What is a 'Sales Lead'

A sales lead is the identification data gathered from a prospective buyer of a product or service. Businesses gain access to sales leads through advertising, trade shows, direct mailings, third parties, and other marketing efforts. A sales lead is not a sales prospect because further qualification of the new client possibility is necessary to determine their intent and interest.

BREAKING DOWN 'Sales Lead'

The sales process begins when a sales lead is generated, qualified, and placed into a company's sales pipeline. Sales professionals use the lead's contact information to send sales emails, make outbound sales calls, and provide direct marketing material. Several factors will determine the quality of sales leads. These qualifying factors include whether the individual or business was incentivized to give contact information, the accuracy of the data provided, and the validity of the sales lead. Sales lead validity depends on whether the targeted person was aware of the sales opportunity when they responded.

The New Age of Internet Sales Leads

A report issued by Pew Research Center in March of 2018 states that 89% of Americans access the internet. Because of this increased access, the internet provides ample opportunities to obtain sales leads.  However, the acquisition of sales leads is a strategic process that requires skill and effort. Businesses gain quality sales leads and prospects by using the internet to educate and offer solutions to consumers' unmet needs or problems. For example, tech businesses may provide e-books, hold webinars, and broadcast podcasts to educate consumers on the use of a product or software. Sales professionals hold interactive online sessions and publish white papers and Q&A material.

The Downside of Internet Sales Leads

The internet allows sales professionals to extend their reach globally. However, many internet users are wary of providing their personal or private information to an online business. Consumers are increasingly demanding that information submitted through online sources be kept private. 

Traditional in-person networking tends to be more efficient. Industry trade shows and networking events provide a wealth of sales leads for businesses. The local chamber of commerce is an excellent place to find leads. Another useful strategy includes disseminating information about products or services through local media advertisements and interviews. Businesses are learning that when they give, they also receive. Donations of time, efforts, or supplies to local public service and nonprofit organizations provide the benefits of feeling good about helping others and places the company's name in front of many viewers.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Retail Sales

    Retail sales are an aggregated measure of the sales of retail ...
  2. Internet of Things (IoT)

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network comprised of physical ...
  3. Lead Magnet

    A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service ...
  4. Leading Indicator

    A leading indicator is a measurable economic factor that can ...
  5. Consumer Internet Barometer

    The Consumer Internet Barometer is a quarterly survey report ...
  6. Lead Time

    Lead time is the amount of time that elapses between the beginning ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Revisiting the Internet Sales Tax Bill: 2013 Vs. 2015

    Learn about the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 being reviewed by congress and the differences between it and the 2013 Marketplace Fairness Act.
  2. Tech

    How Advisors Can Use Tech to Capture Leads

    The majority of financial advisors may own CRM solutions, but relatively few effectively leverage the solutions to cultivate leads. Here are some tips.
  3. Taxes

    Use Tax Vs. Internet Sales Tax: How Are They Different?

    Learn about the differences between a use tax and an Internet sales tax. Find out about transactions in which the taxes apply, and to whom they apply.
  4. Small Business

    7 steps to selling your small business

    Selling your small business is often a complex venture. These seven considerations can help you build a solid plan for profit and lead to success.
  5. Investing

    How The Internet Has Changed Investing

    Discover the significant impact the Internet has had on how we invest and view the markets.
  6. Tech

    Can Decentralized, Blockchain-based Internet Become A Reality?

    Here’s what a decentralized, blockchain-based internet promises, and where it may face issues.
  7. Retirement

    Ready to Retire? Here's How to Sell and Close Your Small Business

    Learn the essential steps to prepare to sell your business with the best possible outcome, a secure retirement for you and your family.
  8. Investing

    "Online Sales Ratio" Key To Retail Success

    Some retailers are putting up some amazing numbers online, and it could point towards successful retail plays.
  9. Taxes

    Possible Effects Of The Online Retail Tax

    The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that will impose a sales tax on online retailers. Discover how the Marketplace Fairness Act could affect your bottom line.
  10. Insights

    How The Trump Admin Might Affect Net Neutrality

    The internet industry is scrambling to figure out what implications Trump's presidency have on open internet rules.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do Internet companies profit if they give away their services for free?

    Learn how companies in the Internet sector make a profit when service, content and user applications are offered at no cost ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between revenue and sales?

    Revenue is the income a company generates before any expenses are taken out. Sales are the proceeds from the selling of goods ... Read Answer >>
  3. How important is advertising revenue in the Internet sector?

    Learn about the importance of advertising revenue in the Internet industry. Find out how much Internet firms rely on advertising ... Read Answer >>
  4. Determining a Firm's Percentage of Credit Sales

    Find out where to look for information about determining a company's percentage of credit sales. Read Answer >>
Trading Center