What are Hot Leads & Where Can You Find Them?

A simple "temperature check" of your leads will determine whether they are cold, warm or hot. But what are hot leads and where do you find them?

What are Hot Leads & Where Can You Find Them?

When it comes to leads, is the best approach quantity or quality? Trick question; the answer is both.  

Your marketing team is supplying you with a constant stream of leads. However, it is up to you as a sales professional to determine whether or not these leads will be a good fit. This is because only 25% of marketing generated leads are high enough quality to convert into a sale. Digging deeper into each lead to determine if it’s worth pursuing takes a little more time and effort for sales, but will ultimately make the difference in whether or not you close the deal.

So, how do you do that? A simple ‘temperature check’ to feel out if a lead is cold, warm or hot will do the trick. But first, let’s define cold, warm and hot leads so you understand the difference.

What Are Cold Leads?

These are individuals who haven’t shown interest in your product or service and don’t have buyer’s intent. Most of these leads come through via some form of cold outreach and often don’t have prior knowledge of your company.

On the flip side, a cold lead may start off as someone who was interested at some point, but has since dropped off and is no longer engaging.

What Are Warm Leads?

These are individuals who have shown interest in your product/service. However, they don’t have a solid timeframe of when they’d like to purchase. Many of these leads come through your website, either downloading a piece of gated content or subscribing to your newsletter.  

What Are Hot Leads?

To determine if a lead is hot, you must first qualify them. Hubspot has an excellent resource on how to qualify leads, step by step. But essentially, what this means:

  • The individual is interested in your product or service
  • They have budget set aside to purchase with
  • They have the authority to make the purchasing decision
  • They have a need for your product/service
  • They have a clear timeline of when they’d like to buy

Once you’ve gone through the above checklist and found that all of those apply --- you have a hot lead!

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Where Can You Find Hot Leads?

In an ideal world, someone that checks every box on the above list will seek you out, credit card in hand, wanting to buy. However, it is rarely that easy. The good news is that hot leads are already right under your nose.

Don’t write off your warm or even cold leads. They have the potential to become hot leads and there are a few ways you can help move them further down the funnel, closer to buying.

How to Make a Warm Lead Hot

  1. Reach out quickly, or miss out - When you receive a viable new lead through some form of inbound sales/marketing (normally a form fill on your website), it is imperative to respond as quickly as possible. According to Vendastada, over 75% of buyers purchase from the first company that responds to them.
  2. Share testimonials, case studies or customer success stories - These are all powerful tools to aid the sales process. If a warm lead is able to see another company like them (same industry / business model) have success with your product, they will be able to visualize how they can get value out of your product or service.
  3. Show them the product - Whether a lead has come through from downloading a piece of content or requesting more information regarding your product, a great way to engage them is by offering a product demo so they can actually see your product/service in action.
  4. Create a sense of urgency - This is a long running tactic many sales teams use when they want to close a deal promptly. Present warm leads with some form offer, discount, bundle etc. to create a sense of urgency and encourage them to buy.

How to Warm Up a Cold Lead

  1. Focus on building a relationship before selling - At this stage in the sales process, building rapport and trust is key. Cold leads aren’t necessarily ready to purchase, but when the time comes you will be top of mind.
  2. Nurture cold leads with relevant content - A great way to help warm up cold leads is by regularly sending them helpful, relevant content. Marketing can also help with this by adding them to a nurture campaign, however, it’s also valuable to personally reach out with content to begin building rapport.
  3. Ask for the decision maker - One of the most important aspects of a hot lead is that they have buying power. When communicating with a cold lead, verify that they are the decision makers, and if they aren’t, ask them if they can point you into the direction of who is.

Want to ramp up your sales teams prospecting strategy? Check out our tips for a highly effective prospecting strategy here.