Look at the word Torta. It’s the same word where ever you might wander but in Mexico, you’ll get a sandwich and most other countries you’ll get a slice of cake. Both might be tasty but they are not the same. Does everyone in your company define a Lead the same? Here’s where your company lexicon can remove ambiguity for all.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of terms in any business that have multiple definitions. The correct definition often depends on the context but what happens when people are coming from different contexts? It’s becoming more common, which is good, that people in multiple departments interact with one and other while doing business. Where difficulties lie is the language barriers that occur due to ambiguities and variation of definition. Look at the word Torta. It’s the same word where ever you might wander but in Mexico you’ll get a sandwich and most other countries you’ll cake a slice of cake. Both might be tasty but they are not the same.
In our experience, Lead and Customer are the most often confused words. Each business function might have its own definition and there can be multiple definitions within a single department. It’s clearly a ripe topic given there are over three million Google results for “what is a lead” and over seven million for “what is a customer”. More often than not a single word does to accurately describe a business term. For instance, you might break Lead into:
You might say a customer is a customer. Wrong. Here are some examples:
When Management, Sales, and Support are talking, are they using the same term? Likely not. To alleviate the confusion name them what they are, a Sold Customer and a Support Customer. Separate terms will also make your performance metrics more understandable.
You may be tempted to create multiple definitions for the same term depending on context or department. Similar to a dictionary. Do NOT do this.
Check out Hubspot’s article “Lifecycle stages: the language of marketing”