How to define a qualified lead in B2B sales ?

qualified lead definition

As we have seen in our article on the role of BDRs in business development, understanding the role of BDRs is crucial to the success of a business development strategy. The role of the BDR actually ends when they bring qualified leads to the company’s sales people. In fact, they only exist to bring your business as many qualified leads as possible from your core target audience..

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What is a qualified lead ?

When your BDR comes into contact with a prospect for the first time, that prospect is usually considered a lead : they have a problem and are looking for a solution, but are not yet interested in or familiar with your offer. (See our article on How to increase the closing rate on your outbound leads for more information on the B2B purchasing journey)

The term qualified lead is used to designate a sales contact who shows a real interest in your offer or company, thus becoming a potential customer. The qualified lead, also known as a hot lead, has already been in direct or indirect contact with your company, either on your website, on your social networks, by emailing or, in the case of sales prospecting, in contact with your BDR.

Qualification criteria of an outbound lead


A qualified lead is a lead that has shown interest in your offer or product. They know exactly what functionality they are looking for, and understand the value, benefits and price of your solution. They are ready to buy!

Ability to buy

A qualified lead is also determined by its ability to buy. Indeed, the point of contact must be able to make decisions at the scale of their department or company, and the company must be able to pay for your product.


Finally, for a lead to be qualified, it is essential that it falls within your target criteria. Many elements can be taken into account: market, size of the company, size of the department concerned, needs, deadlines…

Thus, as soon as your BDR has generated a sales meeting with a decision-maker or person of influence within a company in your target group and that there is no absolute barrier to contracting a deal with this company (takeover, bankruptcy, involvement with a competitor…), the lead is considered to be qualified and the Business Developer has therefore fulfilled their role.

qualified lead process

From qualified lead to closed deal

As soon as the BDR passes on the qualified lead to the sales person, their role ends: the Account Executive will take over, with the role of nurturing and closing the deal. But the hunt does not end with the first appointment made by the Business Developer: the Account Executives must also chase the qualified lead from stage to stage in order to transform interest into a purchasing decision.

Account Executives are not order takers! Beyond making demos and taking orders, they must convince, sell your product and maintain the relationship with the qualified lead, sometimes for several months. To find out how to maximise your closing rate on outbound leads, read our blog post on the subject.

Visit our blog to learn more on topics like business development, sales and cold calling that will help your business achieve high growth! Don’t forget to check out our case studies to discover what results business development has brought to other B2B tech companies.

Want to achieve the same results and boost your own closing rate? Write to our CEO Ephraïm Bismuth to find out how to adapt the business development model to your company!

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