The Difference Between Sales Leads and Prospects

When it comes to sales and marketing, leads and prospects are two distinct categories of people that require different types of communication. A lead is an unqualified contact, while a prospect is a qualified contact who has gone through the sales process. To convert a potential customer into a prospect, you must guide them through the sales qualification process to assess if your company's products or services are the right solution for their problem. The main difference between a lead and a prospect is that your prospect has gone beyond one-way communication and has now interacted with you. This two-way communication suggests that the potential customer has real potential to buy from your company.

This is when the potential customer becomes a sales prospect. Communication with leads consists of generating knowledge and interest in your offer. Communication with prospects consists of turning interest into a relationship and transferring that relationship to the sales funnel. A lead is essentially a potential customer who has been qualified and considered worthy of an interaction or sales reach. The differences between a sales lead and a sales opportunity are similar to those between a potential customer and a prospect, but more pronounced. A sales opportunity is even further along in the sales process and has the greatest potential to become a customer.

In other words, an opportunity is an additional qualified prospect. A tactic called “qualifying your prospects” can be used to determine if they have real potential to buy from your company. This can be done by asking relevant, open-ended questions that will lead them to reveal their weaknesses and what they are looking for from a solution like yours. A qualified sales lead is a potential customer who has shown interest in buying your company's products and services. LeadFuze brings together professional data from the world and the companies they work for, to give you an easy way to create the most specific and accurate list of potential customers you can imagine. If you can't provide a clear reading of the benefits and an implementation plan, the chances of converting a potential customer into a customer are slim. Once you qualify your leads, it will be easier to know which ones are worth looking for and how much time and energy it takes for each potential customer to convert them into customers.

Those contacts are not prospects, unless you have already completed some level of qualification during or after the program to understand how interested they really are in your product or service in order to qualify or disqualify the potential customer. In general, think of leads as “at the top of the funnel”, while prospects are in the “middle” part of the funnel. Increase your revenues with comprehensive prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private company data. SQLs require a process of creating leads through your sales lead management system or strategy, since they have a high probability of becoming customers and must be followed directly. My sister got a clue about the vacancy from her neighbor, who is the company's human resources director. Once again, the clue might be nothing, or there could be something that makes you want them to stay and keep talking.

Imagine that you called one of your potential customers and received good advice, which could be the story you were looking for. If your sales team researches that potential customer and discovers that they are exactly the type of customer that best suits your product or service, you can now say that they are a prospect because the sales department has considered them worthy of being contacted.

Randy Vanwie
Randy Vanwie

Avid music maven. Professional beer geek. Evil coffee scholar. Professional bacon fan. Hipster-friendly music geek.

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