The Academy Becoming a better saleperson

Suspects vs. leads

When you are selling a product or a service to a new client, you have 2 types of potential customers: suspects & leads. These concepts are very different and crucial to understanding how to improve your sales process.

When someone reaches out to you, it’s a lead. That contact is qualified; they have a requirement and seem to be interested in your product or service. However, when you have to make the first move and present what you’re doing for the first time to a contact, then it’s an unqualified prospect,it's a suspect.

Most sales reps have to manage both prospects and leads; some only handle the first, others the latter. It depends on the structure and how the sales department was divided. They certainly shouldn't be handled the same way and that's where a lot of traditional CRM systems go wrong.

A sales rep has to be able to quickly transform a suspect into a lead, with as few distractions as possible. This is so they can either start working on it, or cancel it. Prospects can become leads, but they can also “die” so it’s important that you can manage these transitions easily, without expelling too much energy on lower quality contacts.

Furthermore, when there is an identified lead, i.e. a qualified prospect, the sales rep needs to focus and make sure they never forget the next action to be made (e.g. call, send out an e-mail, arrange meeting, etc). Suspects can be managed on a spreadsheet, whereas leads can’t. Leads require a very precise follow-up; they need to go through the sales funnel, calls and meetings need to be set up, and so on… A good way of looking at it is that it's extremely important that you remember the last thing that happened, and you can’t do that on a spreadsheet.

Where do you manage both prospects & leads in an easy and efficient way? Inside no you import your spreadsheet with your prospects into what we call Prospecting Lists. When a contact becomes qualified (they have shown interest in what you have to offer), then you create a lead in the system with a single click on the (+) button. If not, you cancel the row using the right click menu and forget about it. Once a lead, you manage it as you would normally do so – with proper reminders that can be synced with your calendar, with a sales funnel, a to-do page, etc…

View also: Create leads from Prospecting Files

Next post: Prospecting lists, leads & client folders

Table of contents

  1. Organizing your sales activity
    1. Our philosophy
    2. Suspects (unqualified prospects) vs. leads
    3. Prospecting lists, leads & client folders
    4. Status vs. sales steps
    5. Defining key information on leads
    6. The importance of categorizing your leads
    7. Managing multiple contacts in the same company
    8. Admin, team manager & user
    9. Customizing your account interface
  2. Organizing your daily activities
    1. Every morning, know exactly what leads you need to work on
    2. Follow up the history of your exchanges & BCC email conversations
    3. Set reminders and synchronize your account with your calendar
    4. Extended, compact & pipeline mode
    5. Create several pipelines to analyse different sales processes
    6. Make your most important leads stand out
    7. Find leads by using filters
  3. Learn how to use prospecting lists
    1. When and how to use prospecting lists
    2. Only turn a row into a lead once the contact is qualified
    3. The importance of using column names
    4. Magic columns
  4. Working on the go
    1. Mobile app
    2. Using the speech recognition
    3. Scan your business cards
  5. Adding leads from external sources
    1. By e-mail
    2. From your partners
    3. From a contact form
  6. Follow up your business’s activity - understanding it and collaborating
    1. Analyze your activity by category or by salesperson
    2. Find the leads that have been pending for too long
    3. ROI of specific actions, or of a specific month activity
    4. Using the Activity feed to manage your team
    5. Follow the sales activity every morning thanks to the daily activity e-mail
    6. Exporting your data for reporting or marketing purposes
  7. Manage your existing customers
    1. Following up on your won clients
    2. How to manage upsells and renewals vs post-sales process
  8. Connect no to other apps
    1. How to connect: Zapier, API & direct integration
    2. Send notifications or fire actions based on events