corporate meetingWhen you see the term “lead” in marketing, it generally refers to a potential customer who might have an interest in your products or services at some point in time.

While this definition is correct, you can typically break down leads into additional subcategories for the development of more detailed marketing strategies. By understanding the difference between cold, warm and qualified leads, you will improve your success rate and foster better personal relationships with your customers.

What Is a Cold Lead?

Formerly one of the most-used marketing methods, cold calling reaches people who have not shown any interest in your company or services. It’s still a fruitful endeavor from time to time, but the enormous surge in robocalls that push spam and scams have subsequently led to a higher number of people blocking unsolicited numbers and other contact methods. Your intentions might be honest — just trying to engage your audience — but most people are no longer having it.

Even when you do manage to get an answer after repeated attempts, the responders will likely feel instantly wary, suspicious and quick on the “end-call” trigger. Conversion and generation rates are poor, but you can improve your chances by remaining polite, honest, concise and focused on the customer.

What Is a Warm Lead?

You’ll feel a little less frosty when dealing with a warm lead, which represents a person who has shown prior interest in your company. Actions that signal this type of lead include signing up for email updates or following your company on social media.

They may not be explicitly interested in buying right away, but you’ve collected their contact information and possess the ability to introduce new insights about your products that might eventually nudge them in that direction. These types of leads should always take precedence over cold leads.

You should monitor warm leads closely and establish contact at relevant, appropriate times to forge more trust.

What Is a Qualified Lead?

When comparing warm leads vs. qualified leads, you’ll find that the latter is closer to entering the purchasing process.

Warm leads show awareness of your existence, but qualified leads take precedence as people who have shown targeted interest in acquiring the product or service you deal in. These people might use their search engine to specifically seek out something like “truck repair services in Georgia,” download guides or other PDFs from your website. Or, they might fill out submission forms to inquire about your services.

How Can You Manage These Different Categories?

Prioritizing your time with lead management is critical. So many businesses lose time and money after they focus on the prospects who amount to nothing. Developing a hierarchy of contacts should be a top priority, with cold leads settling at the bottom and different types of warm and qualified leads populating the top.

You can evaluate a lead’s potential in several ways, and those options include proprietary software algorithms and the traditional BANT method — Budget, Authority, Need, Time. Tinker with different models to achieve as close to as a consensus as possible, then organize them by the likelihood of success.

Manage All Your Leads With LeadMaster’s Innovative Software

Classification of sales leads is a bountiful but stressful process, and its management demands can create delays and inefficiencies. Technology is a welcome partner in this area, and you’ll find some of the best lead management software available when you partner with LeadMaster. With a nationwide presence and proven results, our program offers an all-in-one solution that’s flexible, affordable, scalable and dependable. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today to speak with a representative.