We encounter the term “lead” in various fields, such as marketing, music, sports, journalism or even pharmaceutical research, and everywhere it has a different meaning.
But what is the meaning of a lead in sales and marketing?
In this context, a lead stands for an initiation of contact and/or submission of contact information on the part of a potential customer (prospects).
Simply put, leads are people who have shown interest in your product or service in some way. For example, they have signed up for your newsletter, started a specific contact inquiry, left your business card for you, or filled out a contact form. In doing so, there is not necessarily an intention to buy, it is merely the interest that he expresses. However, if this interest is confirmed (by a non-binding purchase intention) then a lead becomes a “Qualified Lead”. One of the main goals in B2B marketing is to generate a lead and thus win over customers.
There are two types of leads: Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). MQLs are people who are already engaged with your brand, but aren’t ready to buy. They may simply need more information about their product or service. SQLs, on the other hand, are people who are quite ready to buy. Usually, they have already been contacted by a sales representative and have also received answers to their questions.
To generate/acquire leads there are a number of ways. You can write interesting and helpful blog posts, create whitepapers, offer free trials or demos of your products or services, and more.