When potential customers come into contact with your business, they are called ‘sales leads’. You can be said to have acquired sales leads when potential customers express interest in your products or services. 

They may not be ready to buy right away, but they almost always need what you have to offer in the future. Leads are often generated by word-of-mouth or social media. In most cases, a company’s marketing department is in charge of generating leads.

 

Importance of Leads in Sales

When starting a business, it is critical to generate leads. Most businesses will not grow if they don’t have a steady stream of potential customers and sales. For a business, a steady supply of leads ensures profitability and growth.

 

Types of Leads

It’s not easy to get sales leads. Often, businesses don’t know which of the types of sales leads they’re dealing with, and they keep putting their resources into it. Because they are unfamiliar with it, they have no idea how to use it to their advantage. For the business’s success, it is essential to know the various types of sales leads.

 

1. Hot Lead

A hot lead is the first type of lead in the sales funnel. This is the type of lead that has shown some interest in your business by their own volition. They may have completed a demo or contacted you directly to learn more about your company. If you don’t respond quickly enough to these leads, you risk losing their interest. They may even be contacting your competitors to find the best solution for themselves. It is easier to convert them into prospects.

 

2. Cold Lead

One of the most common types of sales leads is a cold lead who is not interested in your services but fits your ideal customer profile. It’s called a “cold lead” because it isn’t very qualified and requires a lot of effort, hard work, and constant lead nurturing to turn into a prospect. But even though these leads aren’t ready to buy, they are still in the sales cycle or on the prospect list because of their need.

 

3. Warm Lead

The term “warm” refers to a potential customer who is already familiar with your company, its products, or even just your name. These are the people who have read your content, watched your videos, or even had a conversation with you in the past and are now interested in your offerings. Regardless of the source, they’re more likely to turn into customers than a cold lead. They have a high success rate in completing the deal.

 

4. Information Qualified Lead (IQL)

This type of lead comes when potential customers randomly contact the business while seeking information. Even though they have given you some information about themselves, they haven’t expressed any interest in your solutions. When a customer fills out a form to access a free ebook, webinar, report, etc., an IQL is generated.

You get a little bit of information about the potential customers, which helps you determine whether or not they’re a good fit for you.

 

5. Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQL)

One step ahead of an information-qualified lead is a marketing-qualified lead. As the name implies, this type of lead is generated by marketing efforts. Some of them may have been interested in the topic after watching a webinar or reading a blog post. Because they’ve done more than download one piece of content, marketing-qualified leads, or MQLs, they have a little more background knowledge about your business than IQLs.

 

6. Sales-Ready Lead (SRL)

The sales-ready lead is one of the rarest types of sales leads. A sales-ready lead (SRL) is found at the bottom of the funnel, and it is ready for further processing by the sales team. However, your organization’s policies will dictate how ready you are. Some may consider leads as sales-ready if they have read even one ebook. Others may consider a lead ready for sales only when they have expressed full interest in the product or service they are interested in.

 

7. Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)

A sales qualified lead is prepared to meet with your sales team. There is a lot of curiosity, and they are eager to buy from you. While this may be the case, customers may nonetheless be comparing your product to your competitors. These are high-potential prospects who require your immediate attention. Getting in touch with qualified leads is a cinch because all you have to do is confirm their identity, then start the sales process.

Related: Sales Qualification

 

How to Define Good Sales Leads?

Any lead interested in your offerings and one day can become a paying customer is valuable. A well-nurtured lead and can be passed on to your sales team can be considered a good lead. These prospective customers must also qualify themselves through their actions to demonstrate that they are a good fit for your company.

 

However, there are some general characteristics to look for when identifying good sales leads:

  • The most promising leads are those you have a lot of information about. For a lead to be considered good, you must have their email address, contact information, demographic information, purchasing habits, and so on. 
  • The lead should show an interest in your products and indicate that they are ready to buy. 
  • Those who have a clear understanding of the buying journey are better prospects because it demonstrates that they are genuinely interested in the product.
  • Any serious prospect will usually take some time to become acquainted with your company’s structure and product offerings. 
  • Your phone calls and follow-up emails will be answered more enthusiastically by a lead that has already made initial contact with you. 
  • While you should take all leads seriously, those who can afford to buy the product deserve more attention.
  • With authority, you can have a say in the ultimate purchasing choice, even if you’re on a tight budget. It’s important to know whether the individual you’re dealing with has the authority to buy.
  • Customers who truly need your goods or service are the best leads. 

Read Also: Lead Management Process

 

Conclusion

It’s critical to classify different types of leads. Depending on the lead’s qualification and where they fit in the sales and marketing process, they’ll need to be handled differently. Knowing the type of your lead among the different types of leads is critical to put in the right mix of effort, hard work, and lead nurturing to achieve the goal.