1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 1, 2010 4:52 AM by Florian Boehme

    How do you qualify a sales lead?

    Jonathan Rosen Journeyman

      As we work on putting together future enhancements to Ariba Discovery (the tool that helps buyers and suppliers connect, to forge new trading relationships), one area where we really want to help our suppliers is by providing business opportunities / sales leads that are better qualified. Please respond here with the questions you'd like to have provided with any opportunity you receive.


      Questions specific to your category are okay, but please clearly identify what category(ies) they would relate to. More desireable are the generaly questions you would always want to know about a lead, without regard to the commodity. For example, "When are you ready to purchase?" would be a good example of the sort of questions that one might want to always know.


      Please feel free to discuss any other element you'd like added into the qualification process and supplier discovery postings too!

        • Re: How do you qualify a sales lead?
          Florian Boehme Expert

          When are you ready to purchase/sign the contract/? is a great question, in addition:

          • Budget, which may be entered as a number or a range, is good pre-qualifier.
          • Contract Length might be useful addition, too.
          • Decision Maker - what level CFO, CPO, Lead Buyer AND HQ or regional?


          Really what turns suppliers off the most is Postings containing:

          • Processing Company
          • Fortune 500 Company
          • Fortune 1000 Company
          • Large Nationwide Retailer
          • A Large Canadian Retailer, etc.

          => There are some designated fields like "Company" and "Contact", that really should be used.


          I have seen companies publish requirements e.g. Supplier Preferences

          • Women-Owned Business
          • Small Disadvantaged Business
          • Minority-Owned Business
          • Business with Green Initiatives
          • Veteran-Owned Business

          => Great for the US, but in Europe ... Potentially those preferences could be enlarged by some additional generic requirements.


          I'm not sure, if buyers are obligated to enter "Territories" - so this could be another improvement.


          Generally spoken: There are some postings out there, that do not leave much time to respond. Obviously not having sufficient time, disqualifies opportunities - thus the buyer gets less responses.


          What would be interesting to know, is more information on the decision making process itself and the expected timeline:

          [x] Releasing an RFI on 7th July

          [x] Releasing an RFx on 14th July

          [  ] Maybe doing an auction end of July / Best of offer will be invited to present in Pittsburgh, etc.


          I know an interesting question for suppliers is, how many competitors are you inviting.

          Sometimes postings are adjusted to leak that information


          Looking forward to learn about additional thoughts on this. It needs to stay easy to use though..