What's the Difference Between Hot, Cold, and Warm Leads?

difference between hot cold warm leads sales lead generation conversion

It takes an average of 7 brand impressions for a person to become a customer. Those impressions might be a newsletter, a social media ad, or a phone call. 

As a salesperson, it's a challenge to turn an uninterested passerby into a paying customer. That's why it's smart to look for customers who are already interested, or warm leads. 

The trouble is, there's other temperatures of sales leads, including cold and hot. 

Luckily, each one clearly represents a different point in the sales funnel. Keep reading to learn the difference between hot, cold, and warm leads so you can choose the right sales strategy for your business. 

Cold Leads 

Cold leads are at the top of the sales funnel. A cold lead is one that hasn't shown any interest in your company. Maybe they signed up for your company newsletter a few years ago, but they haven't had any engagement since. 

As a salesperson, it's best to avoid devoting too much time chasing cold leads. While some of them may turn into warm leads eventually, it won't happen with most of them. 

One strategy is to send a low-risk offer to see if there's any potential interest. If there's not, don't be afraid to move on. 

Warm Leads 

A warm lead is someone who engages with your company, but they're not ready to make a purchase. They might follow your company on social media or subscribe to your newsletter. 

With a warm lead, your goal is to nurture the relationship and figure out what's keeping them from making a purchase. Are they looking for a lower price, a guarantee, or specialized features? Figure out what their pain points are and offer your product as the solution. 

This is where social media marketing comes in handy. For example, you can set up a Facebook ad campaign to learn specifics about your target clients' interests and problems. Not only will you get quality Facebook leads, but you'll also understand how to better serve potential clients. 

Hot Leads 

Hot leads, also called qualified leads, are near the bottom of the sales funnel. That means they're in a position to buy. 

At this point, your potential client is searching out a specific product or service to meet their needs. Ideally, they will reach out to your company or make a purchase on your website. 

For hot leads, your main goal is to make sure they choose your company over a competitor. That's where a good SEO strategy comes into play. If your potential customer is searching online, you want to show up in the top Google results so they'll choose you. 

It's also critical to have a great sales team. They need to convince the client that your product is the best solution for their needs. 

Upgrade Your Sales Strategy Today 

Knowing the different temperatures of sales leads helps you understand your potential customers better. 

Cold leads have heard of you, but aren't engaged, while hot leads are ready to buy. Warm leads are engaged and interested, but aren't quite ready to buy. With the right strategy, you can turn warm leads into your newest customers. You just need to lead the way to turn those warm leads into red hot sales.

To find more information on selling smarter and building businesses, keep scrolling through our blog. Visit the Sales section of the Bootstrap Business Blog to learn more about lead generation, conversions, closing deals, and stronger selling.

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