What is a lead?

min read

Leads are interest personified


Leads are interest personified

A business lives or dies by the customers that it brings in - but before people actually pay you for your product or services, they’re known as a lead. However, not all leads are good leads, and some will require more work than others to become a customer. This blog will explore what leads are, what to look for in a lead, and how to turn them into customers.

The Definition of a Lead

Before we continue, it’s a good idea to define what we mean when we talk about a lead. 

A lead is not simply anyone who could become a customer. Instead, a lead is a person who has, in some way, shape, or form, indicated an interest in your company’s product or service. Actions like visiting your website, calling your sales team, or even opening an email could classify that person as a potential lead.

However, before a lead becomes a customer, they have to undergo the buyer’s journey. We’ve written on this topic a few times before, but briefly, the buyer’s journey covers the stages a lead must go through before becoming a customer. 

These stages are:

Awareness - where your target or possible lead starts to become aware that there is a problem or need to be resolved.

Education - where your content educates your leads on the solution to their problem. 

Consideration - where you demo solution over competitors by identifying and relating to your lead’s specific challenges.

Decision - where your salespeople convert the lead into a sale by supporting the lead through the buying process.

Implementation -  where you assist your customer in using your product and support them in getting the most out of their product. 

The minute a lead converts into a sale, they become a customer. 

stages-of-a-lead@4xLet’s take a look at the different kinds of leads you may encounter when attempting to convert people into customers.

The 5 Lead Types

There are five primary types of lead that you should treat differently if you want to convert them into a customer. Failing to identify each lead could conclude in you missing out on sales or opportunities for business growth.

The New Lead

Every lead, whether good or bad, starts as a new lead. A new lead is any potential customer that you know something about, usually in the form of an email address, their engagement with your content or how often they visit your website.

Best course of action: Discovery and approachability

The best approach for new leads is to continue discovering information about them so you can personalise your messages to suit their needs and speak to their challenges. Should you present the right message, you must appear to be accessible and approachable to continue your business relationship.

The Working Lead

Working leads entail anyone with whom you have an active conversation. Leads engaging with your sales team and considering their options are examples of working leads. These leads also have some of the highest potential to become qualified leads, depending on how you engage with them.

Best course of action: Engagement

Working leads, unsurprisingly, need a lot of work. Thus, it would be best if you endeavoured to keep engaging with them, responding to their needs quickly and supplying them with whatever information they may need. Always be on the lookout to present value to them, which is where having quality content can prove to be an essential asset.

The Nurturing Lead

Leads who are not interested in buying right now but may in the future can best be described as nurturing leads. Frequently, these leads are still in the middle of the buyer’s journey, educating themselves and considering your product or service.

Best course of action: Nuture

Nurturing your leads helps move your leads through the buyer’s journey. Keeping in touch with nurturing leads helps them become qualified and eventually become customers. However, unlike working leads, you don’t need to constantly engage with leads that are being nurtured unless they show an active interest. Marketing materials and campaigns are well-suited for helping to nurture leads to become qualified.

The Unqualified Lead

Sometimes, leads are just not the right match for your company despite your best efforts. Leads who are not interested in what you have to offer or are ultimately not worth the time and effort of your sales team can be classified as unqualified.

Best course of action: Delete and forget

Unqualified leads offer no value to your sales and marketing teams and thus should permanently be removed from your database and sales books. You can disqualify leads through lead scoring on your website, finding out a disqualifying fact (for example, what industry they operate in) or through their own volition.

The Qualified Lead

Qualified leads are leads who want to do business and have indicated as such. They are one step away from becoming a customer and just need your support and attention to do so.

Best course of action: Support

Qualified leads are often at the end of the buyer’s journey and need support during the decision and implementation stages. Your sales team should thus supply them with everything they need to convert and guide them in using your product or service to its fullest potential.

Lead the way to better sales

Leads are a marketer’s bread and butter. They represent prospective income and growth for your company should they be nurtured into customers. However, they could also result in missed opportunities and stagnated expansion if treated incorrectly. The key to finding success with your leads is to:

1 - Identify the type of lead

2 - Treat the identified lead appropriately

3 - Support them into becoming a customer

At Demodia, we’ve seen so many marketers become despondent with the number of customers they generate. We understand that it can be frustrating to spend so much on lead generation without seeing any results - which is why we’ve spent over a decade perfecting the best lead approaches for our customers, helping them turn their marketing into a customer-generation machine.

Contact us now, and we’ll meet with you to discuss your customer acquisition goals and present you with a plan to help you achieve them.

Book a consultation