Your B2B company won't generate many sales unless it has a steady supply of high-quality leads. Research, in fact, shows that over six in 10 sales reps say lead generation is one of their top priorities. Without leads, you'll have to blindly search for prospective buyers, and only after identifying a prospective buyer can reach out to him or her to pitch your B2B company's products or services. While all sales leads consist of prospective buyers, there are several types of B2B sales leads, including cold, warm and hot. What's the difference between cold, warm and hot B2B leads exactly?
What Is a Cold B2B Lead?
A cold B2B lead is someone who fits your B2B company's target audience but hasn't had any prior interaction with you or anyone else at your B2B company. Cold B2B leads follow the same principle of cold calling, meaning they haven't had any prior contact with your B2B company. If you're thinking about calling or emailing a prospective buyer for the first time, he or she is considered a cold B2B lead.
What Is a Warm B2B Lead?
A warm B2B lead, on the other hand, is someone who fits your B2B company's target audience and had already interacted with either you or someone else at your B2B company. Like cold B2B leads, they consist of prospective buyers who may purchase your B2B company's products or services. The difference is that cold B2B leads haven't interacted with your B2B company, whereas warm B2B leads have interacted with your B2B company. A prospective buyer who called your B2B company to inquire about its products or services, for example, is considered a warm B2B lead.
What Is a Hot B2B Lead?
Finally, a hot B2B lead is a high-quality lead consisting of a prospective buyer who's already been vetted, as well as nurtured, by your B2B company's marketing and sales departments. Hot leads are also known as sales-qualified leads because they've been validated or "qualified." They aren't just warm B2B leads. Rather, they are a step above their warm counterparts. Hot B2B leads have been vetted by marketing and sales reps, whereas cold and warm B2B leads haven't.
Benefits of Targeting Cold B2B Leads
While they typically have the lowest conversion rates, cold B2B leads are easy to acquire. You can often purchase lists of cold B2B leads from vendors who specialize in B2B lead generation. By outsourcing your B2B company's lead generation efforts, you can focus on sales-related activities that directly attribute to your B2B company's success. Most vendors, however, only sell cold B2B leads; they don't sell warm or hot B2B leads.
Not only are they easy to acquire, but cold B2B leads are also easy to target in sales activities. Since you haven't interacted with them in the past, you won't have to review records of prior correspondences. Instead, you can pick up the phone -- or turn on your computer -- to contact and engage with cold B2B leads.
Benefits of Targeting Warm B2B Leads
Targeting warm B2B leads will result in higher conversion rates. Studies show that cold B2B leads, when contacted by phone, have an average conversion rate of just 2.5%. If you've already interacted with a prospective buyer, though, he or she is more likely to make a purchase. Warm B2B leads have higher conversion rates than cold B2B leads because they've already expressed interest.
You can classify SalesLeads' Project Reports as a warm sales lead. Because of the work of the researchers, we know that there is an opportunity or project going on. When you call the warm sales lead or Project Report, you'll be able to quickly begin a dialog that can lead into the sales cycle and add quality sales leads into your sales funnel. Calling the contacts provided with their name, title, direct phone and email address will enable you to reach out and connect.
By targeting warm B2B leads, you'll also have the ability to nurture these prospective buyers through your B2B company's sales funnel. You can contact B2B warm leads to help identify their unique needs. In doing so, you can then offer a product or service as a solution.
Benefits of Targeting Hot B2B Leads
Hot B2B leads, of course, have the highest conversion rates. It's estimated that only 27% of B2B leads are hot. As a result, nearly three in four B2B leads fall under the category of either cold or warm. While hot B2B leads aren't as common as their cold and warm counterparts, they have the greatest chance of converting into buyers. B2B companies vet their leads by thoroughly researching them. During this process, the B2B company's marketing and sales departments will check the lead to determine if he or she is a suitable buyer. If the lead has a high chance of converting, he or she will be classified as a hot or sales-qualified lead.
Whether cold, warm or hot, all B2B leads are prospective buyers. The difference between these three types of B2B leads lies in their details. Cold B2B leads are prospective buyers with whom you haven't interacted, whereas warm B2B leads are prospective buyers with whom you have interacted. Finally, hot B2B leads are sales-qualified leads that have been vetted by your B2B company's marketing and sales departments.