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What's the Difference Between Warm Calling Vs Cold Calling?

Warm calling vs cold calling, what’s the difference? 

Here’s a quick summary: 

Cold calling is when a sales rep calls a prospect who hasn’t shown any interest in becoming a customer and might not be aware of your brand. Warm calling is when a rep calls a prospect who has expressed interest in your product or service. 

It makes sense that you’ll receive more objections from a cold call than a warm call right? 

Making warm calling a desirable part of any sales strategy.

But do you bring in more warm leads over cold?  

That’s what we’ll answer in this article, as well as the difference between cold, warm and hot calls and the meaning of each.

Let’s get started 👇

Cognism SDR Zone

What’s cold calling?

Cold calling is an outbound sales tactic used by SDRs to reach potential customers who might have never heard of your product or service before.

The call is cold because the caller isn’t expecting it and the sales rep is likely using a prospecting list for outreach.

Callers often follow a cold calling script, and an example of a typical call would be: 

 “Hi (name), it’s Lacey from Cognism here. I appreciate that I’ve called you out of the blue, is now a bad time?”

If cold calling is a major part of your sales strategy, then you might be interested in this quick video on how to nail the first 30 seconds of a cold call 👇

Tip! 💡 When cold vs warm calling doesn’t work, you can also try engaging with a prospect via cold email.

What’s warm calling?

Warm calling is when a rep calls a sales lead that they’ve already communicated with. The call is warmer than a cold call because the prospect is familiar with you and your company. 

When choosing between a cold vs warm call, warm calls are always the better option. That's because they are a fantastic way to increase the success rate of your calls and meet sales goals

An example would be when you’ve called a prospect before and they requested you call them back at a later date. 

Or you’ve been communicating via an inbound nurture campaign and they are ready to move down the sales funnel

Tips to engage with warm leads 

Cold calling vs warm leads means engaging with the leads you want. Here are a few tips to keep your warm prospects flowing:

  • Don’t call your warm lead repeatedly. This will only annoy them, so respect the timeframe they’ve given you. And, if you’ve already pitched your product, trust that they might need more time before they make a decision. 
  • Do follow up with an email that offers some value. Share a case study of a similar business you've helped. Or, maybe a bit of ungated content that they might enjoy reading. This will remind them of what your company has to offer and keep you top of mind when they compare products or services.
  • Practise active listening. Even though they are a warm prospect, they’re still on the fence about if your business can help them. It’s your job as a sales rep to listen to their pain points and provide solutions. 

What’s hot calling?

Hot calling is when a rep calls a sales lead that’s highly interested in what you’re selling. The call is hot because the prospect is expecting a call from you. 

An example of a hot call would be when you meet a prospect at an event, and they ask you to give them a call to set up an appointment.

Or, when a prospect has engaged with your inbound marketing by heading to your website and filling in a form

In both these scenarios, you’d be calling a hot lead via a hot call. 

Hot calling tips

Forget warm vs cold calling. You want more hot calls, and here are a few tips to help you keep your hot prospects engaged: 

  • Don’t isolate hot calling. Rather, combine this sales technique with other targeted campaigns such as social selling and email.
  • Research, research, research. Just because a prospect is hot doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn more about your customer. If anything, the more prepared you come to the call, the faster your customer will convert.
  • Respect your prospect's time. Just because you’ve established a relationship with them, doesn’t mean you can call whenever you want or deliver your pitch without listening to what they have to say first. Ask permission and make the call a valuable interruption to their day. 

Warm calls vs cold calls vs hot calls: key differences explained

All three of these B2B sales tactics require SDRs to call prospects.

The main difference between a warm call and a cold call is that warmer calls require some sort of engagement before the call, while cold calls are much trickier. Callers haven’t had any prior engagement with you or your brand and this often results in many cold calling objections that need to be overcome before a sale can be made. 

Which is better for your business?

Warm and hot calls bring in higher conversions and revenue success, but it can take a bit more time to warm these customers up.

On the other hand, cold calling yields immediate results and more targeted leads.

Understanding the differences between cold calling vs warm calling can help you establish which type of sales call works best with your strategy.

Ultimately, they all offer their own advantages and when used in combination exhibit outstanding results. 

Fire up your pipeline with Cognism

Choosing between cold calls vs warm calls? 

Or maybe, hot calls are more your thing?

No matter your choice, Cognism can help you fire up your pipeline. We supply human-validated, factually correct mobile numbers and ready-to-buy prospects.

Click 👇 to book your demo.


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