April 29, 2023
Vlastimil Vodička

Cold Leads vs Warm Leads: Why Staying on the Warmer Side is Crucial

Find out why cold outreach should take a backseat in your sales strategy after you've exhausted all your hot leads and warm leads.

Cold Leads vs Warm Leads - reasons and ways to convert warm leads

As a sales professional, you've probably spent hours debating whether to focus on cold or warm leads. You know, like being torn between two lovers. Well, today, we'll settle the score and show you why staying on the warmer side is essential for your sales strategy. Buckle up and let's dive in!

What's the Difference Between Cold and Warm Leads?

First things first, let's clarify the meaning of cold and warm leads.

Cold leads are those prospects who have never heard of you or your company and have no reason to be interested in your product. It's like trying to sell ice to an Eskimo - it's a tough sell.

Warm leads, on the other hand, have some familiarity or connection with your company or product. These leads are more likely to make a purchase because they have already shown interest in your offering or have been referred by someone they trust. It's like having a conversation with a friend - you're starting on common ground.

The Sales Thermometer: Gauging the Temperature of Your (not just B2B) Leads

Now that we've defined cold and warm leads let's talk about checking the sales thermometer. This is crucial for understanding which leads are more likely to convert and how to prioritize them. Here are some examples of warm leads:

Demo Requests

These are prospects who have voluntarily provided their contact information, knowing that they'll be contacted by a salesperson. It's like they're waving a flag that says, "Hey, I'm interested in your product and I just need a bit more information until I get ready to buy!" Since they're already showing interest, these hot leads should be your top priority.

Existing/Past Customers and Users

People who have already experienced your product or service are like walking testimonials. They know what you offer and are more likely to make a purchase or recommend you to others. These qualified leads on the top of the sales funnel are sizzling and should be second on your list.

Past Prospects

These potential customers are the ones who not just expressed interest but considered buying your product in the past but didn't make a purchase. They're familiar with your offering, which means they're still warm leads, just waiting for the right nudge to push them over the edge.

Customer Referrals: straight path to hot sales

"refer a friend" note referring to customer referrals

When a satisfied customer refers their friend or colleague to your company, they're giving you instant credibility. It's like having a friend vouch for you at a party – you're instantly accepted. These hot sales leads should be high on your sales reps list. Customer referrals are among the best sources of warm leads, as they have an undeniable trust and interest in your business, so they need less effort from your sales and marketing department to get ready to make a purchase. Ultimately this results in a shorter sales cycle.

How to Reach Out to Different Types of Leads & Nurture Them

When it comes to reaching out to leads, it's essential to understand the nuances of each group and adopt the right approach. Let's dive deeper into the methods of engaging with various types of leads. Let's not forget that Pipebooster offers a suite of warm lead nurturing features that can help your sales team streamline your sales process and maximize conversions. We'll have a look at those features as well in this section.

Demo Requests

Time is of the essence with demo requests. Buyers expect immediate responses, and every second you wait can diminish your chances of securing a meeting or sale. Don't skimp on your follow-up efforts. Take a moment to research the person who requested a demo and tailor your messaging to recapture their interest. Reference companies they care about, like their competitors, previous employers, or shared connections using your product.

A logical way for doing this research could be to use Pipebooster's LinkedIn profile matching and email scraping function for lead generation. This way you can rest assured that you don't miss any important facts about the person that you're dealing with and you can craft a truly personalized message that resonates with them.

Past Customers/Users

Young man suggesting something to his colleagues in an office

These leads are your biggest influencers. Paying customers who have used or purchased your products and services in the past are more likely to buy again and buy faster since they already trust your business. When targeting past champions, remember to:

  1. Be fast, but don't be pushy. You have the advantage over other vendors, so don't spoil it by pushing for the second sale.
  2. Offer value instead of pitching. Stand out by providing meaningful resources and perhaps a personalized gift. Capture mindshare early and let them come back to you naturally or make the ask when they're more settled in their new role.

Don't just focus on the buyer who actually gives the green flag for the transaction. End-users, even without budget or authority, can be your product's biggest fans and bring you to their bosses and colleagues. Use Pipebooster's automated email feature to nurture those loyal contacts. The email marketing feature allows you to send personalized emails to your past customers or users without the hassle of manual outreach. It's like having a personal assistant who knows exactly what to say and when to say it.

Past Prospects

People who have already evaluated your product but didn't purchase are still valuable leads. They may not have bought them due to various reasons, which could change over time. Track those who made it to the later stages of the funnel and were "closed lost" for good reasons.

Nurture warm leads and check-in on these opportunities every quarter to see if circumstances have changed. If they change jobs, it could create a new opportunity for you, as new hires are more open to exploring new tools and services. Pipebooster's follow-up notifications keep you on track, ensuring you maintain a consistent and timely communication cadence with them. Check out our comprehensive guide 'Master These Follow-up Tactics for Warm Leads vs Cold Leads to Leave Your Competitors Behind' to understand the nitty-gritty of follow-ups.

You can gather more detailed data about those leads by tapping into their LinkedIn profiles. Pipebooster's data enrichment feature provides valuable insights, helping you tailor your approach and messaging for maximum impact.

Customer Referrals

While customer referrals require more effort to obtain, they are worth pursuing. Most happy customers are willing to introduce friends to your product, but they might need a gentle nudge. Build relationships with your clients, so you feel comfortable asking for referrals when the time is right.

Leveraging Sales Trigger Events

Laptop screen showing the homepage of Pipebooster

Sales trigger events, such as new hires, promotions, funding, or mergers/acquisitions, can present valuable opportunities. For example, new hires often spend 70% of their budget within their first 100 days. With job tracking software like Pipebooster, you can easily handle this by monitoring job changes and targeting leads at the perfect moment. Be quick to capitalize on these triggers, but also be unique and valuable in your approach.

Making these strategies part of your sales process will enable you to effectively target and engage with various lead groups. By focusing on warmer leads and using tools like Pipebooster, you can optimize your sales process and secure more conversions. Remember, the key is to stay on the warmer side of the sales spectrum for the best results.

The Final Verdict: Cold Outreach vs Warm Leads

So, what's the takeaway? Should you completely abandon cold outreach? The answer is no, but it should only come into play after you've exhausted all your warmer leads. With the increasing availability of data on warm prospects, cold outreach should take a backseat in your sales strategy.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, focusing on warm leads is crucial for maximizing conversions, saving time, and reducing costs. By leveraging tools like Pipebooster, you can streamline your sales process and ensure that you're targeting the right leads at the right time. Remember, it's all about staying on the warmer side of the sales spectrum.

So, the next time you find yourself torn between cold and warm leads, think about the benefits of prioritizing those warmer connections. Embrace the warmth, and watch your sales soar to new heights!

About the author
Vlastimil Vodička
Vlastimil Vodička

CEO of Leadspicker

Vlastimil Vodicka is a startup founder with a Venture Capital background. In recent years, with his co-founder, he has built a technology startup that Deloitte has recognized as the 16th fastest-growing technology company in the Central European Deloitte Fast 50 2019 program. After having bootstrapped and earned the first million dollars themselves, Leadspicker landed $2 million in seed funding from Reflex Capital and J&T Ventures.

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