Does your sales team spend the same amount of time chasing each lead that comes your way? Are your conversion rate and overall revenue hurting as a result?
Investing precious time and resources into fruitless leads can be a significant drain on both the morale and the bottom line of your sales team.
Hi, my name is AJ! After selling my company for multiple seven figures, I wanted to help other entrepreneurs avoid the mistakes I made early in my career.
Chasing promising leads was one detail that helped me and my team earn more sales and work efficiently!
How did I avoid low-quality leads? Keep reading! I’m uncovering everything you need to know about SALs and more!
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What is a Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)?
A sales accepted lead (SAL) is someone who has shown some level of interest in your products or services.
They are marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that have been vetted by your marketing team and deemed worthy of being passed on to sales for further nurturing and conversion.
As a result, SALs are more likely to become paying customers compared to other leads because they have shown genuine interest in your business and have met the criteria set by your marketing team.
Further, these leads are when the sales team looks at that lead and says, “Yep, this person seems genuinely interested, and they’re a good fit for what we’re selling!”
In essence, the process of identifying a SAL involves three primary steps:
- First, a prospective lead engages with your business in some way (such as signing up for your newsletter or following your social media accounts).
- Second, the marketing team vets this lead, considering their level of interest and compatibility with your offerings.
- Finally, if the lead meets the specified criteria, they are handed over to the sales team for further nurturing.
SALs vs SQLs: What's the Difference?
Okay, let’s break down the difference between a sales accepted lead (SAL) and a sales qualified lead (SQL) using a school project as an example.
Imagine you have a big project in your science class and need a partner to complete it.
You send out an email asking for volunteers.
Two people respond to your email.
The first person is your friend who always does their homework.
The second is another student you don’t know but has excellent grades.
In this scenario, here’s the SAL and SQL:
- Your friend = sales accepted lead
- The other student = sales qualified lead
What is the difference between these two students?
Well, one is a lead who has shown interest in participating (your friend), and the other is a lead who has both shown interest AND has the qualifications you need for your project (the straight-A student).
In sales terms, a SAL might be someone who has downloaded an eBook, while sales qualified leads might be people who have filled out a contact form AND meet specific criteria set by your team.
Sales accepted leads have shown some level of interest in what you’re offering.
In comparison, sales qualified leads are interested AND have the qualifications your sales team needs!
Why Sales Accepted Leads are Essential in the Lead Qualification Process
Finding qualified leads is crucial for several reasons, including the following:
- It saves sales teams time and energy
- It ensures teams use resources and money correctly
- It ensures a sales team doesn’t chase dead leads
- It helps the sales process move quicker
Below, I’ve listed a few reasons why sales accepted leads are crucial in the lead generation process!
Saves Time and Increases Sales Efficiency
Sales accepted leads streamline the sales process by identifying potential customers who have shown genuine interest and are a good fit for what your company sells.
As a result, this saves considerable time your team would have otherwise spent chasing unqualified leads.
This efficiency in the lead qualification process allows sales teams to focus their efforts and resources on nurturing these leads into customers, promoting a higher conversion rate.
Also, by concentrating on SALs, you can significantly shorten the sales cycle time.
When you shorten the sales funnel, the following things happen:
- Boost sales team productivity
- Ensure you don’t overspend on sales efforts
- Your company can find more leads
Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool further improves efficiency, eliminating manual tasks like lead scoring and tracking leads.
Enables a Personalized Sales Experience
SALs enable a personalized sales experience by providing valuable insight into the lead’s interests and potential needs based on their engagement behavior.
Understanding a qualified lead allows sales and marketing teams to tailor their approach.
For instance, understanding customers allows your team to fine-tune sales pitches and conversations to align with the lead’s unique expectations and pain points.
As a result, the following things happen:
- Sales reps create a more relevant, engaging buying experience
- The sales journey is customer-centric
- Lead relationships are stronger
- It increases the likelihood of successful conversions
Increases Close Rates and Drives Revenue Growth
SALs increase close rates by narrowing the sales teams’ focus to leads with high interest and alignment with your products or services!
As a result, this increases the likelihood of sales conversions.
By nurturing these potential customers, your sales team can do the following things:
- Build stronger relationships
- Understanding customer needs better
- Guide prospects smoothly through the buyer’s journey
Companies that spend the extra time knowing their target audience increase their chances of closing each deal.
As a result, this increased efficiency in converting prospects into actual customers drives notable revenue growth, contributing to the company’s overall profitability!
