Leads, Prospects, and the Huge Gap Between

The leads marketing delivers to the sales team never seem good enough. Either the leads are "bad" and are wastes of a salesperson's time, or there are just not enough "good" ones. If sales had more good prospects, the company would have more sales. Perhaps sales and marketing could work together more successfully if all agreed on what is a lead and what is a prospect.

A lead wants what you have, pure and simple. Somehow they've gotten the idea that what you have will improve their situation, so much so that they're willing to raise their hand and identify themselves. You have succeeded in moving them from anonymity. They have "stepped into the light" and are willing to engage with you in conversation, if only temporarily. We describe people at this stage of the buying cycle as Engaged.

Sometimes this process reveals that we have a "bad" lead; these are people who don't really want what we are selling, but want something else from us, usually for free!

A prospect not only (1) wants what you have, but also has (2) ability to buy and (3) reason to buy now.

A true prospect can afford what you're selling. That means they have available -- or can get -- the budget needed to make the purchase. Plus they have the authority to make the purchase; to "sign the check", if you will.

A true prospect also has a reason to buy now. Perhaps there's an external compelling event that will require them to make a decision soon. Or perhaps they harbor an internal reason -- often emotional in nature -- that carries enough drive to induce them to open up their wallet and buy now.

Somewhere between leads and prospects we have shoppers. Those are buyers who want what you have, and (2) have the ability to buy, but no particular reason to buy today. Much sales (and marketing) energy is expended converting shoppers into buyers. Prospects are easier to convert, because we know they're going to buy from somebody, and soon.

The questions we choose to ask people who engage with us need to help us understand the answers to those 3 questions. We'll get more positive decisions when we can establish that a lead truly is a prospect.

Copyright 2005 Paul Johnson. All rights reserved.

Paul Johnson of Panache and Systems LLC consults and speaks on business strategy for systematically boosting sales performance using Shortcuts to Yes?. Check out more salesforce development tips at http://panache-yes.com/tips.html. Call Paul direct in Atlanta, Georgia, USA at (770) 271-7719.

In The News:

