By: Juvenal Flores
Sales lead refers to the identity character of a person or an entity that has the potential of buying a particular service or product, and marks the initial stage of any sales process. The sales lead may own a corporation or any type of business (referred to a business-to-business [B2B] lead) associated with the person or persons. Sales leads arise from a variety of marketing ventures involving lead generation such as direct marketing, trade shows, Internet marketing and advertising; or from the activities of sales persons involved in prospecting, for instance cold calling. In order for any sales lead to become a qualified sales prospect, he or she must be assessed for performance. It is for this reason that getting quality sales leads is like aiming arrows in darkness- it is not common to get high quality leads.
Inquiries about sales leads are made through emails, telephone calls, or web posts. Such inquiries are aimed at getting info on the types of goods and or services offered by a particular company. There may be exceptional cases where sales leads are generated by sales people contracted to handle the task rather than through inquiries. However, such a move consumes a lot of time since the contracted sales people have to do a lot of work looking for probable sales contacts. Sales leads originate from many sources including sales clinics or promotions, referrals, family and friend contacts, Internet forums, news articles, corporate advertisements, oral address and data mining. Having generated some leads, the sales team may wait for response from the clients or go ahead contacting other potential sales leads. Along this line, it is paramount that one considers the particular needs in dealing in goods and services and how beneficial the sales leads created will be.
Once a significant number of sales leads has been attained, it is wise not to contact them immediately because essentially not all of them will be willing to become reliable sales prospects. In essence, some of the prospective may lack the qualities of good decision makers, a few may not have the financial ability to buy the product while some may already have purchased the product in context, others may lack the prerequisites of buying the product or service, and it may be difficult to contact others. Thus, before contacting any prospective sales lead, all the aforementioned factors must be highlighted and thoroughly evaluated. Other very important factors that need to be assessed are timing and season since some products and services may be needed or may be in high demand only in some parts of the year. Hence, the timing has to be such that only the best season or time is targeted.
When it comes to generating sales leads, knowledge of the products in context is very important since it gives different sales people a diversity of techniques of making the product interesting to a potential customer. If the product is well understood, the company experiences good harmony and coordination between the marketing and sales departments.