The terms “leads” and “prospects” are ubiquitous English terms in marketing, and in particular within digital marketing , so that they are commonly used in French, without feeling the need to translate them.
However, when it comes to defining them, most people have a hard time explaining these two words precisely and delimiting their scope. Moreover, we notice that the terms leads and prospects are frequently used interchangeably, which in truth should not be the case.
This is why we will first distinguish between the two concepts, and then we will see how to understand them from a marketing point of view.
Definition of A Lead
Lead generation is essential to the success and sustainable growth of any business. Typically, lead generation is considered the first step in the sales process. The easiest way to understand this term lead is from the associate at the very beginning of the sales journey. A lead, therefore, is someone who may potentially be interested in the products or services you provide. But you still have only a fuzzy idea about its intention and the context surrounding its interaction with your sales site.
In fact, you probably don’t have any information about them beyond their identity and email address. If you are lucky, maybe you have some additional Burkina Faso Email List information about where they live, their age, their gender or their job. How did you get this information?
The person has probably downloaded from your site, subscribed to a newsletter or created an account, and as a result left some basic details about their identity, as we have seen. We can see that this is a basic track. That said, these few pieces of information gleaned by you are crucial, because before becoming a lead and signaling minimal interest in your products (or not, it is too early to tell), this visitor had undoubtedly already been to your site. site, but had taken no significant action. In this case we speak of a “suspect”, in terms of marketing. It’s kind of the zero level of the buyer’s cycle.
In marketing jargon, we then talk about MQL and SQL. These are the two stages which follow the one we spoke about, and which could also be characterized by the term “unqualified lead”.
So What Do the Terms Mql and Sql Cover?
The acronym MQL stands for “Marketing Qualified Lead”. It’s a cut above the lead / unqualified lead, simply because your visitor has taken a new step in their interest in your commercial offers. How? By opening one of your emails, for example, or by uploading a new document to the blog section of your site. It is by collecting information relating to each action carried out on your website that you will be able to identify these qualified leads.
The acronym SQL is used for the logical continuation of the buyer’s cycle and it stands for “Sales qualified Lead”. We can start calling an MQL under the name SQL when there is an advanced contact, such as a call, a request for information, it actually depends on the criteria established by each company. But the most important thing is that the MQL confirms its interest after this phase of contact, and it is only from this moment that the MQL changes status to become an SQL. We are getting closer and closer to buying.
In summary, a lead is basically someone who has provided you with at least some basic information that suggests an as yet undetermined interest in making a purchase from your online store.
Finding out more about them is your primary goal, once you have leads. This can be done in the form of making contact with you (two-way communication).
Definition of A Prospect
The main difference between a lead and a prospect is that the latter will go beyond the lead in the area of contact and one-way communication that you have started with them. And it is indeed the appearance of a two-way communication that suggests that an individual has a real potential to buy from your company. This is when the lead becomes a prospect, or sales prospect, to be more exact.
So a prospect is someone who shows enough potential to become a customer. This status is signaled by two-way communication: this person, who can be called lead or MQL, will for example reply to a message you sent them. It could be an email, phone call, or old-fashioned mail.
To continue, the prospect is a potential customer who has shown interest in your products or services. In the dream situation, the prospect presents problems and questions that you can exploit to create a lever that will facilitate the passage to the buying phase, or vice versa, which will disqualify him if he does not perceive the value that you have. intention to create and you fail to convince them of the usefulness of acquiring your product.