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Sales prospect: How to define and attract ideal leads to improve your sales process

By December 27, 2022No Comments

Do you find attracting sales prospects a particularly difficult task? You’re not alone, many sales professionals find themselves in the same position.

Prospecting is intimidating and time-consuming. People new to sales quickly learn the importance of honing their ability to handle dismissals, overcome sales objections and generate genuine leads. Figuring out how to prospect quality leads, however, takes time and experience.

The good news is that most people appreciate the outreach process and are willing to listen to what salespeople have to say. Statistics show that only 2% of prospects want to avoid talking to sellers during their buying journey.

That said, if you want to be heard you need to target ideal sales prospects, and the first step is figuring out how to define your ideal lead as well as decipher a prospect vs. lead. Once you generate a pipeline full of optimal prospects and shed unqualified leads you can build a successful, repeatable process that gives you and your sales organization an edge over the competition.

Let’s dive into how to define your ideal prospect and six techniques you can use to attract them into your pipeline.

Table of Contents
Sales prospect definition
How to prospect for sales
How to define your ideal sales prospect
How to qualify leads and turn them into prospects
Six sales prospecting techniques to attract your ideal customer

Sales prospect definition
Any prospecting definition should begin with this question: Do you understand the difference between the prospect vs. lead definitions?

The single biggest difference between a sales prospect and a sales lead is the level of engagement they’ve had with your service or product.

A prospect has shown interest in your product, has demonstrated an intent to make a purchase and is open to communicating with you further to find out more about your solution.

A lead is someone who has entered your company’s nurturing process but is yet to show interest beyond opening your emails and reading your content. They haven’t engaged further or reached out to see how your company can help them more.

Leads still have a place in your sales funnel, but if we’re talking about how valuable they are compared to prospects, it’s a no-brainer. Leads sit at the top of your sales funnel, but because a prospect has already shown an interest in your product or a need for your solution, they can easily move to the middle of the funnel.

Closing prospects is a lot easier as you know they’re interested in what you’re selling and are already potential buyers. Prospects are ready to be pitched and sold to. For a lead to become a prospect, they must show more interest than just interacting with your content or signing up for your email newsletter. They must have had first contact or some kind of interaction with a sales rep, whether that’s done by a member of your sales team reaching out through email or making a phone call.

How to prospect for sales
Successful sales prospecting is all about taking advantage of channels available to you and leveraging them as effectively as possible. Here are some of the channels you can prospect on and how to prospect on them.

Use social media: Social media is a great resource for salespeople looking to qualify leads. You can use it to increase your personal presence in your industry, engage with potential customers, research potential prospects, identify decision makers and even contact them. (Read more about using LinkedIn in particular later in the article.)

Use sales prospecting tools: There are a number of tools available to salespeople who want to automate parts of their lead generation and prospecting. Try, which helps you find emails and contact potential customers.

Network online and offline: Attend trade shows and conferences or host online events like webinars, then ask your customers and clients to help you get in touch with other businesses who might benefit from your service. Always keep business cards handy in case someone presents a sale opportunity.

Use email marketing and direct mail as part of your marketing strategy: Create a newsletter with thought-leadership content and send it out to leads. Send personalized emails in order to get them interested.

Generate referrals: Reward customers who bring prospects to your company, set up partnership deals and marketing campaigns with brand advocates who promote your business and get testimonials and case studies from happy customers.

Make your website a prospecting tool: With the right content and call-to-actions, you can get leads to share their contact information and drive prospects to sign up for your newsletter. With Chatbot, part of our LeadBooster add-on, you can use your website to capture leads and prospects and deliver them to your salespeople.

Pick up the phone: Cold calling may not be the hot sales technique anymore, but if you call a qualified lead at the right time, with the right script, you are more likely to turn them into a qualified prospect.


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