What is a Sales Lead?
A sales lead refers to a person or business who may become a client because they are interested in your products or services. A business can generate a sales lead by promoting at a trade show, meeting potential clients at networking events, getting referrals from existing clients, or even cold calling individuals.
For example, suppose your business sells electronic appliances, and your company’s sales representative is promoting your products at a trade show. Every individual at the trade show who expressed interest in your company’s products is considered a sales lead because they can potentially become your company’s client.
Sales Lead vs. Sales Prospect
In a sales cycle, prospecting is the first stage of the cycle. When an individual or business becomes a sales lead, it happens before prospecting. A sales lead is someone who expressed interest in your products or services, but they are not yet totally committed to you for a business relationship. Once a sales lead is ready to move forward with you, they are considered a prospect.
A prospect is someone interested in your products and services, and they are engaged with you. There is two-way communication, and the potential client has now moved into the sales cycle.
The goal for a company’s sales and marketing team is to develop a lead into a prospect. To do so, you must qualify each lead to ensure that they meet your company’s criteria. Sales qualification is the act of determining whether a potential client is a good fit for your product or service.
A company can follow various questions and qualification frameworks when determining if a lead should turn into a prospect. One such framework is the BANT framework, which allows a company to assess a potential client using its Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.
Marketing Methods to Generate a Sales Lead
1. Be active on social media
Many individuals use various social media platforms, so staying active online is an effective way to garner potential customers’ interest so that you can turn them into a sales lead. Many marketing campaigns can also be conducted on social media as well.
2. Maintain customer engagement
You can also establish a close connection with your potential clients by using emails, newsletters, blog posts, direct mailings, or cold calls. Doing so can help you stay engaged with potential customers and build your company’s rapport.
3. Utilize pay-per-click marketing
There are various pay-per-click platforms, such as Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Amazon Ads, and Google AdWords. Although you will need to pay a fee to the search engine every time someone clicks into your advertisement, this strategy helps you attract individuals to your website.
4. Improve search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves your website to increase visibility by placing your products or services as one of the top results in a search engine. In particular, it helps increase the quantity and quality of traffic on your website by improving results in a search engine.
SEO uses a computer algorithm that looks at how people search things on the internet and the keywords used in the search to put your company’s website at the top of the results whenever someone searches that keyword.
5. Use affiliate marketing programs
Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy where an affiliate earns a commission for promoting another company’s products or services. Therefore, you can partner with external organizations to advertise your products and services on their social media platforms, building interest in potential clients and developing sales leads.
Why is a Sales Lead Important?
A sales lead is important because they will move on to become a sales prospect if they fit your company’s requirements, which is the first step in the sales cycle. Ensuring that you get good quality leads that fit your company’s needs and requirements can transform a potential client into an actual client that your business will maintain a relationship with.
Generating sales leads is also important because it allows the company to communicate with potential customers and engage in marketing methods to garner their interest. As a result, adopting an effective strategy to acquire leads can secure clients for the company, increasing overall sales.
CFI is the official provider of the global Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful: