What is the difference between a lead and a prospect?

Upsail team


To retain old and attract new customers, today’s business must track traffic turning into leads with subsequent transformation into actual clients. Below, we will talk about the charges and processes that increase the efficiency of working with them.


A lead is a potential customer who somehow made it clear that he was interested in your offer. For example, he followed the link or left his contacts.

When paying for contextual advertising, it would be erroneous to consider each person who came through the link as a lead. A lead is a person who goes further and applies in some way to clarify details about the proposed service or product. Each visitor to the store will not be a lead until he goes to the fitting room with the item he likes. But this does not mean that you should not be attentive to potential prospects in sales that are neutral.

In addition to options for attracting visitors to the sales prospects funnel for subsequent work with them, you need to know that:

  • You must have your unique selling proposition and know the competitors in the market.

  • It is recommended, having previously studied, to segment your audience.

  • Initially, it would help if you chose the option to attract an audience so that near-target visitors are also covered. In addition, it is essential to remember that a client can become interested in a product through contextual advertising and buy it later and through another channel.

  • An important nuance: in the analytics system, the conversion will be counted precisely on the last channel, but, as a rule, there are more participants, and this is already an associated conversion.

  • It is necessary to determine the cost of one lead based on tests, and it is precisely the lead that made the least of the actions required.

In selling consumer goods, such as inexpensive clothes or toys for children, the loss of a couple of customers will not affect the company in any way. Still, if there is a sale of expensive products and a long interaction cycle with the client is ahead, the situation may be reversed.

Lead in case of cold calls

A lead is someone who doesn’t say “no” right away. Such lead prospects can listen to your offer and feel subconsciously that it can be helpful and applicable to them. He did not immediately say, “I’m not interested,” and did not hang up at the time of communication with the operator, but he did not show much interest either. Of course, for cold calls, this is already an achievement. However, there is still a lot of work ahead of him.

Is lead generation important for b2b sales?

Lead generation plays a vital role in generating leads for various companies. Without lead generation efforts, finding leads for your business can be difficult.

A recent study confirmed the importance of lead generation for business development: 91% of marketers say lead prospects generation is their goal in 2022, and 53% of marketers admit to spending half of their budget on lead generation.

Ruler Analytics research has also shown that of the various lead generation tools that can be used, 50% of marketers consider phone calls to be an effective way to generate leads for their business.

A warm client is a more liquid asset.

Do you know where the most significant “drain” of leads occurs? That’s right, at the stage of working out the primary objections. As a rule, more than 70% of such potential customers are “lost” here. And this is even for experienced telemarketers!

After working out all the objections, the “cold” lead is transformed into a “warm” client. Work with complaints can last either 1 day or 2 weeks – it all depends on the scope of the product or service, the manufacturability and complexity of the product itself, and, of course, its cost.

That is why warm clients are valued much more than leads – after all, a good half of the work has already been done with them on the way to the coveted stage of concluding a deal. They are more liquid and can quickly turn into money on your company’s balance sheet.

In addition, warm customers are already much more loyal to your company; they prefer you more than competitors. This means that the following movements of the client along the funnel will no longer be so time-consuming. But you still have to try: a warm client is not yet the one who will be ready to pay your bill tomorrow! But such cases are also not uncommon.

The difference between prospects and leads

Let’s sum up a little by breaking down the features of warm customers compared to leads:

  • A warm client is closer to the deal in the sales funnel;

  • A warm client has fewer questions and negatives about your product: calling him warm, we assume that his objections have already been worked out;

  • A warm customer is more loyal to your company’s product/service than a competitor’s product.

Clients, working with leads.

The best option is to divide the received leads into product categories, by quality, by managers, and by target action; in this case, the choice is yours. But remember that it is not recommended to divide specific categories of customers between managers. With only two or three salespeople, they should be interchanged, and on a large scale, people can be assigned to work with “warm” or “cold.”

Do not remove from the database those who were going to but did not buy. This can happen due to the wrong mood, lack of interest, or motivation. Sellers of stores “on the couch” ring up failed customers monthly. This is done until the subscriber responds, for example, with foul language. Salespeople are right about calling but don’t consider the customer’s needs, so it’s best not to take the situation to the extreme.

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