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Comment? A Common Language

What does this mean? Silly question? It depends, I suppose, which language you use. If French, then it would mean “How”? if English, then it would mean something like: “what observations do you have?” or: “Let me know what you think”?

What relevance does this have to business? It is that if you do not have a common language to which everyone subscribes and that all use, then misunderstandings arise and chaos ensues. This passes the test for stating the obvious. However, let us consider a story to illuminate the subject.

Marketing engages in lead generation activities, say, at a trade show, or via a social media campaign. They pass these leads over to sales with a full lead tracking process to monitor the percentage of conversions to sales and the cost of each lead and so on.

Sales follows up these leads to find that the overwhelming response is along the lines that they were “just looking” or that they “just wanted the freebie” or some such similar response. One or two will say that they want a demo; fantastic, a hot lead! Much time and expense expended but with no result.

The consequence is marketing think sales cannot sell and sales think marketing cannot identify a lead.


Upon inspection it comes down to the definition of a lead. If the definition is anyone who expresses an interest, then anyone that does is, by that definition, a lead. Using this definition, a high quantity of leads can be generated by marketing. Using this definition a high quantity of those leads will be rejected by sales. This is neither an effective nor an efficient way of utilising scarce marketing and sales resources to generate sales.

What if there was a definition that produced leads from people who wanted to engage? How would that help with internal communication?

What if, then, the definition of a lead was as follows: “ A key player, name, title, organization, industry sector and contact details who has expressed an interest in how we have helped someone in a similar position address a particular business goal or set of goals”? What if your lead generation initiatives produced leads with that amount of information, how would your salespeople respond? What kind of conversation could they have with the potential buyer and, critically, how would the potential buyer perceive the salesperson?

All this has to be predicated upon a common language that is “spoken” by all in the organization. And, once implemented, imagine how the interaction and cooperation amongst not just marketing and sales could be but with all functions within the organization.

How would that help with effectiveness and efficiency? Worth a “comment”?


If you are curious about this, register your interest by contacting me, John Busby, to discuss at:; + 44 7968 066 165

Copyright© 2016 John Busby

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