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Prospect: Identifying Your Future Customers

What Is a Prospect?

A prospect in sales is an individual or organization that has the potential to become a customer. Prospects have been identified as fitting the target market criteria and have shown some level of interest or fit for the product or service offered. They are at the early stages of the sales funnel, where the focus is on nurturing their interest and moving them towards making a purchase. Distinguishing a lead from a prospect is crucial; all prospects are leads, but not all leads qualify as prospects based on their likelihood to buy.

Variations in еerminology:

  • Proximate synonyms: Potential Client, Sales Lead, Potential Buyer.
  • Related terms: Lead Generation, Sales Funnel, Customer Journey.

Meaning in Different Areas

  • Lead generation: The first step towards identifying individuals or organizations as prospects.
  • Appointment setting: Engaging prospects to secure a meeting or presentation, a crucial step in the sales process.
  • Customer service: Sometimes, customer service interactions can turn a general inquiry into a prospect through effective communication.
  • Digital marketing: Digital marketing strategies are employed to attract and define prospects based on online behavior and engagement.
  • B2B sales: In B2B sales, a prospect is often a decision-maker or influencer within an organization that can benefit from the product or service.
  • Most frequently used and most important - lead generation: Identifying prospects is fundamental in lead generation, where the goal is to nurture them through the sales funnel toward a purchase.

A Real World Example of Prospect Identification

Consider a company that manufactures eco-friendly office supplies. They attend a sustainability conference to showcase their products. They gather contact information from attendees interested in greener office solutions. These attendees are now considered prospects because they have shown interest and fit the company’s target market profile. The sales team will follow up with these prospects to provide more information, aiming to convert them into customers.

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