Lead vs Prospect vs Opportunity – The Difference

In the sales world, there’s a lot of jargon that can cause confusion. Among this list of terms are the labels sales teams put on potential clients—prospect, lead, and opportunity. It seems like these definitions would be straightforward, but they’re hidden behind clouds of doubt.

What is a Sales Lead?

A lead is basically a name that comes along with a person or a company. It is possible that the company is on the list that the company has put forward and it contains the very name in it. Either they can be a part of the criteria or a webinar who willingly participated in a seminar. It might so happen that the members have come up to the level of being a prospect and it gets really difficult to make a difference and identify from their activities if they are prospects or not.

Leads can be generated through a variety of methods:

  1. List, you’ve either created or bought.
  2. Client’s referrals.
  3. People who respond to your cold calling or emails.
  4. Through inbound advertising.

What you should remember when it comes to leads?  is that they are people who have shown interest, but don’t necessarily want to proceed. Leads are the first label that potential customers receive at the very beginning of the sales process.

What is Sales Prospect?

That brings up prospects. Is that person or type can be a company who has some types of problems and different challenges around us that will help in creating the value. If sometimes the company makes a call to the lead and then such problems and challenges don’t come up in the way, they don’t deserve to be called as prospects for more than one reason.

This doesn’t mean that a prospect is ready to hand you over their money, it just means they’re interested in hearing what you have to say.

What is a Sales Opportunity?

Well, when it comes to Opportunity, for a prospect to become an opportunity, they both i.e. prospects and opportunities have to agree on something that will help them to change something which will keep in account the potential partner qualities for one and all that will help to bring out the change.

The change can possibly lie around a problem or a challenge. Sometimes it may be done to extract the advantage out of the opportunity. But it is totally up to them that when is the time that they need to bring out the changes as well as explore them.

Still, confused? look at it like this:

  • Leads – People you’ve never talked to before, names off a list, referrals, or people who’ve contacted you.
  • Prospect – A lead who said yes! They’re interested in hearing more about what you have to say.
  • Opportunity – A prospect who is considering your solution and is open to hearing your sales pitch. This is the stage where they either buy or say bye.

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