All Leads Are NOT Created Equal!! How to Create a Simple but Highly Effective Lead Grading Process


If exhibiting ROI is the name of your game, lead management is the playbook!

Unfortunately, what many exhibitors call leads are not really leads at all. A person walks into their booth, a booth staffer quickly scans their badge with no real engagement, doesn’t ask any qualifying questions, and then moves on to the next visitor.

Sending unqualified leads to your sales or distribution channel is a big reason why lead follow-up and sales conversion is poor and such a big problem for most companies.

One of the fastest things you can do to improve lead quality is to create a simple lead grading process.

The first step is to talk with sales management and ask them, “What information, if we could capture at the point of contact with a visitor in the booth, would help assess the potential value of the lead?”.

The typical answers will be things like:  they have a specific need or project identified, there is high interest in a specific product/service you offer, they have decision influence or power, budget is secured, a specific project or purchase timeframe has been identified, the potential revenue of the project is clear or quantifiable.

Once you have your lead grading criteria identified, narrow it down to the top three or four things.

Next, create a grid.  In this example, Specific Need, Budget and Timeframe are the criteria:

Grade     Specific Need                  Budget                 Timeframe

A             Clear & Agreed on            Secured                Within 90 days

B             Somewhat Clear               In Process            Within 180 days

C             Not Clear                          No Budget             Unknown

Once you’ve created your lead grid, be sure sales management reviews it and approves it.

Integrate these qualifiers into your qualification process and your lead capture device.  Position them as must ask questions with your booth staff and be sure to train your staff prior to the show on guiding the conversation, asking the right questions, and entering the answers into your capture device.

Your sales team will be excited to receive high-quality leads with clear grading codes so they understand the value and have the information to begin follow-up. This will equate to more leads converting to sales and higher exhibiting ROI for your company.