CAIT seeks ban on Amazon, Flipkart's festive season sales  MoneycontrolThe Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on September 13 asked the government to ban upcoming festive sales on Amazon India and its rival Flipkart.
Maruti Suzuki blames increase in ownership cost for declining car sales  Business StandardThis view comes in the backdrop of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's comment that a change in the ownership pattern of cars from owned vehicles to cab ...
Ahead of big billion day sales, Flipkart expands delivery reach by 80% to cover pan India  The Financial ExpressWith this increase in reach, Flipkart consumers in smaller towns will be able to access large appliances such as Smart TVs, washing machines and refrigerators, ...
Slowdown Blues: How would Ola, Uber cause truck sales to plummet, asks Yashwant Sinha  Business TodaySinha also raises doubts about Sitharaman's announcement to organise a mega-shopping festival in India; says.
Ban Amazon and Flipkart's festival sales, traders body urges govt  LivemintTraders body CAIT has written to the govt seeking a 'blanket ban' on festive season sales conducted by e-commerce giant Flipkart, its rival Amazon and others.
Tractor sales free fall continues, see sharpest decline in August  ETAuto.comIn August 2019, tractor sales stood at 37, 050 units against 44390 units in the same month last year, according to the latest data by Tractors and Me..
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Polka to the top: Inditex registers 7 percent sales growth thanks to one Zara dress  Moneycontrol.comInditex said the unusually warm summer in Europe this year helped push sales for the dress.
Huge Drop In Toyota Fortuner SUV, Innova Crysta MPV Sales In August 2019  GaadiWaadi.comThe ongoing sales slump in the auto sector has affected even some top-selling models like Toyota Fortuner and Innova Crysta.
Post-sale discount under GST: A clear position may help boost festive sales  Business StandardReaders may accuse me of hyperbole, but from my vantage point, it appears that never has removal of certain ambiguities/errors in tax laws been so critical for ...
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Cullman County August home sales up 33% from prior year  Alabama NewsCenterSales: According to the Cullman Association of Realtors Multiple Listing *Service*, Cullman County residential sales totaled 108 units during August, up 33.3% ...
Great Wall sales pick up; Geely slump continues  Automotive NewsSales at Great Wall Motor Co., China's largest light-truck maker, gathered steam in August on demand for a new crossover and pickups. But deliveries at Geely ...
Auto Crisis: Two-Wheeler Sales Slip 22 Per Cent In August 2019  NDTVAuto.comTwo-wheeler sales in India declined the worst in over two decades in August 2019, with both motorcycle and scooter sales falling over 22 per cent.
Auto sales: Govt took the bold step of charging the proper price of car driving  The Indian ExpressYet much worse is happening with the Motor Vehicles Act, a fine piece of legislation to make car drivers behave in a responsible fashion.
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City sales tax revenue up for month, down for year  Herald-BannerLocal merchants had a busy July, reporting boosts in sales tax revenue they received.
Decoding FM Sitharaman's claim: Is only Ola, Uber behind auto slowdown?  India TodayIndia Today Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) has found that not only is the auto sector facing a slowdown, but cab aggregators Ola and Uber are also witnessing a ...
Top 20 hatchback sales Sep 2019 - Maruti Swift No 1, Tata Tiago 9th  RushLaneHere are the best selling hatchbacks of India. Top hatchback sales Sep 2019 reveals that Maruti Swift has overtaken Baleno and Alto.
Vinyl records are on track to outsell compact discs for the first time in 33 years and prices have risen 490%  CNBCCD sales have fallen 34% to $698 million, the first time it had totaled less than $1 billion since 1986.
Rain takes a toll on cracker sales in Hubballi  Times of IndiaHUBBALLI: Continuous rain, the recent floods that caused havoc in the district, restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court, anti-pollution campaigns an.
Port Angeles man charged with heroin sales  Peninsula Daily NewsPORT ANGELES — A 30-year-old Port Angeles man has been charged with dealing heroin next to a school bus stop after the latest in a series of drug-related ...
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All the best sales to shop this weekend: Insane deals on Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, Sony, and more  Yahoo LifestyleWe scoured the internet for the best deals this weekend—so you don't have to!
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Fasten your seat belts: Big auto slowdown sale is here  Economic TimesRebates for PVs are now as high as 29% while truckmakers are further pushing up the meter to 20-25%.
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Two-Wheeler August 2019 Sales Analysis – Hero, Honda, TVS, Bajaj, Suzuki, RE  GaadiWaadi.comThe domestic two-wheeler volumes in August 2019 stood at 15,14196 units with a massive 22.24 YoY sales decline.
India’s deepening car sales slump spreads alarm  Financial TimesAnnual festive season to be a key test as car market faces worst crisis in 20 years.
Auto sales slowdown: Carmakers cannot sit idle waiting for a saviour; proactive approach, fresh strategy...  FirstpostThis crisis is a good opportunity for carmakers to introspect and see if they have been taking the Indian customer for granted vis-à-vis other markets.
If the Landgate sale is not a broken promise from Labor, it is certainly a big about-turn  ABC NewsThe Landgate deal represents a sizeable change in position by WA Labor, a party that spent years fighting tooth and nail against privatisations but just locked in ...
Tata Motors' Global Sales Drop 32% in August  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Tata Motors reported a 32% decline in the group's global vehicle sale (wholesale) for August to 72,464 units. This includes the sales numbers for ...
Weekly top residence sales for Aiken County for Aug. 29 through Sept. 5  Aiken StandardThis information has been gathered from public information available at qpublic.schneidercorp.com.
Automobile sales in India see the worst-ever fall in 21 years  Economic TimesAutomobile sales in India witnessed its worst-ever drop in August with despatches in all segments, including passenger vehicles and two-wheelers, continuing ...
JLR sales dip 7% in August to 34,176 units  LivemintNEW DELHI : Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), a part of Tata Motors, on Monday reported a 6.7 per cent decline in total sales at 34,176 units in August as compared ...
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U.S. vaping illness alarms Canada as country prepares to allow legal sales  PBS NewsHourTORONTO — The serious lung illness affecting hundreds of people in the U.S. who vaped cannabis-based oil is giving Canadian health officials pause as that ...
Gold Price Prediction - Prices Whipsaw Following Stronger US Retail Sales  FX EmpireGold prices whipsawed for a second consecutive trading session as indecision became the theme of the day. US yields surged higher, but the greenback was ...
Flipkart aims to double its sales during Big Billion Day  LivemintWalmart-owned online retailer Flipkart hopes to double sales during its flagship Big Billion Day (BBD) event, two people aware of its sales targets said.
Car sales plummet 41% in Aug; nine consecutive month decline  ETAuto.comAll the segments of the Indian auto market remain in red for the month of August. NEW DELHI: Domestic sales in India continue to slump with passenger vehicles ...
Two wheeler sales Aug 2019 - Hero, Honda, TVS, Bajaj, Suzuki, Royal Enfield  RushLaneTwo wheeler sales continue to decline in India. For Two wheeler sales Aug 2019 report, Hero stayed on top, followed by Honda, TVS, Bajaj, Suzuki, RE.
Sales no more on autopilot, car companies pray for a break  LivemintMint analyses the factors behind the sector's worst slowdown as it struggles with changing paradigms.
Honda, Suzuki alter 2-wheeler production plans amid weak sales  LivemintHMSI had last year announced a *fresh* investment of ₹630 crore at its Vithalapur plant near Ahmedabad.The relook at the production plans follows a more than ...
Maruti Suzuki's BS6 Models Constitute 70 Per Cent Of Its Total Sales  Car and BikeMaruti Suzuki has announced that it has received significant response for its BS6 vehicles. Recently, the carmaker announced that seven of its petrol models ...
Petrol, diesel sales fall by over 50% in Bihar  Times of IndiaPATNA: The implementation of the new Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 with steep fines for traffic violations appear to have taken a toll on the sales of diesel and petrol ...
BPCL jumps 7% on reports of govt mulling stake sale  Moneycontrol.comShares of Bharat Petroleum Corporation gained 7 percent intraday on September 13 after a media report indicated that the government may be considering ...
Pre-Owned Car Sales Expected to Grow 10 Percent in 2019, Millennial Emerge Biggest Buyers: OLX  News18At a time when new car sales are witnessing record decline in India, pre-owned vehicles are likely to witness 10 per cent growth in sales to touch 4.4 million ...
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Skoda Rapid, Octavia, Kodiaq, Superb August 2019 Sales Analysis  GaadiWaadi.comSkoda will spearhead the Volkswagen Group's Vision 2.0 in India and is going through a rough patch with a bit higher than 1000 units sold in August.
"I have never seen such a decline in innerwear sales in my career," says Vinod Gupta of Dollar Industries  CNBCTV18Innerwear companies believe sales in the upcoming festive and winter seasons will show how entrenched the slowdown is in the sector.Get latest Business ...
How to Make Your Sales Forecasts More Accurate  Harvard Business ReviewConsistently accurate sales forecasts are gold. They deliver the revenue predictability that is essential for companies to accelerate their growth and success.
In a first, Maruti Suzuki to lease 100 sales outlets to car dealers  Business StandardIn a first for a passenger vehicle maker in the country, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) will soon start leasing nearly 100 outlets for showrooms and workshops to its ...

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