Suspect, Prospect, Lead, Opportunity! What they mean.

Suspect, Prospect, Lead, Opportunity - Blog Image

I am in Marketing Automation & CRM industry for quite a long time now. Its interesting to see the changes its going through every day.

CRM now has expanded its wings from being just Sales Force Automation to Marketing Automation and other areas too. There are a lot of new terminologies which has cropped up apart from the traditional SFA terms like Opportunity, Quote, Order, etc.. Let's see the different terminology used in lead management like suspects, prospects, lead ( qualified, unqualified ), and opportunity.

Let's see what they mean in reality instead of the standard dictionary definitions. This is a typical business scenario: There is a banking exhibition happening in the city. There are around 50 banks participating and there are around 50000 visitors.

Suspects, Prospects, Leads, Opportunity


All the visitors are suspects. So there are 50000 Suspects. Let's say 7000 people visited your stall. They picked up the catalog and around 5000 people have given their visiting cards to you. 


5000 people who have given their visiting cards to you can be considered prospects. Now you will ask your backend team or the data entry team to make entries of all the prospects in the CRM system.

You send them the detailed brochures and also your website link where they can fill in more details about themselves. 1000 people have opened the emails, clicked the link, and gave a few more details like nationality, age, salary, organisation name, etc. on your web forms.

There could be other ways of reaching the prospects like through a call center. So let's assume other 800 prospects are interested and gave further details as mentioned above. 


We have 800 leads in the system. These are the prospects who have shown interest and given further details. Bank then works on filtering the leads.

It will be divided into Qualified / Unqualified Leads based on fit, interest levels, etc. If they are not fit, then they can be disqualified if the salary is less than 5000, then the prospect does not fit the criteria of having your product. So let's say 500 got disqualified and 300 are qualified leads.

The Qualified Leads can then again be filtered into Hot, Warm, or Cold Leads based on the Bank's Lead Scoring Model. 


The 300 qualified leads can be considered opportunities and given to the field sales team. They will call them, meet in person and give more detailed information about the products one on one.

This is the place where the deals make or break. Out of 300, 100 are ready and give their consent and required documentation to buy your product. Customers: 100 are the customers created in your system.

You can now use different models to calculate the ROI for the banking exhibition. This blog is originally published here.

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