Sales and marketing terminology is an ever-evolving organism. Some of the most commonly used words are those that make up the buying cycle. Terms such as lead, prospect and customer tend to be company specific, often marketing and sales team differ completely in their individual definitions. However, an indisputable takeaway is that a lead comes before a prospect – which can also be considered a sales qualified lead. The real challenge lies in the qualification process.
According to AeroLeads, “The one main similarity between a lead and a prospect is that both haven’t shown any interest in buying.”
Yet, there are differing opinions when it comes to deciding when a lead is ready to become a prospect who is ready to buy.
The best place to start is to automate the lead generation process and create ideal criteria for both lead and prospect using the most accurate data you can gather. According to the Ascend2 study, “35 per cent of those surveyed said the biggest barrier to lead generation success is the lack of quality data.”
Where can you source accuracy?
Calls. Real-time call data is proven to be more reliable than any other channel and can speed up the lead to prospect journey. Let’s break it down.
Leads are traditionally defined as potential customers who have problems a brand can solve and improve. Providing a relevant and exciting experience in order to turn leads into prospects can be helped by positively responding to patterns of behaviour and most of all pain points.
Call data metrics provide stats for call volume, calls missed, time of day, geolocation and sites visited – all important information needed to better understand the journey. Cumulatively, these paint a picture of how leads are entering the brand realm and most of all why they fail to become a prospect. If an inbound campaign is working and bringing in call enquiries or website views, the call data will reveal this.
In fact, in the automotive sector dealerships gain 50% more leads when tailoring phone numbers to be displayed based on geolocation.
Eventually, leads become prospects after just the right amount of nurturing and follow-ups. Hubspot found that “the odds of a lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website.
Response time can aid in turning a lead into a prospect then towards conversion, for any business utilising call centres this is a major KPI. Fast response times are vital in the final stage of the purchase journey. If agents aren’t calling back or prioritising high-value calls, the leads fall away and sales are left with little.
Fill in the spaces between lead and prospect with more exact data via calls, start the journey strong and end with a bang.