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Sales opportunities are sales-ready prospects that may only be one meeting or sales call away from making a purchase. Identifying opportunities and actively putting in the right efforts to convert them will help you generate more sales, resulting in higher revenue for your business.

What Is a Sales Opportunity? 

A sales opportunity can be classified as a customer you’ve had previous contact with, where you are able to identify a pain point and an interest in solving said pain point quite urgently. A sales opportunity is essentially a qualified lead. For a customer to be considered a sales opportunity, they must be confirmed as a good fit and show high potential in closing the deal.

Difference Between Leads and Sales Opportunities

A lead is an individual who has shown interest in your product or service. An individual can be established as a lead when they interact with your business through actions such as downloading materials on your website or exchanging contact information etc. Leads and opportunities can sometimes be used interchangeably, but they are not the same. The difference lies in their position in your sales funnel. While they both show interest in what you’re selling, a lead is yet to be qualified, unlike an opportunity. 

Opportunities are qualified leads, meaning that they show a higher probability than leads of purchasing your product or service. They are qualified because they fit the criteria set by marketing and the sales team. Leads are yet to reach that stage in the sales funnel.

Difference Between Leads and Sales Opportunities

Difference Between Leads and Prospects 

A lead is usually at the very beginning of your sales funnel. You may know that they show an interest in your product or service, but the why might still be a mystery. At this stage, you don’t know if they will make a sale or not. The only information you might have on them is their name and contact details that you could have obtained from them through their interaction with your website. 

A prospect is what a lead becomes once you establish two-way communication with them. A prospect is a lead that has responded to your email or phone call. They are at a stage in your sales funnel that suggests they have the potential to buy your product. Ideally, they have a pain point or problem that your product can solve. The difference can also be found in the way your sales team approaches leads and prospects; they tailor their approach based on where they are in your sales funnel. 

Does Lead Management Drive Better Sales Opportunities? 

Lead management enables you to use methods and strategies to track and manage your leads in an effort to improve your sales effort. Lead management is necessary to ensure that certain obstacles in your sales process are identified and addressed.

The gap between lead generation and sales 

One such issue is the gap between lead generation and sales. Lead generation involves a combined effort between marketing and the sales team to reach out to leads and qualify them. The aim is to utilize coherent tactics to get the lead sales ready for the sales team to contact them and ultimately close the deal. 

There can be a misalignment between the two departments that can result in unqualified leads making it to the top of the sales funnel while they are not yet sales-ready. Another consequence is the sales team not spending enough time nurturing leads in order to convert them.

Bridging the gap between lead generation and sales with technology 

You can make use of lead management programs that are built into a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system. This makes it easier to track your customer journey from the moment they enter the sales funnel to the closing of the deal. When you employ effective lead management tools, you can reduce marketing expenditure as more marketing-qualified leads turn into sales-qualified leads. CRM systems facilitate better lead nurturing which improves conversion rates. They also allow you to engage or follow up with your leads at the right time in your sales funnel. 

Lead management technology makes it possible and easy for you and your sales team to optimize your sales funnel. It streamlines the way you interact with individuals who express an interest in your business and helps you focus your efforts on the right audience. A proper lead management system will allow you to bridge the gap between lead generation and sales by equipping your sales team with the necessary information to increase conversion rates.

How to Generate More Sales Opportunities

How to Generate More Sales Opportunities

To generate more business, you have to be able to generate more sales opportunities. Here are a few strategies that you can incorporate into your sales process:  

Identify your target market’s needs

 Your target market usually is defined by a number of factors, such as demographics, interactions, and desired benefits. This means that you define your target audience using information such as age, location, or income size. The frequency of their visits to your website or any engagement they have with your business, as well as the needs they fulfill with your product, are all factors you use to define your market.  

To ensure that the audience you are targeting has the potential to become sales opportunities, you need to develop strategies that will help you identify their needs through the information that you acquire from them. 

  • Conduct focus groups which will allow you to talk directly with your audience to understand their needs and feelings about your product or service.
  •  Use social listening to get insights on trends and opportunities through the social platforms that your audience uses.
  •  Do keyword research to know what your target audience is searching for so you can strategize your content based on their needs. 

Understand your target market’s interest 

Understanding the trending or niche topics that your target market shows gives you a competitive edge. This can be done through customer analysis and observing the conversations that your customers are having about your products or brand. You can discover interesting insights about your customers that can help you optimize your marketing strategy. 

Qualify your leads  

This is a crucial part of your sales process, and it allows your sales team to focus resources and efforts on customers who show real potential for making a purchase. This will save your business time and money as a significant amount of your resources will not be allocated to individuals who will most likely not convert.

Lead qualification begins at the marketing level. A lead that shows genuine interest in your product or service based on your marketing efforts can be classified as a marketing-qualified lead (MQL). This type of lead can be defined using a few techniques, including comparing the way they act with the behavior of past leads that were converted into customers.  

Once they are passed over to sales, and they are at a stage in the sales process where your sales team can start actively converting them into buying customers, they can be classified as sales-qualified leads (SQL). This doesn’t always guarantee that they will make the purchase, but it signifies a high likelihood that they will. 

Stimulate engagement between leads and your business 

Generating quality leads is a challenge on its own, and once you have managed that, you still need to keep your leads engaged with your business to ensure that they don’t lose interest. You can use various strategies to engage your leads, like user surveys, which will offer your customers the chance to express their opinions on your products or brand while also providing you with the necessary information to tailor your marketing strategies. You can also make use of newsletters to warm up leads by offering specials and discounts to them on a regular basis (weekly or monthly). This type of regular engagement increases the likelihood that something will pique their interest. 

Assess product fit with your leads 

You need to assess whether your leads have a need to buy, use, or tell others about your product. You can measure product fit by allowing your leads to sample your product and determine whether they will make a purchase. You can also look at factors like: 

  • A  willingness to try your product from leads who have rejected similar products
  • A leads ability to accurately group your products with the right competitor 
  • A leads understanding of your product’s differentiators (what makes it unique) 

These will indicate whether your leads would be willing to buy your product as it fits the market you’re selling to. 

There are different strategies that you can employ to find sales opportunities that will ultimately grow your customer base. A clear understanding of your target market and their needs will help you approach the right leads that can eventually turn into sales opportunities. You can make use of lead generation technologies and other methods, such as lead qualification or product-fit assessment, to convert those opportunities into paying customers.  

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