Understanding the Difference Between a Sales Lead and Prospect
Have a Common Understanding of Both Sales Lead and Prospect
What is a Sales Lead? (TOFU: Top-of-Funnel)
A person first becomes a “top-of-funnel” (TOFU) lead after completing some kind of call to action or inbound web form. For instance, submitting a contact form or emailing in for a quote request. These are commonly referred to as marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) who have initiated communication with your brand. The lead’s engagement is usually minimal. So, although they may have expressed interest in your product or service, they aren’t necessarily ready to make a purchase.
The point is: a “Lead” isn’t a sure thing.
In a nutshell, sales leads are people who have provided basic information that suggests they are potentially interested in buying. Your main objective, once you have a lead, is to focus on learning more about them. One way to do that is by engaging (with them) in any form of two-way communication.
What is a Sales Prospect? (MOFU: Middle-of-Funnel)
As you can see, the word “prospect” is closely linked to an outcome. The verbiage around the term explains the potential for immediate growth and actualization. In other words, a prospect is farther along the sales process than both MQLs and SQLs. Likewise, they have an increased likelihood of reaching an outcome.
Spending Time on the RIGHT Leads
So remember, you should clearly see how your product will solve a problem and create value for the prospect. If this is not clear figure it out or move on.
They MUST Meet the Criteria
- Fit your target market.
- Have the means (money) to buy.
- Is authorized to make the buying decisions.
These factors must be determined if you want to be able to move your leads down your sales funnel.
All-in-all, prospects are qualified and interested leads who, through two-way interaction, have demonstrated they’re preparing to make a purchase decision.
The Clear Difference Between a Lead and Prospect in Sales:
Engagement and Communication!
Sales prospect: created after a sales-ready lead is contacted by a rep. They’re ready for two-way communication with your brand, either through scheduled phone calls or in-person meetings. Typically, messages come from associated reps and are highly personalized to the recipient. Calls to action for prospects usually center on keeping the dialog going (scheduling a call, requesting a quote, etc.). This type of communication is all about turning their interest into a relationship—and moving that relationship through the sales funnel.
Key Points to Remember:
- TOFU (Top-of-Funnel)
- Promising Sales Contact
- Unqualified Contact
- Different Levels of Qualification
- One-Way Communication
- Contacted in Large Groups or as Part of an Automated Program
- Mass Communication from General Source
- MOFU (Middle-of-Funnel)
- Linked to an Outcome
- Qualified Lead
- Qualified for Purchase Intent and Ability
- Two-Way Communication
- Contacted on an Individual or Small Group Basis
- Personalized Communication from Individual Rep
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