Any company’s sales force is considered to be its essence since an organization’s success revolves around its sales. This is so because closing sales can be a difficult task to manage and only highly qualified sales teams can meet the goals. It is essential that you recruit persuasive professionals for this task or avail BPO services from a reliable company. Their primary focus at the end of the day is to generate plenty of leads and prospects into the sales funnel.
Even though prospects and leads are common terms in the marketing industry, most people cannot discriminate between them.
Defining Sales Leads
Lead generation is normally the first step that initiates the sales process. It is crucial for the growth and long-term success of a company. A lead is basically a potential buyer who may show interest in your products and services for any reason unknown to you. Moreover, you typically do not know whether the sale will process through or not.
You usually do not have much information about these leads in the initial stages, apart from their name and email address. But if you dig a little deep, you might be able to ahold of their job information, age, location, and gender. Such leads are known as basic or sales-qualified leads. Additionally, these are inspected and verified by your sales force. After thorough research, your sales team decides whether the lead genuinely needs your product or service or not. Furthermore, they determine when the sales representative should contact the lead and consequently close the deal.
Usually, the most common leads include the ones that have visited your website and entered their information into a data capture form. Leads are typically communicated to an entire group. These campaigns are directed toward the target audiences through email marketing, social media, integrated campaigns, and more. Consequently, the leads click links sent in these campaigns and provide contact details on the website. Once you get a lead, the next step is to get to know as much about them as possible. You could do this by engaging them through conversations or other means and eventually turning them into prospects.
The main difference between a lead and a prospect is that the leads you generate ultimately engage with you beyond one-way conversations and turn into prospects. When the two-way communications begin, it means that the lead can be stated as a potential buyer from your business. At this point, the lead forms into a sales prospect.
A prospect is someone who has the potential of becoming your customer. This happens when they respond to your marketing tactics and show interest in gaining knowledge about your products or services. Sometimes the challenges by these prospects can be leveraged into creating value while other times if they don’t fulfil your perceived values, you can disqualify them.
The main difference between leads and prospects is their communication method, being on-to-many for leads and one-on-one two-way communication for prospects.
Benefits of Sales Leads and Prospects
There are numerous benefits of generating sales leads and converting them into prospects apart from just growing sales.
- Market Expansion
Initially, when starting your business, you tend to target a particular group of people. Whereas generating leads helps you discover markets beyond your initially selected section. It helps you learn about your prospects and get engagement from companies and employees other than those included in your marketing campaigns. Consequently, you end up expanding into new markets.
- Grows Following
When looking to attract leads, you design creative content and means of communication. These may include conversations through social channels and quality content. This in turn results in professionals who follow and like your brand.
- Increased Customer Reviews
Customer reviews play a big role when trying to convince prospects to convert into customers. Past clients who leave their feedback regarding your company act as social proof for potential customers. Usually, most customers don’t automatically give their review, hence, you need to ask them for it. Consequently, you can use these in your emails, websites, infographics, and social media posts.
- Increased Revenue
With proper tactics, you can use your leads to maximize your reach for target prospects. This includes using the appropriate offers, content, and messaging to strike the interest of these groups. The conversion of these sales results in the potential growth of revenues.
All in all, leads and prospects are just different stages of a potential buyer showing a higher level of interest by turning a one-way communication two ways. To get to the prospect form, you must first find and attract valuable leads to eventually be able to convert them into long-term customers and generate revenue.