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Prospects vs. Leads

When you are selling a product or service to a new client, there are two types of potential customers: Prospects & leads. These concepts are not the same, and understanding their differences is crucial to improving your sales process.

When someone reaches out to you; it's known as a lead. That contact is qualified; they have a requirement and are interested in your product or service.

However, when you have to make the initial move and present the product for the first time to a contact; it’s an unqualified prospect. Otherwise known as a prospect.

Most sales reps need to manage both prospects and leads. Some only handle the first, while others take care of the latter. It largely depends on the structure and how the sales department is divided. They certainly shouldn't be handled the same way, and that's where many of the traditional CRM systems go wrong.

A sales rep needs to transform a prospect quickly into a lead with minimal fuss. They can start working on trying to convert the business or cancel it if there's no further interest.

Prospects can become leads, but they can also amount to nothing. It's essential that you manage such transitions efficiently without exerting too much energy on lower-quality contacts. For this, it is necessary to have a clear prospecting organization.

Furthermore, when there is an identified lead, i.e. a qualified prospect, the sales rep needs to focus and make sure they never forget about the next action (e.g. call, send out an e-mail, arrange a meeting, etc.).

Prospects can be managed on a spreadsheet, whereas leads can’t. Leads require a precise follow-up; they need to go through the sales funnel. Calls and meetings have to be set up, and so on.

You need to know the last thing that happened to progress to the next step. It's not possible to do that on a spreadsheet.

Where is it possible to manage both prospects & leads easily and efficiently?

Manage prospects and leads with

Inside noCRM you import the spreadsheet with your prospects into what we call Prospecting Lists. When a contact becomes qualified (they have shown interest in what you have to offer), you create a lead in the system with a single click on the (+) button. If not, you cancel the row using the right-click menu and forget about it.

Once a prospect becomes a lead, you manage it like any other – with proper reminders that can sync with your calendar, with a sales funnel, a to-do page, etc.

View also: Create leads from Prospecting Files

Next read: Prospecting Lists, Leads & Client Folders