This article is about the buzz marketing jargon such as Sales Lead, B2B, B2C and Conversions. Sales leads are very important for any business and sales professionals constantly keep on devising methods to keep their sales lead funnel full.
A sales lead is the identification of a person, or entity that has the interest and authority to purchase a product, or service. This is the first step in the sales process. The identification of the sales lead is referred to as Lead Generation: a process conducted by either the marketing or sales organization.
The sales lead can be business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). There can also be generic sales leads e.g. a person signs up for a type of offer, instead of a particular company or brand. Sales leads come from either
lead generation company processes such as trade shows, direct marketing, advertising, Internet marketing, spam, gimmicks, or from sales person prospecting activities such as cold calling, or making a connection through a social network.
Most businesses have a qualification process for a sales lead to qualify as a sales prospect. Generally, the process involves identifying by direct interrogation the lead’s product applicability, availability of funding and time frame for purchase. This qualification process also guides the entry point of a sales tunnel, sales funnel or sales pipeline.
There is a wide range of different products centered around sales lead generation. Quality depends on how the leads are sold and what the lead companies’ policies are for buying Internet leads. For example: Exclusive Internet leads are sold to one company, but depending on the company may be sold again the next day as a shared lead. So, the shared leads are sold to multiple companies. The more that one lead is sold the lesser it’s value.
The huge data on the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ etc., is giving insight into prospective clients. Social Data aggregation sites such as Namegeneration.net, Infousa.com, and Spoke.com are making it easy to buy this data for use in sales, marketing, and recruiting.
Once a qualified lead exists, additional operations may be performed such as background research on the lead’s employer, general market of the lead, contact information beyond that provided initially, or other information useful for contacting, evaluating a lead and for elevation to prospect status, the next sales step.
If a sales lead eventually makes a purchase, this is called conversion and a closed sale. The ratio of sales leads that convert is often referred to as the conversion rate, a way to measure the effectiveness of a sales process, sales team, or sales person.