Edition 8: How to Stop Arguing Over Lead Quality

How to Stop Arguing Over Lead Quality

When deciding where to focus your sales and marketing efforts, the first default is to go after the biggest available audience. You need revenue, so you cast a wide net.

Anyone who remotely fits your target audience and fills out a marketing lead form is designated for sales follow-up. The more detail and contact information you have for a lead, the more likely sales will focus on them.

But, if marketing is only focused on the volume of leads and sales is only cherry-picking leads to hit quota, you’re going to be unfocused and end up with limited and poorly fitting customers. 

Thankfully, you and your RevOps team are on the case to handle filtering and focusing your leads. By building an ideal customer profile (ICP) and intelligently using your available data, you can help your team pay attention to long-term, good-fit, potential customers.

Why Sales and Marketing Need Help from RevOps

As I mentioned above, when trying to target everyone, time and energy will be wasted on leads that appear interested but are unlikely to close. Sales and marketing will have to spend the same amount of time on every lead regardless of quality. Deals that could have closed quickly can end up waiting for the attention they need.

When leads fail to close because of poor fit, sales and marketing will inevitably point their fingers at each other. Sales blames marketing for handing off bad leads. Marketing claims the sales team only asks for leads an inch away from the finish line already. No one ends up happy. Both teams are focused on their own goals and quotas instead of what’s best for the company.

“Quality leads” become a moving target for everyone. So, RevOps needs the ability to quantify and set the ICP definition. Sales and marketing teams can be reluctant to change and accept a different group setting their goals. So, it’s your job as a leader to lend RevOps your authority. RevOps needs buy-in from everyone to set the standard. 

Yes, having additional definitions for MQL and SQL is great, but getting key stakeholders to agree on your best-fit customer is a top priority. This is what sets the standard for what later becomes MQL and SQLs.

Filtering Leads Based on the Data

RevOps needs space to slow down for a moment, get the right ICP and scoring process in place, and then let marketing and sales take off again at full speed.

Using your data, or a data provider, analyze the firmographic and technographic detail of your best customers. What trends do you notice? 

  • Do they tend to be from a similar size or industry? 
  • Do they use other software you integrate well with? 
  • Did they previously use a competitor? 

Once you find your best customer trends, you can create your ICP, and score leads against it. Inbound leads can be compared to your ICP and other data points, such as Buyer Intent data, to be scored as quality leads. Buyer Intent Data shares when a company is researching online to likely purchase a solution and is the difference between grabbing a great lead that’s not ready to buy and one that could be closed within a month.

Using your scoring method, RevOps can supply high-quality lists to marketing for initial outreach and route the best, engaged leads to sales. 

Focusing and filtering your leads also helps with the data load RevOps has to handle. The more leads you are targeting, the more data you’ll need. Costs will be higher for marketing automation platforms and CRM systems since they are usually based on database size and API calls. Acquiring and holding unfocused lead information will add to your cost to close leads. The less essential data you have, the more affordable and easy data management between your tools will be.

Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Leads

With RevOps leading the charge to help define high-quality leads, every new lead is checked against the ICP, Buyer Intent Data, and brand interactions. No more arguing between sales and marketing over what counts. And, no more account executives wondering how a bad-fit lead made it to them.

Low-quality leads can be safely ignored and pushed toward self-service purchasing solutions (if you have them).

With a standardized answer for quality leads, RevOps can prioritize and fine-tune all aspects of operations from data acquisition to enrichment, to key workflow integrations, to data hygiene and standardization.

You’ve taught the team what they need to score. Now, you can watch them work together to boost revenue.


Lack of clarity on ‘what is a quality lead’ leads to slow pipelines and internal friction (and possible team resentment). As a leader, it is your responsibility to guide your organization to a unified definition of your ideal customer profile, or ICP. Many executives lean on their RevOps team to help define and manage inbound lead flows. 

Here’s what you should look out for.

  • Review technographic and firmographic data to determine your current ICP
  • Involve RevOps to refine the ICP definition and get marketing and sales onboard with your support
  • Create a scoring model leveraging Buying Intent Data to better filter inbound leads
  • Build more pipeline with less noise!