Say No To Leads

leads pipeline Oct 24, 2023

You don’t want more leads…I promise you, it’s not what will help you.

I see this over and over again with a focus on more leads and it does more harm than good.

What you want instead is more pipeline.

Aren’t they the same thing? More leads can help you have more pipeline. WHEN they are the right type of leads.

Here are bad examples of what I see (a lot)…

  • Going to conferences and having a badge scanning goal. No focus on who they should be and having the majority of the scans be unqualified leads (even other vendors) but still celebrating the “success”
  • Marketing “getting more leads than ever” but having the lowest conversion rate to qualified leads. Leads are nowhere near a fit.
  • A goal of tripling the leads from last year and accomplishing it but the pipeline dramatically decreases (and so does revenue).
  • Focus on how many meetings can be set but then have a 10% show rate. (Turns out they never agreed to a meeting, but a calendar invite was sent in case they changed their mind… no joke, I've seen this happen)

You look at these and say duh… of course, we would never do this.

But these examples aren’t unique. I see the same ones over and over again at multiple companies and every industry.

Why? The focus is on as many leads as possible. The attitude is that we will throw the spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. The problem with this approach is it wastes everyone's time, and money, and the possible good leads slip through the cracks. They get missed or do not get enough attention because it's assumed they are garbaged like the rest. So if you can’t focus on “leads”, what should you focus on that drives more pipeline?

The focus needs to be on qualified leads.

Here is how you do it…

  • Get crystal clear on who is your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
  • Know inside and out what pain points they have that you solve
  • Use their words (exactly how they talk)
  • Qualification = they have a pain point you can solve

Here is the key to all of this…

Anyone that doesn’t fit into your ICP… you don’t target and you don’t count as a lead.


  • Quality over quantity (Always)
  • Too many of the wrong leads WILL negatively impact your team. (I’ve seen it way too many times)
  • Focus on Qualified Leads that are in your ICP and have a pain point you can solve

A good way to measure this is… conversion rate of Meeting scheduled to Qualified. The higher the conversion, the better the quality of your leads. If you are below 50%, you have a problem.

Don’t get distracted by vanity metrics. You want actual results, not something that looks good on paper but will never produce results.


PS... Your messaging that focuses on the pain points you solve will help the right people connect with you. Not about looking good for everyone... it's about looking good for those you can help.


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