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Cold vs. Warm Leads

Outbound Prospecting, Sales

Cold Leads vs. Warm Leads

If you’re in sales, you probably know that every successful B2B sale starts with the right leads; people in companies that fit your ICP and working in roles that may purchase products or services from you. Usually, leads are divided into different categories and characterised as cold leads vs. warm leads.

When you develop B2B outbound strategies, your ultimate goal is to convert leads into prospects. But how do you effectively convert those leads?

There are various types of leads and each of them requires a different approach. If you want to increase the number of deals you close, you should start by defining the category of the lead and understanding their needs. Then, you can adapt your prospecting strategy accordingly.

The Difference Between Sales Leads

In B2B sales, there are three main categories of leads: cold, warm, and hot leads. 

Most of your leads will typically start somewhere between cold and warm levels. Don’t let this disappoint you, as using the right prospecting strategy can transform your cold and warm leads into hot leads.

Depending on a potential customer’s level of interest, a lead may be classified as cold, warm, or hot. 

Cold leads are the people who do not know your product or service, have little knowledge about your business, or show no interest. Cold leads stand at the top of the sales funnel and need most of your time and effort.

Initially, all the leads are cold. This means that your current warm leads were once cold, and the same applies to your current hot leads. Thus, depending on the strategies you apply, you can make them move faster down the sales pipeline or remain cold indefinitely.

Warm leads are the people who have shown some interest in your business. They may have experienced your products or services, or they have engaged with your business in some way. Nevertheless, they haven’t decided to do business with you yet. So, at this stage, you must convince them why they should choose your company and convert their interest into a sale.

Hot leads are qualified leads who want and need your product or service and can start collaborating with you soon. Usually, hot leads take less time to convert into a sale. Having hot leads in your sales pipeline shows that you have succeeded in building a trustworthy relationship. 

How Do You Prospect Cold vs. Warm Leads?

Prospecting cold leads

Since cold leads are not familiar with your product/service yet, you must find a way to trigger their curiosity and build awareness. Below you can find some of the primary communication channels. Use them wisely to create meaningful contact moments that can attract their attention. 

Cold emails

Cold emails are powerful for creating awareness among possible prospects. Regardless of the size of your company, cold emailing is a proven method for lead generation and network expansion. With proper design, cold emails can be persistent, scalable, visually attractive, informative, and personal at the same time. 

Cold calls 

Another way to effectively prospect your leads is to start with an introduction email. Once it is read, you can continue by giving them a call. Calls allow you to gain feedback and valuable information on the spot, so you can adjust your pitch accordingly. Most importantly, you can create a human connection with your prospects by understanding to a certain extent their tone of voice, personality characteristics, sense of humour, and so on. 

Social media

As it is widely known, the vast majority of businesses are active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great channel to easily engage with your prospects by contacting them via message, posting relevant and useful content, and sharing updates about your business. People are more likely to read LinkedIn messages because the platform provides a secure environment and the messages are more direct. 

Prospecting warm leads

Warm leads have already experienced your products or services or expressed interest in your business by communicating with you through emails, calls, etc. At this point, you should use a fully personalized approach by highlighting your competitive advantage while trying to meet your prospect’s needs. The following strategies will help you:

Clients’ testimonials 

Reviews are a powerful tool that convinces people to purchase a product or service. Having positive client reviews and case studies can make your business more attractive and enhance your credibility. 

Personalized content 

People like to be treated as unique persons and usually engage easier with content related specifically to them. Ensuring that the content matches your prospect’s interests will increase the possibilities of purchase. Typical examples include blogs, emails, landing pages, articles, etc. 

Human approach

There are situations where you have already built a trustworthy relationship between you and your warm lead. In this case, you can propose an online or in-person meeting, give them a call, or send an email to negotiate future collaboration. Personal interaction will add a lot of value to your relationship.

The whole process of prospecting can be challenging. However, it can also be a positive experience for both SDRs and prospects. Integrating and implementing some of the above strategies into your workflow will help you to convert your cold and warm leads into hot leads faster and easier. Keep in mind that if you want to transform your hot leads into loyal customers, you should constantly nurture them.