Lead Generation Best Practices: Fewer Leads Are Better

There is a counter-intuitive relationship between lead volume and sales performance. With sales organizations facing lower numbers, it seems logical to turn to volume lead generation to fill their pipelines with more and more sales leads in hopes that some will turn into sales. After all, shouldn't more leads deliver more opportunities?

In reality, just the opposite often turns out to be true. Standard lead generation's focus on quantity—rather than quality—results in the following:

  • The pipeline is flooded with a high volume of low-value leads.
  • Qualifying criteria are rarely met due to lack of marketing resources.
  • Sales reps' calendars are cluttered with unqualified meetings.
  • Money is wasted on sales lead generation programs that don't work.
Sales reps actually need fewer sales leads—or more accurately, fewer raw, unfiltered, unqualified marketing leads. Conversely, they need carefully qualified leads that have been correctly developed until they are ready to be delivered as high-value qualified sales opportunities.

By focusing sales resources on a smaller number of better quality leads, they can spend time more effectively on the most likely buyers. Such a practice makes sense in any economic climate, but in our current market downturn it can be a way to actually improve efficiency and do more with fewer resources. This also renews the value of lead generation programs, since reps start receiving leads they can actually use.

Best-of-class prospect development—and its focus on fewer, higher qualified sales leads—fills forecasts with sales-ready buyers and helps marketing and sales resources operate more efficiently. In the end, it means great return on program investments and higher company revenue.


Dan McDade founded PointClear in 1997 with the mission to be the first and best company providing prospect development services to business-to-business companies with complex sales processes. He has been instrumental in developing the innovative strategies that drive revenue for PointClear clients nationwide.

In addition to serving as president and CEO of PointClear, Dan is the author of

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