Definition: A lead is a person that has an interest in your product or service.
Understanding where your leads come from, how they were generated and how you will convert them into an account will create structure for your sales engine and improve your deal flow.
Leads can come from a number of places including a person you met at a networking event, someone who has been to your website or heard of you from a friend. Tracking your lead sources answer the question: Where did the lead come from? Knowing where your leads come from can help you know whether or not you are marketing in the right places.
A stranger can become a lead by signing up for an offer at a trade show, responding to a direct marketing call to action, registering for an e-mail marketing newsletter, or scheduling a meeting through a cold call. Keeping track of what campaigns your leads respond to gives you an idea of which marketing activities are producing results.
Lead Conversion or Sales Funnel is the process of transitioning a lead into a deal. Steps in the lead conversion process include requirements gathering, proposal, negotiation and closing the sale.