A sales lead is the Identification data of a person or entity that has the interest, authority and budget (i.e. money) to purchase a product or service. This step represents the first stage of a sales process. The identification of the sales lead is referred to as lead generation, a process conducted by either the marketing or sales organization.
A sales lead may also be defined as a sales stage object in CRM systems that serves as a repository for prospecting lists that are not considered to include a person that has expressed interest, authority, or budget.