn’t?

When it comes to lead generation, you need to know that not all leads are created equal.  That makes working out what kind of lead generation is right for you a careful business. 

Different businesses, different people, have wildly different definitions of what a sales lead is. Salesforce, for example, call a line of data (with a name and an email address in your target market) a lead. Others need a prospect to be much more qualified and much warmer to call it a lead.  

Some other common definitions include…  

  • A name and an email address – possibly with a prospect’s title and company 
  • A webform inquiry to a website 
  • A webinar attendee
  • A LinkedIn connection
  • An SEO generated inquiry
  • A PPC generated inquiry
  • An email generated inquiry
  • A referral
  • An event business card
  • An incoming phone call from an unknown prospect


The problem is, some of these ‘leads’ are much more likely to turn into a sale than others in any situation. Others are more likely to turn into a sale depending on who you want to do business with. Are you looking for B2C (consumer) or B2B (business) or B2G (government)? Is it inbound or outbound? Is it paid, earned or owned leads you want? There’s a lot to dissect. 

Here’s the deal… You must be clear about your target market. You must be clear about the outcomes you want to achieve. You must be competent in how you manage the leads and you must realize there is a spectrum of leads, some more valuable at different points in your marketing pipeline than others. 

At Linked Strategies, we take care of the quality of the lead and how it fits into your pipeline for you. 

For us, a prospect doesn’t become a lead until one of your target market prospects – usually C Suite executives – knows who you are, what you do and, most importantly, requests a meeting with you. That’s a solid lead and it can be nurtured into a sale much more easily than others.