“a customer who buys our consumables but we are targeting to now buy our equipment”
“a customer who left us, went to the opposition, but we are re-targeting because we heard they are not happy”
“anyone the reps put into the pipeline tracker”
These variable responses could just have easily come from three different companies as three different stakeholders within the same company. It may be an old holy grail, but directionally it still stands…“it costs X times as much to win a brand new customer as to maintain and grow an existing customer”. Whether X = 5, 7, 10, 15 depends on which Methusalah you speak to about your sales process.
So, get disciplined in your sales organisation on how you define a prospect. Strictly speaking , a prospect is an entity that meets a defensible, quantified threshold of potential value, ie consumption/throughput of volume in the categories in which you compete. And their “current value” is zero, ie over the past 12 months they have not made a purchase of your products / services.
Perhaps a little more relaxed than this strict definition, on the current value aspect, if you are sending the entity in question an invoice most months , however big or small, the entity is a customer. The dynamic of how the sales team manages that entity as a “customer” should then be different as how they manage the entity with same potential value who has zero cv is managed. As a prospect.