The 4 Stages Of A Lead


Hi there,

This is Jay Whitley Jr, the founder of 24 Hour Designs. Lately, through our various threads of discussion, we have uncovered many questions that deserve attention. In this discussion we are going to talk about the “The 4 Stages Of A Lead”, through the eyes of what we normally call the AIDA Sales Model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action).

(PS - If you want to skip ahead and view our lead generation costs, click here).

The AIDA Sales Model identifies cognitive stages an individual goes through during the buying process for a product or service. It's a purchasing funnel where buyers go to and fro at each stage, to support them in making the final purchase.

So what do the acronyms stand for?

  • Awareness: creating brand awareness or affiliation with your product or service.

  • Interest: generating interest in the benefits of your product or service, and sufficient interest to encourage the buyer to start to research further.

  • Desire: for your product or service through an 'emotional connection', showing your brand personality. Move the consumer from 'liking' it to 'wanting it'.

  • Action: CTA - Move the buyer to interacting with your company and taking the next step ie. downloading a brochure, making the phone call, joining your newsletter, or engaging in live chat etc.


Lead Stage 1 - Awareness

When it comes to generating leads, what we are really doing is creating opportunity for our design agency. For us, opportunity (the lead) is the chance to find new design work, which is ultimately how we make our money.

So how exactly do WE define a lead in our type of business?

For our firm, we define a lead as a person or individual who shows HIGH-INTEREST in our services. The want or need can be agnostic, but as long as it covers the space of application technology, or technological implementation (IOT, Food, etc..), we would consider it a lead. We find these leads at local events, or through sponsorships. These leads have not paid us yet, or made a transaction with us at any point.

This is important for YOU (the developer) to understand when partnering with us in the lead-generation process. Leads are incredibly are to find, finding highly-qualified leads is even MORE difficult. If you want to be successful not just today, but tomorrow and in the future, you must understand that this is a slow process, which takes months, sometimes years.

Lead Stage 2 - Interest

Once we (24 Hour Designs) have obtained new leads, we immediately place them in a “nest”. Not all leads are the same and depending on the type of lead you service (example: Enterprise, Startups, Government) you will have to target and tailor this nest to their specific needs. This is where most of the work actually takes place.


Communicated with these leads can be a long and drawn out process which takes anywhere from 3 - 4 months for the “nest eggs to begin hatching”. That’s a nice way for saying people taking notice of your marketing efforts to communicate with them. In this phase you can lose a lot of members of your list as well, build some very interesting relationships.

The most important thing in this stage is to stay consistent. If you drop off, people will forget you exist. It usually takes 7 - 10 touch points for a customer to decided “IF” they want to contact you. The “IF” and “When” are also predicated upon your industry or type of business. For developers a sales cycle can take 6 months to 2 years on average from a new lead to a converted client.

Lead Stage 3 - Desire

Let’s keep this section short for you. The longer you are in business, the more you will learn about your own firm’s sales cycle. For us, it’s 3 - 4 months on average. Sometimes we have outliers that sign up for our services within days or weeks, other times we rekindle old relationships that are over 1 - 2 years old, but the sweet spot is 3 - 4 months.

Keep this in mind as a business owner. When someone wants to do something, the only relationship you have to that something is that you may be one of the millions of providers of that something. All of the marketing efforts you’ve done in the past year gives you the best opportunity to be one of the firms that a client thinks of when they are ready for the “thing”.


The buying decision will have nothing to do with you, nor will the motivation. You have only 1 job to do when this happens, which is be the best version of your firm, when the time comes. No, this doesn’t mean you can slack off and then decide to be a kind, caring agency when the client wants to pay you. You have to be the best version of yourself today and every other day of the year, as long as you are in business. Otherwise, your business will go to the next developer.

Lead Stage 4 - Action

Alas, the “Action” stage, which for many of you is when people make the “buying decision”. If you haven’t already noticed, there is drop off at ever stage of the funnel. If you started with 1000 leads, you’ll probably see 100 - 200 leads dropping off at each stage (see example image below).

You have no control over this, but without going through the full cycle you won’t really know what a good conversion rate looks like for your business. It doesn’t matter which industry you are in, there will always be drop-off.

For us, as a design firm, per every 100 new leads we get, that equals about 6 - 7 new design opportunities, which can equate to 1 - 2 new development opportunities. You have to be very patient for this funnel to take shape, and even with the numbers we have represented this could change.

For more software developers and development firms it can take a long time to reach this point, but it’s VERY REWARDING once you’ve arrived.


Why did we just share this information with you? Because we care about your current and future success. There are a lot of variables in the process and truthfully speaking a lot of risk. Note that we are exposed to the same risk, if this makes you feel any better. We are an agency working hard to find our way in a world full of firms and agencies.

If this information gives you a little more insight into our lead curation process, then we have done our job.

Here are a few next steps that you can take:

  1. Become a development partner - Click Here

  2. Let us help you generate $20,000.00 - $100,000.00 in revenue this year - Click Here

  3. Review our partnership policy - Click Here

  4. Book a meeting with us - Click Here


24 Hour Designs