Moving onto the area of "Authority" of NABT (see my earlier posts if unfamiliar with the acronym), how do you find out if someone has the authority to be considered a quality lead?
The usual suspects of titles are still important - they are a classic example that are still very true in many quality leads.
However, some companies are using unusual titles or more commonly a Manager at one company could be the equivalent to a VP at a different company. Unless you know the company's ways of using titles, you could miss a quality lead.
Two ways to understand a bit about someone's authority is understanding their personal 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon and to follow the money.
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon is simple - who is the person connected to within the organization and how many degrees are they away from the CEO, CIO, CFO, or General Counsel. Which leads me to the next step, follow the money.
In today's organizations, especially if you are looking to have them purchase enterprise-wide solutions, the budgets will be controlled by a CEO, CIO, CFO, or General Counsel. If your lead does not have the political capital or authority to influence one of these titles, your sales cycle will be longer, deal size shorter, and overall, the lead is less likely to close.
The KISS Question for this post is, "how far away is your lead from a C-title"?