Just as we cannot imagine an enterprise operating in the extractive industries not prospecting for gold, phosphate, oil, etc., so is it also unthinkable for a company selling products and services not to look for potential customers.
This is because to survive, most businesses need sales leads. That is why a money-making blog must have visitors, an advertising agency accounts, a real estate agent home buyers, and consultants clients.
What is a sales lead?
The first step in the search for leads (Marketing/sales process) is the identification of an interested person or entity that could purchase the product or service. This person becomes a sales lead; in other words, a potential customer.
Hence when a blogger displays physical or digital products on their blog and a visitor makes inquiries for more vendor information, that would be a sales lead.
Once this person buys, they become a sale. However if they decide not to purchase they remain in the sales leads database as a future prospect.
What is lead generation?
In marketing, soliciting inquiries for consumer interest or inquiry into products or services is what is called lead generation
Traditionally lead generation began at places like trade shows where visitors to a company's booth provided their contact information to receive a call back from that company’s sales team.
With the advent of the Internet, firms embraced websites for lead generation. However marketing experts recommend using at least 10 different lead generation techniques to ensure very successful lead generation.
Being the first step in the sales process, two things to look for in a lead are quality and quantity.
When leads are generated, the list usually contains a number of bad or junk leads. These are prospects who may not buy finally. The smaller the number of such leads, the better quality leads the salesperson will have. These are the prospects that a salesperson may close, i.e. convert into sales.
The value of quantity for sales marketing is that no one can close all their leads. Typically, a salesperson that generates 100 good leads may obtain 10 appointments and end up with only 4 prospects to close as the sale. So, it’s all a numbers game: the better the quality and the larger the number of leads, the greater the chances of getting the minimum required number of sales.
Who generates leads?
A company’s marketing department or sales organization is normally responsible for pursuing and closing leads.
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