Reduces the Risk of Lost Leads
Sales accepted leads significantly reduce the risk of lost leads because they represent genuine prospects who have shown real interest in your products or services.
Therefore, this focused attention on SALs ensures your sales team isn’t wasting time and resources on unqualified or uninterested leads.
When teams chase unqualified leads, it takes time away from nurturing a sales-ready lead!
Another way to say that is by saying this: your team just lost a sale and maybe even a loyal customer!
Also, focusing on SALs minimizes the chance of a qualified lead falling through the cracks.
Businesses can maintain their lead pool by meticulously tracking and nurturing these SALs, fostering improved lead retention and conversion rates.
Incentivizes Your Sales Team with Better Opportunity
SALs serve as powerful incentives for your sales team, energizing them with the potential for higher conversion rates and achieving their goals.
Working with SALs allows the team to focus on quality leads with a genuine interest, which can significantly boost their morale and productivity.
Lastly, with each successful conversion from a SAL, the sales team feels a sense of accomplishment.
This sense of accomplishment reinforces their commitment to the goals and visions of the company!
Increases Collaboration Between Marketing and Sales
I bet you didn’t know SALs can boost communication between your sales and marketing team!
SALs foster increased collaboration between marketing and sales teams by creating a clear line of communication and shared objectives.
For instance, your marketing team focuses on generating SALs and providing the sales team with pre-qualified leads.
As a result, this gives both the marketing and sales teams a common ground to align their strategies and goals.
In turn, this unified approach leads to the following things:
- It enables a smoother transition of leads from the marketing funnel into the sales pipeline
- It boosts overall organizational efficiency and success
- It creates a better work environment
What are the Best Criteria for a SAL?
At this point, you understand why SALs are so critical for your business. But what are the best criteria for identifying these leads?
The criteria for SALs are as follows:
Let’s look at each of these points closer!
Fit: Is it a Clear Fit for Your Business?
First things first, your sales reps must determine if the potential customer is a good fit for your business.
Businesses determine if a lead is a good fit by evaluating several vital factors that align with their target customer profile.
For example, key indicators might include the following things:
- The potential customer’s industry
- The company size
- The prospect’s specific needs or pain points
The lead’s compatibility with the company’s products, readiness to make a purchase, and overall potential to contribute to the company’s revenue are also strong indicators of a good fit!
Awareness: Do They Believe Your Product/Service is Right?
The awareness criteria assess whether a lead knows about your product or service.
Not only that, but a SAL must believe your product or service could be a viable solution to their needs or challenges.
Put simply, awareness measures the prospect’s familiarity with your brand and their understanding of what your company offers.
So, high awareness often means the lead is further along in the buying journey, making them a more qualified SAL!
Ready: Are They Ready to Buy Now?
A SAL being ready to buy now is crucial because it signifies that they have moved beyond the exploratory phase and entered the decision-making stage, dramatically elevating conversion chances.
Also, this readiness implies they have recognized a specific need or problem that your product or service can address.
Therefore, your ads and sales approaches will be more relevant and persuasive.
Lastly, a potential customer’s readiness minimizes the risk of the sales process being prolonged or derailed, which can tie up resources and potentially lead to lost opportunities.
Authority: Are They the Decision Maker?
The authority of a SAL is critical because they are the ones who have the power to approve the purchase, making the sales cycle more efficient and likely to result in a closed deal.
So, if the lead lacks this authority, it can cause unnecessary delays in the selling process.
Also, not having buying authority has a higher potential for the deal to fall through (which you never want to deal with!).
Budget: Do they have the Funds?
Whether it’s a SAL or a marketing qualified lead, your teams MUST ensure the prospect has the money to buy your products or services.
After all, what good is it to spend time and money chasing someone who can’t even afford what you’re selling?
Most sales professionals include budget in their lead scoring criteria.
Therefore, someone with the budget for your products or services has a higher lead score, meaning they’re more likely to purchase from you!
Time: Do they Need Your Product/Service Now?
The time criteria is pretty simple.
This refers to the lead’s immediate need or urgency for your product or service.
So, if a lead requires your solution promptly, they are more likely to expedite the buying process, making them a highly qualified SAL.
Final Thoughts on SAL
There’s everything you need to know about SALs! Not too bad, was it?
Remember, the sales process begins with finding the best leads. SALs must fit your lead qualification criteria, have the budget to buy something, and be ready to purchase!
When you invest in understanding how to qualify leads, marketing and sales departments work more cohesively, and it reduces lost leads (which can be extremely frustrating).
Is there anything I missed about SALs? Let us know in the comments section!