Kislik and Martin worked on the call guide to figure out things such as:
"Was the language right?"
"Were the questions being asked to which they wanted the answers?"
"Were the answers categorized in such ways that they would engender appropriate field sales follow-up?"
"Even if you're giving them a perfectly lovely lead on a silver platter," explains Kislik, "the stuff has to be put in terms that the field sees as desirable."
And sometimes it's important to find out right away if a lead is unqualified.
"Sometimes the answer you want is 'Oh no, we don't have that,' because it's better to screen somebody out than to give the field a lead they won't want to work with," says Kislik.
SunGard's got a pretty good sense of what it's looking for, and has made a point to seek out not so much technical information, as to ask questions about a company's needs.
Palermo offers a couple of hypothetical responses and their corresponding courses of action:
1. "If you answer 'No, we don't have an application that needs to be back within 48 hours,' that probably drops you as a prospect."
2. "During the conversation, if we hear things such as, 'We've been looking at this for a couple of years but we never seem to get around to it,' that would be a mild prospect. They've clearly discussed it."
3. "Then there's, 'We've been looking at that and we've decided not to.' That's something that we would probably take back to marketing and educate them on the benefits of doing it, or the downside of not doing it. That wouldn't necessarily go to a [sales] rep."
4. "There's also, 'I'm interested. We've looked at this but just have not found the budget or the time.' That's a legitimate lead. Those are things that can be worked around through a sales call."