What is the difference between lead and prospect ?

Many business leaders confuse the two marketing terms: lead and prospect. However, in commercial prospecting, knowing how to differentiate between the two is crucial in order to choose the most appropriate commercial prospecting strategies for a given situation. This article will allow you to know everything about leads and prospects.

Browse through the following lines to find explanations concerning the 3 essential points:

  • What are the differences between a lead and a prospect ?
  • How to convert leads into prospects?
  • How to convert these prospects into customers?


The difference between a lead and a prospect

Difference between lead and prospect

Lead and prospect are two very common terms in digital marketing. They each have their own meaning and function in commercial prospecting. They both contribute to increasing the return on investment of your company.

The definition of a lead

Firstly, a lead is a person or a company with the same profile as your persona. In digital marketing, it is synonymous with contact. The role of a web marketer is to define the most effective strategies and prospecting tools to generate leads with the objective of converting them into prospects.

The definition of a prospect

Secondly, a prospect is an individual who has agreed to enter a conversion tunnel. A lead becomes a prospect when he shows interest in an offer following your first contact. They respond to a specific call to action by downloading a white paper or subscribing to a newsletter.

The digital marketer must at this stage implement a communication strategy to convert prospects into customers. The effectiveness of the technique to adopt depends on the maturity level of a target. It can indeed be a :

  • cold prospect ;
  • lukewarm prospect ;
  • hot prospect.

Knowing how to distinguish a lead from a prospect allows you to identify the most appropriate digital marketing strategy and to choose the most effective type of content. Most importantly, distinguishing between them will help you increase your conversion rate.


How do you convert leads into prospects?

There are several outbound and inbound marketing methods to convert your leads into prospects. This is why, sales prospecting professionals often advise :

Create relevant content

Propose content that responds to the problems of your targets. However, avoid boasting about the characteristics of your offer or you risk losing your qualified leads. Try to add value to each of your publications in order to gain the trust of your leads.

Using a prospecting tool

A prospecting tool makes it easier to generate leads in order to attract a large number of prospects. With Kaspr, you get multiple features, including LinkedIn prospecting automation.

Use of different distribution channels

Using a LinkedIn prospecting tool alone is not enough for successful digital marketing. You can interact on multiple social networks. Actually, the use of different platforms is essential to succeed in your outbound recruiting while promoting the conversion of leads into prospects.


How do you convert prospects into customers?

Turn prospect into customer

On average, only 1/5th of all leads become customers. It is therefore crucial in any sales prospecting process to gather all the relevant techniques to encourage prospects to convert into customers.

The importance of email prospecting

Email prospecting is an effective method to acquire new customers. Your role in commercial prospecting, is to accompany your prospects in their buying journey. Formulate a short and impactful email by proposing a solution to their problems. Moreover, don’t forget to add a call to action (CTA) in order to encourage them to quickly enter a conversion tunnel.

Personalizing content

Before conducting a sales call, take the time to identify all the important information related to your prospects’ needs. Choose the type of content according to the maturity level of a future buyer. In other word, you should also try to answer the specific requests expressed by a prospect so that he is convinced that your proposal is really addressed to him.

Retention of new customers

Prospecting does not stop with the conversion of prospects into customers. Indeed, it remains essential to know how to retain them so that they come back to you later. You can even ask them to tell their friends and family about your products and services. Referrals are one of the most effective business development strategies to quickly convert a prospect into a customer.


Things to remember

As we saw, lead generation is the first phase of sales prospecting. The next step consists in transforming them into prospects before accompanying them in their buying journey. Converting prospects into customers is the goal of any business, but you still need to put marketing strategies in place to keep them coming back. Finally, to help you succeed in your lead generation campaign, take the time to read these effective tips for B2B prospecting.

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