This one is complicated in that not all leads are created equal. Let’s start with a simple look at three different kinds of leads: Cold, Warm and Hot.
Cold lead – A predetermined criteria (See Also: Ideal Customer Profile) has defined that a company or person is a potentially good fit for your product or service but the prospect (See Also: Suspect) has not yet engaged with you. Third-party lead list providers can provide these targets and contacts for you. A cold lead is hard to convert. However, if you market the right way, you may capture their attention and turn them into a warm or even hot lead.
Warm lead – Factors such as showing interest in your product or service creates a warm B2B sales lead. This can be through a contact form, downloading content, engaging via a webinar or conference, or repeated visits to your website. These actions point to a prospect that may be in the market for the product or service you offer. This type of lead is typically determined by a scoring system set up within your marketing automation platform (i.e. HubSpot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, etc.)
Hot lead – (See Also: B2B Sales Qualified Lead or SQL). Is a business that has been actively engaged and is showing a strong intent to make a buy decision and is thus a candidate for your product or service. Targeting hot leads over cold leads is a strong recommendation in the B2N marketing world as you will drive the highest return on your sales and marketing investment.