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What Is Lead Confidence?

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Not all leads are worthy of the same attention. To operate efficiently, sales teams need to focus their efforts on the leads that are most likely to close.

To determine which leads are most worthy of attention, sales team typically use a process called lead scoring. Assigning points, percentages, letter grades, or descriptive words like “hot” and “cold” are all common ways to express a lead score during the reporting and analysis process.

Here at Nutshell, we’ve developed a simplified method of evaluating leads—lead confidence.

What is lead confidence?

When we founded Nutshell, we knew that lead scoring was often complicated and required sales teams to build their own scoring systems from scratch. We radically simplified it with lead confidence.

Within our CRM, lead confidence is expressed as a percentage from 0% to 100%, reflecting how likely the lead is to close.

Establishing and automating lead confidence:

When you first add a lead to Nutshell, you have the ability to indicate the confidence, based on your impression of the lead’s sales-readiness. But we all know: this is the moment of least insight about the lead.

As the lead advances to a sale, Nutshell Pro automatically increases the lead confidence based on the lead’s stage and which sales activities have been completed.

How to use lead confidence to improve forecasting accuracy:

Accurate sales forecasts depend on knowing not just the volume and dollar value of the leads in your pipeline, but the likelihood that each lead will close.

Nutshell’s forecast report reflects the total dollar value of leads in your pipeline, but by checking the box “Forecast pipeline by confidence,” the report will adopt a model based on each lead’s confidence level. For example, a $10,000 lead with 20% confidence will only add $2,000 to your pipeline.

Improving the accuracy of lead confidence:

Are your lead confidence scores correlating with your actual win rates? Periodically fine-tuning your lead confidence percentages based on historical results at each stage of your sales process will help make your forecasts as accurate as possible.

Nutshell Pro’s advanced funnel report shows you your losses at each stage of the funnel. With this real-world data, you can refine your process to set more accurate confidence.

Related: Do you know the difference between a pipeline and a funnel?

The impact of lead confidence

Implementing lead confidence in your sales process leads to a number of positive outcomes, including…

Increased closing rates and sales rep productivity: By prioritizing sales-ready leads and sifting out the ones that need further nurturing, the percentage of your qualified leads that ultimately turn into sales will be higher, and those sales will close faster.

Prioritizing leads also reduces the amount of time your sales team spends chasing unqualified, low-percentage leads, which means that sales on a per-rep basis (as well as team morale) will be considerably higher.

“Lead confidence definitely helps us increase productivity and the likeliness of a ‘win’,” says Michael Nowakowski, Senior Project Manager at AHT Automotive Equipment, “We use it to touch the most active and likely-to-purchase customers, and using it in combination with Nutshell’s map view helps us work smart and effectively.”

Greater control over lead pipeline and sales targets: If you know how likely a lead is to close at each stage of your sales process, you can work backwards from your revenue targets to see if you have enough lead value to hit your numbers.

“I’m one of the sales guys but I’m also a business owner, so I’m always thinking about our pipeline,” says Tannus Quatre, President of Vantage Clinical Solutions. “For example, if we need $20,000 in sales for a given period of time, our lead confidence will tell us how much we need in the pipeline in order for us to hit our target, because we know how much revenue we expect to do based on our actual sales performance. As a result, we can make sure we have enough leads in the pipeline, and ratchet up our lead generation efforts if we don’t.”

Have any questions about lead confidence? Email us at, or tweet your questions to @nutshell!


Nutshell is flexible enough to fit every sales model.

Choose the model that best fits your business and see how we help teams like yours close more deals.



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