Know the Difference Between a Sales Lead and Prospect

Know the Difference Between a Sales Lead and Prospect

Sales Lead and prospect are two common terms that are commonly heard in the world of sales. Often people get confused between these two terms and use these terms interchangeably. But both of them have different meanings and have a direct relationship with the sales world. In this article, we will understand closely about sales lead and prospect and also the difference between the two.

What is a Sales Lead?

A lead is a company or an individual who does not qualify to become a prospect. A lead can be a name on the list that you have purchased from a third party or referrals or colleagues or current clients. A person who has responded to your emails also qualifies as a lead until you inquire about them. Leads are in the initial phase of the sales process so you do not know them closely. Generally, you have a one-sided communication with the sales leads. Lead management can be hard sometimes when you have a big list of leads. VLeads is an online tool that helps in managing lead generation, lead distribution, leads tracking, etc all at one platform. Next, let us discuss the types of Leads.

Types of Leads

Leads can be of the following 5 types:

  1. Offline Leads: Leads that are generated from any of the offline mediums i.e., not through the internet are known as offline leads.
  2. Online Leads: Leads that are generated through the internet are known as online leads. Online leads can be directed via any of the methods like Contact us forms, email replies, social media engagement, etc.
  3. Sales Qualified Leads (SQL): When you get the basic information about individuals like name, age, sex, a location which is enough to categorize them, these types of leads are known as Sales Qualified Leads.
  4. Unqualified Leads: Any individual who is making random searches and is not clear about the type of solution he is looking for qualifies to become an unqualified lead. They do not have any idea about the product or services a company is offering. Also, it is difficult to get their basic information so; their possibility of converting into customers is very less.
  5. Market Qualified Leads: Market qualified leads have the highest potential of becoming your end customers. They are highly interested in getting information about the product or services that you are offering.

What is a Prospect?

A sales prospect can be seen as a person who is a potential buyer of your product or services. A prospect is aware of your product or service but is not a part of your sales process as of now. A prospect is an individual that fulfills all the requirements of your target market. A prospect has all the financial means for making a purchase and has the authority to make a buying decision. A prospect is someone who has shown some interest in the product or services that you offer.

Who can be your Prospect?

  1. An internet user who lands on your website looking for the product or services, pricing, the quality you are offering. The user will try to connect with you via any click-through action provided by you on your website.
  2. If you are getting an inquiry from any company/individual on your email about your product or services, that company/individual can be your prospect.
  3. If you are receiving phone calls to get information related to your product or services, that person can be your prospect.
  4. A person who has discussed your product or service on a social media platform.


The major difference between prospects and leads is engagement. In simple words, leads are identified by one-way communication, on the other hand, prospects are identified by two-way communication. A lead gets to a company by a form or sign-up. Now you are well aware of the difference between Sales Leads and Prospects. So, to close the deal, you need to convert more and more leads into prospects. For converting more and more leads into prospects, use VLeads that offer multiple features that are useful for the sales team like generating social media leads, cloud data storage, CRM integration, etc. The process of converting leads into prospects is known as prospecting or qualification. Eventually, a prospect can become a sale and may become a repeated buyer too.

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