Is it the Big Catch?
It happens: you notice a potential customer visits your website or interacts with your social media and you jump into action for the catch. You hope it is a big catch. A big lead, if you will. But how do you know? The term lead has many different meanings and can be used in a variety of ways depending on the intent. At Biznet, we like to make the distinction between types of leads. We even go so far as to distinguish a certain type of lead as a prospect. In today’s article, we are going to share the difference in hopes that it will improve your lead gen program.
When to Reel Them In
Decoding whether or not a potential customer is a lead can be confusing. A lead represents a different meaning when used in marketing than in sales. Which one is worth reeling in? Here are some insights to help you.
- A marketing lead is an individual who has provided contact information and, in doing so, pointed toward a potential sales opportunity. That means that lead is someone who has filled out a form with their contact information and has expressed their interest in working with you to solve a problem.
- A sales lead is a prospect that has given you their contact information and has also shown a deeper interest in completing a purchase. They are deeper in the prospecting funnel. They are ready to jump into the boat.
How to Tell if You Have a Big Fish
The most challenging part of lead generation is deciphering leads from prospects. To determine this, you must know the difference between a lead and a prospect. If you are a fisherman, you would view them this way:
- Marketing leads are small fish that you might throw back into the water.
- Sales leads or prospects, are the keepers, the ones you take home and put on the wall.
Enter the Prospect
A prospect is an interested individual who, through two-way interaction, has demonstrated their interest. For example: A prospect visits your site, signs up for your newsletter, and submits information for a certain product or service.
A prospect differs from a lead at the point where it is essentially the sales team’s job to close. Prospects are qualified leads that have indicated interest through interactions, communicated your solutions are best for their problems, and plan to make a well-researched purchase. For example: A prospect visits your site, signs up for your newsletter, follows you on social media, submits information for a certain product, and calls or emails you for pricing.
To break it down, once a lead has communicated they are interested in your solution that you have and determined they are ready to commit to a purchase, they pass into prospect status.
Changes in Status
Imagine you are walking through a store and you know exactly what you want to purchase; however, when you get to the product you realize there’s another option and decide to get it instead. This can also happen to a lead’s status after they have shown interest in your company or products. Don’t assume that once a prospect reaches lead status they will continue to move forward through the buyer process. Sometimes, leads change their minds or don’t have intentions to make a purchase just yet.
At Biznet, we understand the difference between leads and prospects, between big fish and little fish. We offer numerous services to help guide businesses through each step of the buyer journey. Check out our Marketing Services page to see all we can do to help keep your business flourishing. Or give us a call at 248-560-9000.