Sales Rejects All of My Qualified Leads As “Not Leads” – What Do I Do?

Sales Rejects All of My Qualified Leads As “Not Leads” – What Do I Do?

Dear Irene,

I enjoy my work; I really do. But my sales team seems dead set on rejecting all of the (obviously) qualified leads I’m generating for them! I spend a lot of time creating and gating content, promoting it, converting cold leads and then nurturing them through email. Then the critical moment arrives and I pass a qualified lead over to sales, but they basically stab me in the heart with, “this lead isn’t ready”.

It’s killing any chance of delivering marketing ROI, and honestly, it’s just really starting to tick me off. Any advice??

A (Terrible?) Lead Gen Marketer


Ps..this is how I feel every time my MQLs are sent back. Please help!

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Dear Not-Terrible Lead Gen Marketer,

why are you rejecting my qualified leads meme

I’m sure you’re not terrible. This problem is really common. Getting alignment between sales and marketing is a challenge,

especially if there are legacy…shall we say, emotions, between the teams involved (read: sometimes sales and marketing teams kind of hate each other).

Getting alignment is something we’ve written about, because it’s just not easy to do. So what you need to do now is sit down with your sales team and collectively agree on how you define when a lead is qualified. Ask your team why the leads you’ve been sharing aren’t worth their time, and push them to get specific.

Make a list of the specific actions or signals that determine qualification for your product or service. Get everyone to agree on them, and then use your marketing automation platform to automatically flag leads that qualify and trigger the appropriate actions (assigning to sales, etc.).

Remember that this isn’t set-and-forget. Get the band back together on a regular basis, maybe biweekly or monthly in the beginning, to keep the conversation open and honest on how your new definitions are working. You’ll probably need to make some tweaks to your formulas and assumptions before you get it right.

Over time, you’ll solidify a process that works. Make sure you document it all (in writing) in an SLA with your sales team. After that, you can slow your meeting cadence to quarterly or biannual check-ins, to keep processes up to date as the market (and world) changes over time.

Oh! And don’t forget to measure what you’re doing. Create reports and dashboards so that everyone involved can monitor the state of your collective marketing and sales funnel. That’s the only way you’ll really be able to prove the marketing ROI you want.

Keep on converting!

Always on your side,

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