Classifying and identifying your hot sales leads is key to improving your closing percentage.
You’ve rounded up a list of leads. What’s next? How about a 100% conversion rate? That may be unrealistic, however, the effectiveness of any lead, bought or not, will only ever be as high as the effort you put into nurturing it. Whether they’re cold, warm, or hot sales leads, focus on fostering and strengthening relationships at every stage of the funnel.
Your primary focus should be learning about and reaching out to them. Understanding the status of your leads will help you figure out the best way to work with them, and eventually convert more prospects. To this end, it’s time to classify your leads.
How to handle 3 types of leads, from cold to hot sales leads
A lead is any individual you have collected contact information from but has yet to purchase from you. This is a broad definition, as it spans from people at the top of the sales funnel, who may not even be aware of your product or service, all the way to people ready to make a purchase.
Classifying your leads as cold, warm, or hot sales leads will help you determine how best to move forward.
What are cold sales leads?
Cold leads are people or companies with whom you have no previous contact or relationship. As you have no established rapport with them, making a powerful first impression is paramount when you reach out to see whether they are interested in your products or services. Cold leads can be the hardest to work with, but nurturing them carefully can pay off move them into the warm category eventually.
What are warm sales leads?
Warm leads are people or companies who have already shown some interest in your products or services. For example, they may follow you on social media platforms, fill out a contact form on your website, or sign up for an email marketing campaign or newsletter. Leads you’ve purchased from a high-quality vendor also fall into this category.
While warm leads are highly likely to become paying clients, the biggest sales mistake you can make with them is neglecting to follow up. You want to continue encouraging them through the sales funnel in a personable, inviting manner until they finally make a purchase, instead of failing to nurture them and turning them into a cold lead.
What are hot sales leads?
Hot sales leads are one step away from finally closing a deal, which means they are significantly further in the buying journey than the latter two types. They already have a good idea of what they need and how you can help them address those needs. Also known as qualified leads, hot leads are people or companies who match your ideal client profile.
Your role in dealing with a hot lead is to assist them in completing a transaction or starting a partnership. They are already highly interested in your product or service, and they simply need that last little push or conversation to solidify their decision. So often, agents assume that a hot lead will make the final step on their own, but that’s not always the case. You still need to facilitate their journey, or they could very well cool off.
Classifying your leads
You can differentiate between the three types of leads by checking where they sit in the sales funnel. Cold leads are right at the beginning and may not be receptive in your efforts to reach out to them. A few may transform into warm leads over time if you nurture them carefully. Warm leads are in the middle — they periodically engage with you and your company by reading your posts, following your profile, or signing up for newsletters. You can transform them into hot leads by learning about their wants, needs, or issues and identifying how you can solve or address them.
Hot leads are at the very end of the funnel, directly seeking your product or service to fulfill their identified wants, needs, or issues. They are qualified leads who just need a little assistance in closing the final purchase.
If you don’t have a lot of hot leads, you might think that you are facing a sales slump. However, this could turn out to be a false assumption, as you may have warm leads that you’re overlooking. Classifying your leads will show you the bigger picture and highlight the leads you should focus on.
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