Several companies do not differentiate between Leads and Opportunities but we feel that Leads are forming a key part of the sales pipeline in the Quote-to-Cash (Q2C) process. Hence Leads are not Opportunities yet and the sales team need to convert the Leads into Opportunities as a simple KPI in any company.
What is a Lead?
A lead is essentially a person with contact information who you should be able to sell a product or a service to. They were formed because they contacted you in some way, whether it was by filling out a contact form on your website or exchanging business cards with someone at a tradeshow. A lead does not have to be someone with purchasing power; it might just be someone who has contacted the organization. Always ensure that the Lead Source is configured and that there is a clear method to track what they have done and where they come from. This way you can focus effort and time towards more successful marketing campaigns based on the findings from your data.
What is an Opportunity?
An opportunity is a deal that you may or may not win and a qualified Lead. To put it simply, an opportunity is a lead that has been qualified for whatever reason. Most businesses convert leads as soon as they feel they can sell to them and have an estimated date for sales order or contract delivery.
How does a Lead become an Opportunity?
Different companies may implement their own rules or standards to qualify leads. Leads may follow a process to become qualified i.e.:
- Basic Contact information has been received (Lead is created)
- Salesperson reaches out and confirm that there is some sort of an interest in the product or company (Need is established)
- Confirm that the person has the authority to make purchasing decisions. If not, then find out what is the procurement process (Power base established)
- Opportunity is created and Close Date for Deal is Established (Quotation / sales pipeline data established)
- Win the deal and execute (Q2C – quote to cash)
So, from the above you can see that there is indeed a major difference between A Lead and an Opportunity. In Streambean360 all leads are recorded and is allocated to a sales contact for action within a certain date.
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