Explained: Cold, warm, and hot leads

Dheeraj Ramchand

Dheeraj Ramchand

    We all know the importance of leads for business. A lead today could be a paying customer tomorrow…. And more paying customers means more revenue for your business.

    We often hear of marketers talking about generating more leads, while sales people talk about closing more leads – turning leads into paying customers.

    However, not all leads are created equal. Some leads show far more interest in your product or service than others. Some leads need more time to warm up to your brand before they make a purchase, while others are ready to buy instantly. 

    Leads can be classified in three distinct stages – cold leads, warm leads, and hot leads. With each stage, there are certain actions you can take to bring your leads closer to a purchase.

    What is a cold lead?

    A cold lead is a prospect who, at this point in time, has no interest in engaging with your company. 

    Just because they do not express interest, that does not mean that they will not benefit from your product or service. They may not express immediate interest because:

    • They may have not heard of your company
    • They do not realize they have a problem which you can solve
    • They are not actively looking for a solution

    At this stage, you need to make your cold leads aware about your brand’s existence, the problems you can solve, and how you are different from alternatives. When a cold lead is familiar with what you can do, this plants a seed to turn them into a warm lead.

    What is a warm lead?

    A warm lead is a prospect who has shown interest in the value your company can provide. Warm leads can be generated from your content or through certain lead generation tactics.

    Warm leads take action to keep up to date with your brand, for example:

    • Following you on social media
    • Signing up for your newsletter
    • Subscribing to your Podcast / YouTube channel

    Although warm leads may not turn into paying customers straight away, they are more likely to remember you when they need your product or service.

    Warm leads need to be consistently engaged. You need to consistently provide value through your content – or else they may forget about you when a competitor comes along.

    When a visitor finds your website or social media profile, you should guide them to subscribe to your newsletter / YouTube channel / podcast. 

    What is a hot lead?

    A hot lead is a prospect who is ready to make a purchase. They are aware of their problems and your solutions. They may have started some actions to initiate the sales process – like booking a sales demo or sending an inquiry email.

    At this stage, your prospect needs to be convinced your product or service is the best solution for their needs. They are ready to buy, but may still be looking at alternatives.

    At this stage, it is critical to communicate how your solution is better than the alternatives and why your prospect needs to purchase immediately.

    Identify and close warm and hot leads

    Warm and hot leads generally show high intent data. This means they may spend a lot of time browsing your website and engaging with your content to see if your solution is the right fit for their needs.

    With Happierleads, you can identify your B2B website visitors to see which leads are showing high intent on your website. Start your 14-day free trial.

    identify b2b website visitors

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