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Prospecting and sales lead generation: Know the difference

Knowing the difference between prospecting and sales lead generation can be the deciding factor for many companies when it comes to achieving the business goals.

In an increasingly complex business world, definitions and differences are getting convoluted by the day, segregating terms is quite the task. However, the terms ‘prospecting’ and ‘sales lead generation’ are now being used so synonymously that it’s actually hurting business sentiments across the world.

The fact is, that while the basic definitions are certainly quite similar, considering the fact that the intention of both is to get more business, ones may be tricked into thinking them as the same thing. But one actually needs to employ both these tactics to maximize the potential and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. Technically, sales lead generation needs to be done by the marketing staff and prospecting by the sales team, which is a disconnect in itself going by the name. but that’s how it is! So one needs to first of all make sure that the right task is assigned to the right person.

If the business needs to generate leads at this very instant, and executes a sales lead generation campaign that is created to nurture leads in the long term, one can’t hope to get very far when it comes to satiating the business demands. On the contrary, if the requirement is to build relationships with prospects over a period of time and one tries aggressive tactics, that too is going to fall flat on the face. So, while deciding what’s the plan of action for the times to come, two things are of utmost importance. First, to decide on the short and long term goals. And second, to know which strategy is going to take one to the desired objective.

When to consider lead generation

One can think of sales lead generation, which is a longer process that gives results gradually. Here are the situations wherein one must go for this:

  •       To build awareness and get prospects to show interest before contact is made
  •        To execute strategies consequently and build awareness within a defined market segment
  •         To use a combination of personal, collaborative and digital prospect gathering strategies
  •           To develop and approach that ensures a constant flow of leads
  •           To attract warmer, and more qualified, leads

When to consider prospecting

Prospecting is more urgent and short term compared to sales lead generation. Here’s a glimpse of situations when one should consider the same:

  •           If the goal is to get an appointment
  •           If prospects are to be engaged via a combination of calling, social media and email
  •           If the company wishes to focus on a specific list of customer micro segments to make sure the value proposition is relevant
  •           If the brand is confident that it can deliver the value proposition

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