Written By: Kendra Lee
Choosing which one to employ depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Once you’ve made that determination, the decision is easy.
I frequently recommend using lead generation, and then in the next breath mention sales prospecting when we’re defining new business development strategies and building client campaigns. But, I’ve realized that business owners – and even salespeople and marketers – don’t recognize the subtle differences between them.
Both terms describe a new business development approach, but they aren’t synonymous. In fact, the goals of lead generation and sales prospecting, and when to employ each, often are very different.
Yet, both are essential in driving net new clients for your business.
So, What’s the Difference?
Simply put, lead generation is a long term strategy and prospecting is a short-term, quick hit strategy.
Lead generation is a one-to-many approach, focused on your target market. It centers on prospective client cultivation and nurturing with a goal of building awareness and interest in your target market to generate leads over time. When your pipeline is healthy and you want to keep it that way, lead generation is the approach for you.
Prospecting, meanwhile, is a 1:1 approach focused on a smaller, defined set of prospects in your target market. You use it to quickly identify, engage and close new clients. When your pipeline is thin and you need to replenish it, prospecting is the way to go.
Not understanding the difference can kill your sales pipeline quickly.
When to Employ Lead Generation
Consider using a lead generation strategy when you:
When to Employ Sales Prospecting
Use sales prospecting when you:
Choosing which one to employ depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Once you’ve made that determination, the decision is easy. Ultimately, you want to do BOTH prospecting and lead generation. In my next blog post I’ll share how to successfully combine both strategies to uncover more qualified leads.
Kendra Lee is a top IT seller, sales advisor and business owner who knows…
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