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What Are Hot Leads in Sales? How to Attract & Close Them in 2024

Hot leads, AKA every SDR's dream lead.


Because they are a lot easier to convert compared to cold and warm leads.

But, what is a hot lead? 

In sales, a hot lead is a qualified lead that's been through a sales nurture and is highly interested in purchasing your service or product.

So, if you’re keen to discover how to win hot leads in B2B sales, then read on! We’re covering:

  • The different types of sales leads and what sets them apart
  • Hot to attract hot leads with steps for more conversions
  • Ways to warm up new leads and move them down the funnel till they’re toasty warm and ready to buy

Scroll for more insight and 6 tips for closing these sought-after leads 👇. 

Cold vs warm vs hot leads - what’s the difference? 

The leads are coming in hot, but how likely are they to convert? 

In B2B sales, you get 3 types of leads:

  • Cold leads
  • Warm leads
  • Hot leads

But what makes a lead hot, cold or warm?

Figuring this out can be a bit overwhelming. The good news is you don't need a thermometer to do so. Once you know the definitions of each, pushing them through your sales funnel is easy!

Let's start 👇.

What are cold leads?

Ice ice… Leads?

Cold leads are as frosty as Anna’s response to Elsa asking if she wants to build a snowman.

They have no idea who you are.

They’re annoyed that you called them.

They aren’t interested in your product.

And they don’t have time to talk.

These are your cold leads. The leads right at the beginning of your
sales funnel, and they're cold because they haven't been approached by you to warm up with your selling prowess.

What are warm leads?

Warm leads have taken the time to listen to you talk.

They’ve engaged with your content on social media, and you've probably approached them with a warm call

They're considered warm leads because they have an idea of who you are, and they’ve accepted your meeting request for a demo.

What are hot leads in sales?

These buyers know what you’re selling, and they’re very, very interested.

Maybe you’ve put them through a nurture or they've been referred by a friend. A hot lead might even have been following your company for some time and has identified you as the best solution to fulfil their needs.

Because they're a hot lead, they're ripe and ready to make a purchase which is why they're every SDR's dream lead. 

Now that you know the meaning of a hot lead, cold lead and warm lead it makes sense that when it comes to cold leads vs warm leads - the hotter the better!

On to the next step 👇.

How do you convert hot sales leads? 

The final stage of your sales cycle can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

We've got 6 tips to help you close hot sales leads in no time:

1. Identify engagement

Remember, a hot lead is already familiar with your product and highly interested in becoming a customer. To understand their needs, you need to be aware of their customer journey and what brought them to this point. Especially if you haven't nurtured them from a cold to hot lead.

Using a tool like HubSpot, you can identify how your lead has engaged with your website and B2B marketing to make more informed decisions going forward.

For example, you can discover what interests them the most and use that knowledge to explain why your product is an excellent fit for their business.

2. Support your product with marketing collateral

This tip works hand in hand with identifying user engagement.

When you know what your buyers like, you can give them more of it.

However, keep in mind that hot leads are already very aware of your product and have likely done a lot of research already.

You'll need to ensure any content you send them isn't a repeat of what they know, but instead supports their decisions to purchase. This can include pricing information, a demo, case studies, a complimentary trial or product collateral. Use a brochure maker to create great product collateral.

3. Determine a timeline

Most hot leads know what direction they want to go in and will already be working with a clear timeline and expected closing date.  

It's your job as their rep to discuss their timeline with them and ensure everything is finalised on time and all sales goals are reached.

This means taking an in-depth look at how your company can benefit them and clearing away any final hurdles.

4. Personalise everything

If a hot lead hasn’t been through a lead nurture with you, then it’s essential to connect with them as soon as they make contact to avoid losing them.

Another crucial tactic for communicating with hot leads is to personalise everything.

Research by Epsilon shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that personalise their outreach.

You can do this by:

  • Segmenting your email prospecting lists to address specific pain points for different companies  
  • Always tailoring your message to the individual you’re reaching out to and their business
  • Using formulas in cold emails for names and company names

5. Establish trust

Gaining a hot lead outside of a nurture campaign is a rarity.

Most hot leads come from warm leads that have journeyed with you down the funnel.

And this journey has helped build a relationship and establish trust with your prospect.

Gaining a new hot sales lead's trust will require the same dedication in a shorter amount of time. Here's a list of how you can do it:

  • Show them your product in action with a sales demo. Here you can identify any features that would satisfy their needs
  • Use case studies to back up your claims of success

6. Utilise your CRM

One of the most important tips for lead generation is to always utilise your CRM.

Sales automation software like SalesLoft is the best way to keep your sales data organised and ready to bring in more revenue.

CRMs assist you in moving your buyers through the funnel by automating specific content and outreach to be delivered at the most optimum time.

Plus, you can rank your leads, making it easier to find hot leads and set reminders to ensure you never let a warm sale melt away ever again.

Here's an infographic of all 6 lead to close tips summarised:

6 tips for converting hot leads infographic

Closing thoughts 

Hot leads don’t just happen.

They come from effort, brand awareness and dedication.

While most are formed from warm leads already in your funnel, some do come from other sources, like happy customers.

So, be sure to keep your current clients happy.

But, when it comes to generating new sales leads, the key to keeping them interested and converting them into customers is to engage with them. Work on sharing more hyper-personalised content you know they’ll enjoy and build a trusting relationship for more quick wins.

Hot sales = using the right lead generation strategy. 🎥 Watch this quick video on inbound vs outbound sales from Cognism superstar Emily Liu.

Fire up your leads with Cognism 

Make more time to heat up your targeted leads with the world’s best sales intelligence solution.

With Cognism, sales teams can minimise their manual research, admin and dialling incorrect numbers.

Exceed your number and start bringing in more and more hot leads - Click to book your demo today 👇

Book your Cognism demo


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