Lead, Prospect and Sales Opportunity - what’s the difference?

Lead, Prospect and Sales Opportunity – what’s the difference?

Whether you are new to sales or have been in sales a long time, you’ve heard the terms lead, prospect and opportunity. But they can be easily mixed up. In this week’s blog, we’re going to outline what all three stages are and how they impact your selling process.

What is a sales opportunity?

A sales opportunity is a high quality, qualified prospect who has a good chance of becoming a customer. The salesperson has worked hard to ensure that your product or service is a good fit for them; they understand their pain points and know how you can benefit them.

Moving a lead into the opportunity basket has a significant impact on your forecasting. If every sales rep on your team has a different interpretation of opportunity, then they may be moving unqualified leads through your CRM system, causing inaccurate forecasts. To prevent this inconsistency, outline your sales process clearly to ensure that leads and opportunities are categorised correctly.

So, what is a lead?

A lead is a person that hasn’t been qualified yet. For example, they may have downloaded your lead magnet, or you cold-called or emailed them. The chance of them closing is unknown. Leads can be inbound, generated through marketing, or outbound, made through sales activity like cold-calling.

A sales opportunity is more than a lead. You can do your general lead qualification, so you know their budget, their decision-making power, what they need, and how soon they need it. You’re moving the lead in the right direction toward being an opportunity. And you can get an accurate win-rate forecast. This lead is now an opportunity.

Prospect defined

A prospect is a contact who is not qualified as a potential customer. Often, it’s lead and prospect that get muddled up. A lead is unqualified. A prospect has been qualified and is now in the sales process.

What makes a sales opportunity?

Every lead needs to have some pain or need before it can be converted into a sales opportunity. People are looking to solve that point of pain. If they don’t have any pain, then the chances of closing are lower. You, as a sales rep, need to figure out what the point of pain is and if your solution can solve it.

Now your prospect may have a problem; you may be able to solve it. But do they care about solving it? The next step is to ask them how long it’s been an issue if it’s always been an issue, then they don’t have any interest in solving it. This may not be their most significant issue right now. And now if it is their biggest issue, is your solution the right fit.

If you have a prospect who has both a need and they’re motivated to solve it, the next thing you want to look at is if your solution can help or hinder them. You need to be sure your solution is the right solution for them. And I know we’re all in sales, at the end of the day we want to make a sale.

We understand the demand for quality leads and the need for your team to meet those demands. We are here to help and add value by finding tangible, highly qualified leads where we have secured a date and a time for an appointment. These individuals are in your target audience, at the right decision-making level and have an interest in your solution. Taking away this pressure from your Sales team allows them to focus their time on closing deals and generating revenue.

If you are considering outsourcing your appointment setting, contact us by email info@integrileads.com or phone (+353) 057 85 09100. Follow us on LinkedIn for all of our latest updates.