Nexl offers a number of complementary tools to help you identify and track new prospects, leads, and opportunities. These concepts are all closely related, but each has a slightly different purpose within Nexl. In this article, you'll learn:
Nexl's definitions of prospects, leads, and opportunities
Let's start with Nexl's definitions of prospects, leads, and opportunities. (I'll address them in that order, since it matches the order in which you'd apply these concepts within Nexl.)
• noun • a person (or company) you would like to engage as a client, but have yet to contact.
• verb • searching for companies you would like to engage as clients, and identifying the best contacts to reach out to within those companies.
Prospects are the ideal companies - and contacts within those companies - that you'd like to engage as clients. Within Nexl, we use the term 'prospect' for both the organization you want to engage, and the specific people you want to contact to initiate that engagement conversation.
• noun • a person you have contacted who has indicated interest in your services.
Leads are people you've spoken to who have indicated some sort of interest in engaging your firm. The difference between prospects and leads is whether or not you've contacted them, and whether you've gaged their need for—and interest in—your services. While prospects represent ideal clients, leads represent real interest and buying intent.
• noun • a potential business engagement for which you have estimated monetary value and timeline to close.
Opportunities are potential business engagements that you can put a monetary value and timeline on—they arise when you've had sufficient discussions with a lead to understand what services they need, determine the price you'd charge, and assess their timeline for making a decision about the engagement. Opportunities allow you to project future revenue, track progress, and identify the highest-priority deals.
How to identify new prospects on Nexl
Nexl has a dedicated Prospecting module that allows you to search for, identify, and manage your prospects. You can discover your ideal clients and find their contact details right within Nexl—and with over 450 million Company and Contact records, there are endless opportunities to discover! Follow the steps below to learn how.
1. Click on Prospecting from the left-hand panel.
2. In the top right corner, click the SEARCH PROSPECTS button.
This will take you to a list of companies that you can filter to find the organizations that match your ideal client profile (ICP).
3. Filter your search.
Now we need to apply filters to see which companies match your ideal client profile. Use the dropdown menus to filter based on Country, Industry, and Head Count (estimated number of employees).
When applied, these filters can quickly generate lists of potential prospects based on your criteria. This effectively gives you instant market intelligence on your target market.
If you're having trouble defining your target prospects, look at your current clients—think about what industries they're in and where they're located.
4. Evaluate the companies that match your search results.
Now you can go through the list of Companies that match your ideal prospect profile. For more in-depth information, you can go to their homepage and LinkedIn page directly from Nexl.
Use these resources to get a broader picture of what the company's mission and business objectives are like, and if they would make a suitable prospect.
5. Click the Add Prospect icon to add a Company to your Prospects list.
Once you've identified an ideal Prospect, click the Add Prospect icon in the right-hand column to add the Company to your Prospects list.
(If the company is already in your Nexl database, the button will be replaced by a link that says View, which will take you to the Company record.)
6. Click the View link to navigate to the Company record.
The next step is to find decision-makers you can reach out to. Once the Company has been added, the Add Prospects icon will change to a View link. Click the View link to view the Company record.
7. Within a the Company record, click the PROSPECTS tab.
The Prospects tab will generate a list of people within the company that your firm has not contacted before. This is where you can search for individual contacts you'd like to reach out to.
8. Filter your search.
Use the search tool to narrow the list by Name, Job Title, or Location. For example, an IP firm may want to look for contacts in their jurisdiction with titles related to Branding or Marketing.
For more in-depth research, you can navigate to a Contact's LinkedIn profile directly from Nexl. This will help you evaluate the suitability of the contact and get a better sense of that person's role and expertise.
9. Find contact details.
Once you've identified a Contact you'd like to reach out to, click "Find contact details."
Nexl will then search for the Contact's details. (This may take a few moments.) Once loaded, click on VIEW CONTACT to see the Contact record.
10. Prepare your follow-up process.
Now it’s time to send your new prospect an email to introduce yourself! Add the prospect to your Contacts and create Tasks to keep track of next steps, like researching the prospect and preparing your outreach.
How to follow-up with leads on Nexl
Once you've made contact with a prospect and they've engaged in the conversation, you'll be able to evaluate whether they have a need for your services (now or in the future), and their level of interest in engaging your firm. If you've found someone who may be interested, congratulations! You have a lead.
Identifying a lead is only the beginning though. Studies have shown that leads require an average of eight follow-up touchpoints before they convert to clients.
Luckily, Nexl's Stay In Touch reminders make it extremely easy to keep track of leads and ensure you're engaging with them on a regular basis. To set a Stay In Touch reminder, just open the lead's Contact record and select the frequency with which you want to stay in touch with them from the dropdown menu.
How to track opportunities on Nexl
At a certain point during your conversations with a lead, you'll get an understanding of what services they need, how much you would charge them, and what their timeline is for engaging your firm. When you have all of that information, it's time to create an opportunity.
You can easily create opportunities from the 'Opportunities' section(s) on the left-hand panel. (If you're an Admin user, you'll have access to both your personal opportunities and firm-wide opportunities.)
You'll also notice an icon with the '$' sign in the top right corner. These quick-add icons are present in every section and every page.
You can also create new Opportunities from a Company record by going to the 'Opportunities' tab. (You might need to use the right-hand arrow at the end of the tabs in view to scroll to this section.)
When you create an Opportunity, you can select the associated Company from your company records on Nexl, add key contacts (the lead(s) you've been in touch with), set the proposed fee, and the estimated close date.
You'll also want to set an internal owner to designate who within your firm is responsible for following up with key contacts and moving the Opportunity forward. (The internal owner and others included fields will determine who sees the Opportunity under 'My Opportunities.)
All the Opportunities you've been added to will appear under 'My Opportunities', giving you a snapshot of all the deals you're responsible for, and allowing you to easily manage and update them.
Admin users can also access firm-wide Opportunities, to get an overview of progress across every deal, manage business development initiatives, and project future revenue.
I hope this article gave you a better understanding of how to use Nexl across the entire business development lifecycle, from prospect to lead to opportunity.
For more in-depth information about prospecting and opportunity tracking, check out the other resources available in our Help Center, or send a quick message to our Customer Success team via Nexl's in-app chat in the bottom right corner.