In enterprises, sales play a critical role in raising brand awareness and increasing client retention. Salespeople serve as a link between customers and the company. Companies spend a lot of money to improve the performance of their sales teams for this reason. From capturing a lead through converting it to a sales-qualified lead, pushing it into pipeline opportunities, and enhancing the customer conversion rate, salespeople follow up. In short, sales teams play a critical part in a company’s revenue growth.
If you work in sales, you should be familiar with words like CRM, pipeline management, opportunity vs. lead, customer relations, and conversion rate. However, if you’re new to the CRM sales sector, determining the difference between a lead and an opportunity can be difficult. We’ve clarified the distinction between lead and opportunity in CRM sales to make your job easier.
In general, you should keep in mind that leads and opportunities are two distinct stages in the sales process. It’s not that there won’t be any opportunities if there’s a lead. In a nutshell, they aren’t substitutes. However, understanding the differences allows for more efficient sales pipeline management and higher productivity.
What is the definition of lead in sales?
Leads are people or businesses who have not yet been qualified and are at the top of the sales funnel. These leads come from a variety of places, including websites, social media, research, customer referrals, paid marketing, and other third-party sources. A lead can also be obtained through inbound marketing, when they subscribe to your newsletter, read your blog, or respond to one of your cold emails.
However, it’s important to realise that just because someone has a lead doesn’t mean they’re a possible buyer. In most cases, sales teams follow a well-defined sales process to qualify leads. In this step, the salesperson determines whether the lead has the potential to become a customer, determines their needs, and calculates the likelihood of a lead becoming a potential client. As a result, a lead is the first step in the sales process.
What is the definition of opportunity?
An opportunity is a qualified lead who has demonstrated interest in your product or service as you progress down the sales funnel. The lead has had contact with the sales team and believes that your product or service can help them solve their problem. While the previous stage, prospects, allowed the sales team to gain a better understanding of the target market and the buyer’s decision-making abilities, the CRM opportunity stage brings the interaction to the next level.
The process of qualifying sales opportunities is a thorough method that varies depending on the sales team’s requirements and criteria. Prospecting, qualifying, needs analysis, value proposition, decision-making, price quote, negotiation, and other typical stages are preferred by some teams. Based on their products and services, some companies have shorter sales opportunity stages. As their business needs, an opportunity may change from open to closed-won or loss status in just three stages.
Overview of the CRM Sales Cycle
A sales cycle is a set of steps that salespeople follow in order to close a deal and convert a lead into a customer. This procedure lays out the actions that must be followed in order to improve conversion rates. We’ve talked about the typical sales steps that a lead goes through before becoming a customer.
Recognize the possibilities
Companies examine and understand their target audience at the initial step of the sales cycle. Instead of reaching out to leads, the sales team concentrates on conducting research.
Furthermore, the first phase entails identifying potential clients and determining the best means of communicating with them. Emails, phone calls, and simple text messages can all be used to accomplish this.
Begin the dialogue
We created a roadmap on how to start a conversation with the leads in the previous step. This step focuses on initiating contact with the leads based on the analysis. This can be accomplished through any kind of communication.
Sales teams have included a variety of methods via which potential consumers can communicate with them as technology has advanced. Emails, text messages, phone conversations, and video calls are all options. Companies also provide leads with the opportunity to book demos and learn more about their products.
Sort out the leads
During the initial contact, salespeople must ask the right questions to gain a better understanding of the leads’ problems and determine whether your product can give the required solution. While asking leads questions, the salesperson must consider a variety of factors.
The sales staff should gain an understanding of the potential customer’s budget, decision-making power, and intent to purchase the product through this conversation. Sales teams may efficiently log all interactions and gain a clear view of the leads’ intent to make a purchase by using RisePath’s CRM system.
Make a suggestion
At this point, the sales staff must devise an offer that the potential consumer will find tough to refuse. The sales staff would have shortlisted potential customers during the qualification step while screening out bad leads. The sales staff must devise an individual strategy based on the chosen list in order to give the best pricing for the products.
The sales team will be able to rearrange the proposal based on previous conversations. The sales staff can use the data to make the pitch more profitable and enhance the conversion rate.
Identifying and overcoming objections
While presenting the plan, the salesperson may encounter some consumer objections. Before making a purchase, potential customers may have a number of inquiries and be sceptical. It is the salesperson’s obligation to patiently clarify the doubts of potential consumers.
After the first rejection, most sales teams tend to cease the conversation. The sales teams should develop a strategy in which they establish communication with prospects and earn their trust. Prospects will be encouraged to interact with the salesperson as a result of this.
Complete the transaction
After the prospects’ questions and concerns have been addressed, the sales team can make an official proposal after several rounds of talks. The consumer can sign the contract and make the purchase once this phase is completed and both sides are satisfied with the proposal.
The team’s job does not cease when the deal is closed. Instead, as a next step, the account executive should take on the responsibility of following up with clients on a frequent basis, gathering feedback, and taking appropriate action, assuring good customer service and lowering the customer churn rate.
Sales Lead Management Best Practices
You must establish an uncomplicated sales process and qualify leads with a superior system that is carefully put forth after methodical study to make the lead and opportunity management process streamlined. There is no precise strategy for managing sales pipelines, and firms can only improve their sales process by implementing and improvising it on a regular basis.
The dispute over whether a lead is a prospect or an opportunity is over in the preceding section. We’ve compiled a list of some of the finest techniques for converting leads into opportunities and raising conversion rates in this section.
- Sales teams should have a firm understanding of conversion rates before moving on with the process. A metric-based analysis based on key performance indicators can be devised by sales teams (KPIs). All teams will be able to see how many leads are converted into opportunities, how long it takes to move qualified leads through the sales funnel, and what the conversion rate is. Sales managers may use RisePath’s (a great Zoho alternative) sophisticated dashboards to track the performance of their leads, prospects, and opportunities in real-time.
- Salespeople must follow a specific procedure for qualifying leads. When a lead enters your CRM system from many sources, salespeople must score it by examining the scope of leads entering the sales funnel and being turned into opportunities. Leads can be automatically qualified and moved to the next level by linking your sales staff with the best CRM system. Furthermore, the RisePath customer relationship management system’s automation tools are exactly what your team requires to reduce redundant activities.
- Use a system that includes the collaboration tools you’ll need to keep track of every encounter. For example, using a calendar allows you to simply arrange all upcoming events and avoid multiple bookings. Similarly, each record has a separate notes section that separates the different encounters and allows staff to move on with future interactions without confusion.
- Integrate your sales staff with company management tools to help track and convert leads until they become opportunities. It is important that the system you employ has full capabilities to support not only the lead-to-opportunity process but also to provide help to consumers throughout their relationship with your company.
- Provide timely training to your salesmen on a regular basis to keep them up to date on industry developments. Maintain them with the most up-to-date technology and employ solutions that are simple to use and tough to access by third parties. You can save training time and get more learners into the workforce in a shorter period of time by utilising simple yet advanced solutions. This also saves the time spent onboarding new employees and increases the value of your team.
- To address the process’s flaws, build a bridge between the sales and marketing teams. This saves both teams the time and effort of waiting for approvals and gaining access to the information of the other team.
While managing leads, sales teams, particularly sales managers, encounter a number of obstacles. It should not be overlooked that implementing a streamlined procedure can result in a variety of advantages. Sales teams can become experts in their process and work delicately while dealing with unprecedented problems during interactions with leads and prospects if they understand the process and are aware of the sales teams.
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