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Prospecting Vs Lead Generation in CRE Sales: What's The Difference?

We use the terms "prospecting" and "sales enablement" a lot on the Biscred website, so in this post, we'll explain what those terms mean, how they differ, and how they intersect.

What Is Prospecting in B2B Sales?

First, let's answer, "What is prospecting in sales?" As you go through the process of prospecting in B2B CRE, your sales teams go through a set of actions that try to generate new business opportunities. They identify prospective customers and clients, nurture them as they go down the sales funnel, and try to convert them at the end.

The definition of prospecting in sales terms means identifying potential clients and/or customers who have a high likelihood of converting into a customer because they would benefit from your goods or services. The difference between prospects versus leads is: Prospects are qualified against some sort of criteria, while leads are not. Generally, a salesperson or sales team performs prospecting.

The people (or companies) who have been identified by your sales prospecting teams as potential customers are labeled as prospects. A prospect may not have communicated with your company before, but they have a set of characteristics that your sales team has defined as a potential customer.

Step 1 in prospecting: Identify potential customers

The goal of step 1 in prospecting is to identify people and companies that are likely to convert into customers. Examples B2B prospecting in CRE include:

  • Asking for referrals from prior customers to potential customers.

  • Reaching out to industry contacts using LinkedIn.

  • Using a smart tool like Biscred to match your organization with real estate businesses that align with your goals (location, asset type, etc.).

  • Responding to requests for information that you've received from your social media, website, email, and other in-bound methods.

  • Following up with people you meet at events, such as expos, networking luncheons, and other events.

Identifying prospects is only the beginning of the prospecting process. The goal of prospecting is to convert those prospects into customers and establish long-term relationships between you and them.

Step 2: Reach out to prospects

Develop an email drip campaign for your prospects as you move them down the sales funnel. You might also use a direct mail marketing campaign to let prospects know of your prior successful deals (as in case studies). The purpose of step 2 in prospecting is to introduce your company to the prospect and let them know what you offer and how they can benefit.

Based on their responses (or lack thereof), you can qualify your prospects.

As you qualify your prospects, some might be more likely to convert than others, and some might convert right away, while others take longer. A strong CRM program designed for B2B can help you keep track of your interactions with prospects. That way, your sales team can take different actions depending on how qualified a prospect is, which could impact your conversion rate.

What Is Lead Generation?

In contrast, lead generation is generally carried out by the marketing team. During lead generation, your marketing team will be responsible for grabbing the attention of the customer and letting them know that your company offers products and services that can be helpful.

The definition of lead generation in sales terms means identifying people and businesses who are interested in your company. The difference between leads versus prospects is: Leads have not been qualified as potential customers, while prospects have been. Generally, a marketing person or team generates leads.

The people (or companies) that your marketing team reaches out to are generally called leads. These are people who have taken an interest in the products and services provided by your company, but they have not yet shown an interest in becoming a customer.

There are different types of leads. For example, a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) is a lead that has engaged your company and expressed an interest. In contrast, a sales-qualified lead (SQL) has already started talking to the sales team. You could say that an SQL is equivalent to a prospect.

In essence, an MQL becomes an SQL once they are ready to speak to the sales team. This is one of the biggest examples of how your sales team, which focuses on prospecting, can work in conjunction with your marketing team, which focuses on lead generation, to increase revenue in CRE.

How Is Prospecting Different From Lead Generation?

There are several differences between sales prospecting and lead generation. Some of the biggest differences include:

  • Prospecting is generally led by your sales team, while lead generation is led by your marketing team.

  • Prospects are people who have been qualified as potential customers, while leads have expressed an interest in your products and services.

  • Prospecting focuses on finding potential customers, while lead generation focuses on attracting potential clients.

Leads Vs Prospects: Do The Names Matter?

Are all leads prospects? Are all prospects leads? Does any of this really matter, when what you want to do is grow your commercial real estate business? Here at Biscred, we prefer to say prospecting, because our vast datasets include millions of records that your sales teams can use to find high-quality, qualified leads. Don’t tell your marketing team, but Biscred’s tool skips the lead generation step. Oh, they can still do their thing. We highly recommend that you continue a multi-pronged business growth strategy! But with Biscred’s dataset and dashboard search tools, you can skip to the head of the line, so to speak, and find the right people at the right organizations at the right times.

Bottom line: Biscred can deliver prospects to help grow your commercial real estate business. Whether you're an investor, a developer, a service provider, or a management company, our datasets are built for CRE sales teams.

Rely on Biscred To Help You Attract More Clients in Commercial Real Estate

At Biscred, we provide you with a data service that connects businesses to one another in the commercial real estate industry. Our online platform collects intelligence from different sources and provides you with information you can use to reach out to potential prospects. Contact us today to ask for a free trial.

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