There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the topic of leads and prospects.
What’s a sales lead? What’s a sales prospect? And what’s the difference between them?
Lead Peep is a successful lead generation software company so we have a pretty good idea about the differences between leads and prospects. So let’s take a deeper look.
What is a Lead?
A lead, or sales lead, can be a business name, company contact, email address, phone number or any other piece of information that enables you to identify and contact them.
Leads are exciting. Very exciting, in fact.
But unfortunately most leads never actually convert to a sale.
Or even to a prospect status, actually. That’s just the way it is. It’s frustrating.
Inbound leads are usually much better at converting as they enter into your sales pipeline already warmed to some degree, whereas leads generated from outbound marketing activities such as cold emailing and calling need warming from cold.
Inbound leads can come from any of the following:
- Lead capture forms like contact forms, whitepaper downloads, etc.
- SEO audit requests if you’re looking for SEO leads online
- Phone calls via your website
Outbound leads can come from any of the following:
- Cold emailing campaigns
- Cold calling
- Direct mail marketing
Inbound sales leads are naturally warm when they reach you because the user has taken an action and made the effort to reach out to you for one reason or another.
So it’s very important to follow-up with them as fast as possible at that point.
Get them to book a follow-up action. A meeting. A demo. Anything.
The lead can then be considered a prospect. So a prospect is…
What is a Prospect?
A prospect, or sales prospect, is any lead that has reacted positively to a follow-up.
That could mean they have agreed to a meeting at your office, or scheduled a time for an online demo of your software service, or any other action you deem appropriate.
Lead Peep can find you so many leads that you’ll suffocate in them.
But it’s your job to turn them to prospects.
It can be hard. And frustrating.
You need to show leads that you can solve their problems. Keep things simple. Romance them. Take them out for dinner. Whatever you need to do to prospect them.
Once they’ve become a prospect, the sale is yours to lose. Pretty much.
Prospects can be things like:
- A lead who has booked a meeting with you at your offices
- A lead who has scheduled an online demo of your software or service
For example, if it’s someone who is looking for a lead gen tool to help them to manage their daily tasks and to-do lists, book them in for a live demo online and show them how easy it is to manage lists and team tasks. And then brag about your low pricing and current offers.
How to Get More Leads
Getting more business leads is difficult.
But also very doable with constant actioning and focus.
It’s always best to select and hone one lead generation method at a time.
If you already get website traffic then it’s a lot easier than generating brand new leads with outbound marketing tactics like cold emailing, cold calling and direct mailing.
“Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.” – Brian Tracy
Here are some great methods for generating new leads:
- Outbound – Cold Emailing, Cold Calling and Direct Mailing
- Inbound – Contact Forms, Phone Calls, Landing Pages, Pay Per Click
Remember, a lead is not a prospect.
How to Get More Prospects
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Founder of Lead Peep and frequent knowledge-sharer on the Lead Peep blog where I write about marketing, sales and lead generation.
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