What Is a Prospect?

Prospect definition

The most widespread definition of a prospect is that it is a potential customer that fits three main criteria:

  1. Fits the target market of your business,
  2. Has the means (money) to buy,
  3. Is authorized to make buying decisions.

Thus, prospects don’t need to show a high level of buying interest but to fit the mentioned criteria. For example, if you are in the service of cybersecurity services, a CIO (Chief Information Officer) would be a viable prospect for your business as the CIO is the one directly interested in what you offer (target market), has the means to buy it (the budget for your services is in its hands) and has the authority to make buying decisions.

Prospects’ follow-up is usually on an individual or small group basis and the communicated messages are highly personalized to the recipient. Calls to action for prospects usually keep a focus on future follow-up and try to form an initial state of brand loyalty.

What is a qualified prospect?

Prospects form when you qualify the lead. Therefore, a prospect is, in fact, a lead that has proven to be a fit for your products/services and is progressing toward a decision by positively responding to your follow-ups. Note that the concept of prospect should not be confused with prospecting that is the act of looking for leads.

If a prospect is not willing to cooperate by either changing their current solution or just using your products/services for the first time, it is not qualified.

In most cases, the typical journey an individual goes on to transition from being a lead to a prospect is that the lead is nurtured down the sales funnel through communication back from the business to encourage them to interact and respond further.

Should the lead choose to respond to this follow-up contact, then the lead becomes a prospect as they have initiated two-way communication.

How to identify prospects?

Usually, when dealing with a prospect, an essential way of determining the level of interest in purchasing your products/services is making sure you have an answer to these questions:

  • How much do they know about your offering?
  • What do you know about your prospects’ business, industry, or area of interest and its specific challenges?
  • How often have they visited your site?
  • What do they understand about how your product or service could help them?
  • Do they have a budget and are they authorized to use it?
  • Would they appreciate a proposal?

Prospects can be seen as a future revenue stream and the best way to track your prospects is with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database.

That being said, determining who is your prospect is the first step in the selling process. Once you’ve determined that, you can continue with the next step of the selling process.

Manage your social media with SocialBee: publishing, AI assistance, Canva magic, analytics, unified inbox, and more.
SocialBee supported social channel logos
14-day free trial, no credit card required

Level up your social media game with exclusive resources delivered straight to your inbox

SocialBee calendar popup visual

Out of post ideas? Get our social media calendar

Access 500+ content ideas, post examples, and Canva templates.

Use SocialBee’s Free AI Post Generator to create content for your social media profiles.

Use SocialBee’s Free AI Post Generator to create content for your social media profiles.

🎙️ Customizable tone of voice ❤️ Several variations to choose from 📄 1,000 pre-made AI prompts