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Leads and sales prospects are two popular terms that you’ll often hear in the marketing and sales field. They are equally important in the sales cycle as both stages are an indication for further conversions, but their definitions vary as each one of them is at different stages in the sales funnel.
It is necessary to know the difference between a sales lead and a sales prospect for understanding the key roles played by each in the customer acquisition cycle.
Generally, a company’s combined efforts of a marketing department including SEM, SEO, SMM, Content, web development, and designing teams are responsible for lead generation.
Sales lead information can vary, as it could consist of a person’s name or address or both; it could also provide a broader view of the potential buyer, including their job profile and specific role in their company. All the given details can help you estimate the awaited purchasing time–span of the lead. Moreover, when you say you have a lead, it necessarily does not mean that they are sales qualified. You must nurture them and transform them into sales-qualified leads who can eventually be your sales prospects in the future.
Now, let us move on to understand what a sales prospect is and how is it different from a lead.
Marketers need to understand that a sales prospect has some trust in their brand as solutions for their problems or challenges– this is where marketers can create value. Also, you might have to disqualify them if they keep ignoring the offers made to them– compelling them isn‘t the solution.
Further, we have elaborated on six points to show how a sales lead and a sales prospect are different from one another.
Sales prospects are the most important asset in your customer acquisition cycle. The chief responsibility of marketing is to define ideal customers and attract them with promotional strategies.
If you want a sales prospect to become your loyal customer, you must make genuine efforts to engage them and take them toward conversions.
Marketers can generate leads using online and offline marketing strategies like content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, word of mouth, offline and online banner ads, etc.
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As you witness a shift from the initial stage of a lead to a sales prospect, the level of time and resource investment increases. More time and marketing budget is invested to guide qualified sales leads into potential customers.
To sum it up, sales leads are those target audiences who have come in contact with your brand through organic and paid efforts and have positively engaged to what you had put up on your website, but they may or may not be willing to buy whereas a sales prospect is a convincing lead who is interested in purchasing your product or availing your service and is ready to initiate communication to know more about your brand.
It takes a focused and patient approach to move a lead down the sales funnel and turns them into sales prospects. When a marketer understands the difference between a sales lead and a sales prospect, they are closer to generating better conversions. It empowers you to customize your communications and ultimately gain more sales.
The entire sales cycle is a long journey where patience and genuine persuasion are the keys. Whether it is a lead or a sales prospect, you must understand where they are in the cycle and pitch accordingly.
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