April 27, 2023
Vlastimil Vodička

Cold vs warm leads: Does it matter for sales prospecting success?

Boost your sales prospecting strategies with Pipebooster! Know the difference between cold leads and hot leads by understanding their needs and motivations in the B2B world.

Cold vs warm leads: Does it matter for sales prospecting success?

In the fast-paced world of sales, understanding the difference between cold and warm leads can be a game-changer when it comes to marketing strategies to shorten the sales cycle. Both types of leads have their own unique challenges and opportunities, and knowing how to approach them can significantly impact your sales efforts. In this article, we'll get to know the difference between cold and warm leads, where to find them, what are the specific challenges that come with each of them, and ultimately: which one you should target for outrageous sales prospecting success.

Characteristics of cold prospects and where to find them

Every lead is important but let's quickly clear the difference between cold leads vs warm leads. A cold lead is a potential client, although they have never expressed interest in your product or service or engaged with you in any way. However, in the B2B world, they are key decision-makers (KDMs) at companies that fit your ideal client profile so you should do outreach for them. Cold leads can be found in various segments:

  • Google My Business: Let them know your brand! Qualified leads are 2.7 times more likely to consider your business reputation if you have a complete Google Business Profile, according to hootsuite.com
  • Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are also treasure troves as every day more and more buyers now use social media for their purchasing decisions
  • Events: whether virtual or in-person, offer another opportunity to connect with cold leads who are not ready to make a purchase...yet!

Challenges you face when prospecting a cold lead

 Irritated man on the phone when he receives a cold call

Cold lead prospecting presents several challenges, including time-consuming manual processes and poor lead quality due to misalignment between sales and marketing teams. To effectively close sales, it's essential to target the right accounts and send personalized messages. However, outdated methods and unreliable contact information can hamper success rates.

Warm leads to target first?

Understanding and nurturing warm leads

Warm prospects or leads are the ones most likely to convert into hot leads. A warm lead is an individual or company who has already expressed interest in what you’re offering but is not a loyal customer yet. Warm leads are much closer, as they are on your email list or have filled out a form for more information on your product or service. They are potential customers, playing a very important role in your sales process.

How to catch the attention of your warm leads?

  • Address those who already trust you

Given that past customers have a conversion likelihood three times higher than fresh leads, it's crucial to monitor job transitions and pinpoint their updated work email addresses and details, so you can reach them through automated emails, direct mail gifts, and targeted advertisements. Pipebooster offers automatically created email drafts for saving you time and effort.

  • Build trust with referrals and loyalty programs

Set up a straightforward recommendation system, and solicit referrals from current and past clients who have already shown interest in your product.  

  • Social media is (not) just scrolling on Facebook

By sharing valuable content and organizing tailored events during the sales journey, your business can effectively engage with warm leads and nurture relationships. According to I-scoop,  84% of B2B purchasers rely on social media to investigate potential solutions before making a purchase.

Cold vs. Warm Leads? How Should I Prioritize Between Different Types of Leads?

Woman with a highlighter in her hand

Blurry distinction & 'dark social'

We sales professionals are starting to see a trend that the distinction between warm and cold leads is becoming less clear. There's even a term, 'dark social', for those interactions for example on social media that are untraceable, such as private link shares on social media, messaging apps, or forwarded emails.

This phenomenon leads us to the point that the key to understanding the difference between warm and cold leads is your relationship with the prospect.

Define your strategy

It also depends on your sales strategy: if you want to focus your efforts on a shorter sales cycle, or on B2B sales prospecting, you should probably go for the warm leads. They are already familiar with your product and its value. These leads can be easily integrated into your CRM with verified contact information (especially if you're a subscriber to Pipebooster), allowing sales development representatives (SDRs) to connect with minimal effort and make them ready to buy.

On the other hand, cold leads require sales reps to spend a significant amount of time searching LinkedIn, crafting personalized emails, and overcoming the initial barrier of a cold call. Establishing a connection with cold leads is more labor-intensive, making warm leads a more attractive target.

Play it smart and produce hot sales leads through sales trigger events

In conclusion, focusing on warm leads and utilizing sales trigger events like job changes can lead to more efficient sales prospecting. Again, look at the revolutionary features of automated job-tracking and personalized email outreach of Pipebooster and you'll understand what I mean. Additionally, consider factors such as cost, and industry-specific circumstances when determining which leads to prioritize.

Why Pipebooster? For generating warm leads and much more

Screenshot of an AI-generated automatic email draft by Pipebooster

When trying to differentiate between cold and warm leads, it's essential to consider the relationship with the prospect and the most effective way to target them. This is where Pipebooster can make a significant impact, offering various advantages to help you achieve sales prospecting success.

Focusing on warm leads can lead to more efficient sales prospecting, as they are already familiar with your product and its value. Pipebooster can help you manage these leads with real-time tracking of job changes, providing updates on job titles, companies, and other relevant information. This ensures you stay informed and updated about your contacts' current positions.

Integration with popular CRMs like Pipedrive and Hubspot allows you to keep your contact information up-to-date across multiple platforms, further simplifying the process. Additionally, Pipebooster's AI-generated personalized email drafts save you time and make it easier to catch the attention of your warm leads. One more resource to support your pipeline progress is our guide about follow-up tactics to leave your competitors behind. Go for it.

Pipebooster can help you prioritize warm leads while still keeping an eye on cold leads. By utilizing sales trigger events, such as job changes, and focusing on building trust with referrals and loyalty programs, you can effectively engage with both types of leads.


In conclusion, the debate between warm vs cold leads may not have a definitive winner, as both make part of the sales process. What truly matters is lead generation and lead nurturing. Understanding the needs, motivations, and lead qualification processes for every lead type. Tailor your sales approach and marketing costs accordingly. Let clients know about your product and help them move down the sales funnel. By leveraging the power of tools like Pipebooster, sales reps, and B2B businesses can stay informed about their prospects, manage leads, and adapt their strategies to engage both cold and warm leads effectively.

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.

Ready to get started?

The easiest thing you can do this month to hit your revenue goals