Lead and opportunity management: differences and advantages

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Successful companies leave nothing to chance in marketing and sales. Every sale is important. Through structured lead and opportunity management, you create the potential to Number of successful business transactions and your Maximize sales. The quality of lead management has a decisive influence on when a lead is recognized as an opportunity and processed under priority.

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Opportunities and risks in opportunity management

Roughly speaking, an opportunity is defined by the fact that a potential customer is highly likely to be close to a Business deal stands. The aim of opportunity management is to classify sales qualified leads according to sales opportunities and to prioritize their processing. Behind this seemingly simple task lie complex requirements and risks. If a customer with a specific purchase intention is processed too late, he or she will not feel valued and, in the worst case, will migrate to the competition. If, on the other hand, a lead is recognized as an opportunity in good time, he will be enthusiastic about the service quality of your company and will purchase your products and services with a good feeling. To achieve this, marketing and sales must work together and Plan activities in a coordinated manner.

Basis for success - effective lead management

Lead management is upstream of opportunity management and forms the basis for future sales success. How long it takes and which steps are necessary to convert a lead into a Marketing Qualified Lead and finally into a Sales Qualified Lead varies from customer to customer. Winning leads and qualifying them are tasks of lead management.

Without highly professionalized and efficient lead management, there is no opportunity management.

Providing content with added value and obtaining relevant customer data and information during the progressive Customer Journey is an essential prerequisite for having sufficient material to assess probabilities. All measures of the Lead Management aim to gain the trust of potential customers and prepare them for a successful conversion.

Lead management processes in the funnel model.
Lead management processes in the funnel model. (Image: marconomy.com)

It makes little sense to transfer leads to sales that are still at the Marketing Qualified Lead stage. In contrast, it is even more important to give each lead the time it needs to make an informed buying decision and actually become an opportunity.

Exploiting the "knowledge" of CRM

Your CRM supports you in assessing when a lead should be considered an opportunity. Not every lead has the potential to actually become a customer. Efficient lead management allows you to evaluate your Conserve resources - i.e. not investing unnecessary time and financial resources in bad leads. In order to obtain a realistic opportunity assessment, different models are available to you, for example the BANT model.

Various models can be used to determine the opportunities in opportunity management, such as the BANT model.
Various models are available to identify opportunities in opportunity management. (Image: freshworks.com)

Questions to ask in your assessment are:

  • Amount of the available budget of the lead
  • Are other decision makers involved?
  • What are the lead's support needs?
  • Duration until a successful business transaction has happened
  • Potential revenue generated by lead
  • Is the lead involved with the competition?

In order to make an accurate assessment of each lead, it is critical that you have a uniform database is available. All data from all contacts with a potential customer must be available to you in full. The Data quality is thus the basis for sales success.

Give high priority to opportunity

No company can afford not to recognize a potential customer in time and lose them - due to dissatisfaction - early in the sales process. Both marketing and sales should Set up specific, coordinated processes for opportunities, which gives the customer essential information provide, show appreciation and whose results are measurable. 

Optimize your opportunity management to realize the full potential of a lead.
Optimize your opportunity management to realize a lead's full potential. (Image: criteriaforsuccess.com)

Successful opportunity management enables you to manage your sales pipeline and forecast future sales. This makes successes visible to your employees at an early stage. It is important to identify all opportunities in order to achieve and exceed revenue and sales targets. Effective controlling, also supported by the CRM, makes it possible to continuously optimize opportunity management and predict probabilities even more accurately. Step by step, you can improve your marketing and sales process and adapt it even more specifically to the requirements and needs of your target groups.

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Conclusion- better customer relationships through opportunity management

Customers who are looked after in line with their potential right from the start feel they are in good hands. Well-functioning lead management and seamless follow-up opportunity management initiate customer relationships based on positive experiences. This means that - after a successful business transaction - there are numerous points of contact for successful reference and sales marketing. Companies that rely on inbound marketing benefit in a special way from a combination of lead management and opportunity management.


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