Who is a sales lead and how it differs from a prospect
If you do a quick Google search to find out who the sales lead and prospect are, you’ll notice the common confusion. Some sources don’t differentiate between them, juggling them with interchangeable terms. Others define them wrongfully. For the sake of defining the correct marketing tools and sales lead generators that you will be using, it is crucial to define the two correctly.
Sales lead a.k.a. simply as lead is a person, who has somehow informed you, a seller, about their existence by providing you some basic information like the name, email, and/or contact phone number (for instance, via a ‘Call me back’ form on your website or landing page). You don’t know anything about this man or woman yet, whether they would like to buy a product or service that you’re offering and what their other needs are (if any). What you do know now, however, is that this client is a warm client, who has decided to express initial interest and gave into your hands a hook of contact information. Now, it is your turn to work with that lead to guide them through the sales funnel.
A prospect is someone you contact during a one-to-one communication. At this stage, you might pre-classify the lead during the sales lead management process to understand whether they fit your needs (if it was possible based on the info you have had). During the contact (through phone, social media, email, or – why not? – a paper letter), you find out about who this person is, what their interests and needs are that are covered by your product (or not), and – probably – you convert them into a client. A client, as it is understood, is a person who pays money for your product or service. At the stage of contacting the prospect, after you collect some info, you make an offer and wait for the response, which may come immediately or take a certain time and require further contact. At this stage, you’d give product booklets, tests, or freebies to attract a person. Here, you can also understand that you won’t convert them into a customer because your offer isn’t found suitable.
So, as it is obvious, you’d apply differing marketing tools and approaches to work with leads and with prospects. Now, let’s talk about the online channels of lead attraction.
Eight sales lead generating channels
Sales lead attraction is made today through these 8 channels:
Content Marketing. Here, you should create and distribute various infotainment content about your web page, company, or product. This is primarily done through your domain, direct commercial (video, audio, textual, including promo articles) on third-party domains, which lead to your offer. Here, you don’t have an intention to sell but rather to inform about your existence and (probably) benefits.
Working with your website and landing pages. The best way to inform about your company and product is through the website and landing pages. The first is built to cover everything and would contain many letters. The second is designed specifically to lead to a certain – one – product to sell only it, not informing about anything rest. Landing pages are believed to be one of the most efficient converting centers for visitors to become leads, prospects, and customers.
Email campaigns. Sending emails to inboxes of potential audiences, even spam ones, is still an efficient tool for cold, warm, and hot audiences.
Social media. There are numerous companies, whose entire marketing budget is only directed to social media – because they are able to convert even better than landing pages.
Webinars and books. Through these, you create informational flows, which build and increase brand awareness, not directly aiming at sales (but not excluding them). These events can be free, paid, and lead to cut-price deals for your main product.
Review platforms and aggregators. Being an expert reviewer or at least leaving pieces of feedback in various places creates your image as an expert reviewer. Along with that, your reviews and commenter profile can contain links to your company’s website, social media profile, or landing pages.
Online PR. This is basically the tool to create backlinks. For instance, you write a promoting article and place it somewhere online, links from where lead to your web pages.
Advertising: contextual and display (banner). This tool includes banner ads, advertising in Google search (paid blocks and contextual through regular SEO on websites). Various models of this advertising can be used. One of the most widespread ones today is pay-per-click when you pay an advert company for a thousand clicks made on your ad (which means people go through your links to your websites, promo pages, social media pages, etc.).
Now, as you know what a sales lead and how to attract them, we wish you a successful implementation of the newly obtained knowledge!