Most professionals would agree that generating leads is usually the most time-consuming job. And, yet they put in their best efforts into it, so much so that organizations even have a separate budget for it. In 2021, businesses spent 3.05 billion USD on lead generation in the US. And, this will easily touch (if not surpass) 3.24 billion USD by the end of 2023.
Having said that, it is not only about spending money. Using the right approach to generate leads matters too. Are you facing difficulty in doing so by any chance? Not working towards lead generation can affect your revenue drastically. Nevertheless, we are here to help you out. That’s why we have provided a detailed outline of cold leads and the best ways to generate/convert them.
I bet you will never have difficulties generating leads ever again after through this blog. But, let’s brush up the basics first…
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You can define a lead as someone who has not purchased your product or solution so far but is likely to turn into a paying customer. As a salesperson, you can reach leads using various marketing efforts that include referrals, outreach emails and sign-ups.
It is important to note that while one of your leads may be ready to purchase immediately, another may have no idea about your product or service. You can’t nurture each of them the same way, can you? That is why it is essential to classify them.
You can categorize leads as cold, warm, and hot based on their willingness to make a purchase. Cold leads are the least easy to convert; warm leads show an interest in your product, and the best of all are hot leads that seem to need your product and may patronize you. Read more about cold, warm and hot leads.
Let’s take a deeper look at cold leads.
A cold lead is a lead that hasn’t shown any interest in your product/service or purchase intent. In fact, all leads in the first phase of their journey are cold. You have to put in efforts to warm them up. That means it is up to you to push them down the sales funnel or let them stay cold.
As cold leads are at the top of the sales funnel, you will have to try hard to turn them into potential customers. Nurturing them will be more time-consuming when compared to warm and hot leads that are already marching towards purchasing your offering. In other words, you can convert warm and hot leads faster than cold leads.
Even though the conversion rate of cold leads is low, here are a few benefits of targeting them:
1) They are easy to acquire as getting lists of cold leads from B2B lead generation firms is not challenging.
2) Outsourcing the lead generation task can help you focus on sales activities that contribute to your company’s success.
3) Cold leads are easy to target as you don’t have to look at prospect history to reach out to them. You only need to send an email or make a phone call in the initial phase.
You will find cold leads at the beginning of the sales cycle. These leads don’t usually respond to your emails and calls. They also do not show any interest in you and your efforts in reaching out to them. Even after nurturing these leads, the number of them turning into warm leads are less.
There are various methods of generating cold leads, and here are some of the most effective ones:
Outsourcing is one of the oldest yet most effective methods of getting leads. You can get a list of contacts related to your business and product or service. Also, it is an excellent way of starting the outreach process.
Many lead generation automation tools can fetch you relevant leads instantly. They search based on specific parameters such as the industry, team size, location, etc. Switching to automation is a good idea as you need not depend on anyone for lead generation.
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator search is a great tool to find relevant leads for your business. Apart from LinkedIn, industry-specific websites provide you with relevant leads. After finding prospects, you can also connect with them with LinkedIn outreach.
You can get in touch with cold leads through cold email outreach or cold calling. As already mentioned earlier, they have no idea about your product or service.
You can make the initial contact using email, text, or phone calls. Cold calls target a part of the audience with a problem that your product or service can resolve. It helps leads know that you know about their pain points, which would attract them towards you. You have to get the prospect’s attention by making phone calls and emailing.
Make use of personalization to get in touch with cold leads and nurture them. You have to show them that your product or service can help resolve their issues. However, you have to give time to the prospect to open up. Don’t start pitching your solution right away.
There may be a popular opinion that cold calling is dead, but it is not so. It can work in your favor if you prep up before dialing the number. Do your research and understand the lead’s pain points. Know what kind of solutions they are looking for. This way, you look credible to the lead and can kickstart the buyer’s journey.
You can grab the lead’s interest by adopting a value-based selling approach. You can offer them something in your emails, such as a free trial, free consultation, an attractive discount, or a free ebook. It would be best if you tried mentioning it in the email subject line so that the leads open the email.
You can request leads to follow you on social media. It is a great idea to share news and tidbits about your company. Moreover, when you connect with leads on LinkedIn, it will help you grow your network further. Ensure polishing your LinkedIn profile so that it draws leads towards you and your product or service.
You can send event invites to cold leads. They will most probably have a wonderful time there, and if you ask for a meeting, they are most likely to oblige as they liked the experience you gave them. Try talking to them and see if they fit into your ideal customer profile or not.
The story doesn’t end after sending emails to leads and reaching out to them over the phone. You have to persistently follow up with them to stay on top of their minds. Keep sending them updates from your end periodically, and try your best to keep them moving in the funnel. It will help you reach your target of converting the leads faster. However, another thing you must pay heed to is to know the difference between being persistent and annoying. Being the former will help you get better results.
Try using the above tactics to warm up cold leads and witness a path-breaking increase in conversion rates.
Is there a cold lead who has been sitting in your sales pipeline for too long? You may be putting in your best effort to nurture them but to no avail. You have to pull the plug in such situations as you are only wasting your time and resources. Here’s a better look at the ‘symptoms’ you should look for,
1. They are not returning your calls, emails, and messages on social media.
2. The lead company’s decision-maker has said ‘No’ to you with a valid reason.
It is always better to withdraw yourself when you see such signs. There is no use following up on leads who don’t intend to convert. However, try not to give up all hopes. It is good to check on them once every two months because you never know. Maybe a need arises after a few months, and when that happens, there are chances that they will reach out to you.
As you now know what cold leads are and how you can nurture them, you are only a few steps away from witnessing a boom in your business. What are you waiting for? It is time to enter the battleground!
You can categorize cold, warm, and hot leads based on how willing they are to make a purchase. While hot leads are super easy to convert, you may have a tough time converting cold leads.
By large, the easiest method of lead generation is outsourcing the task. You will get a reliable list of prospects that you can use for outreach. By outsourcing the task, you save a lot of time and effort.
You can convert cold leads by sending them personalized messages, making cold calls, providing value, getting in touch on social media, inviting them to events, and by following up.
Get better results for your sales effort with automated sales outreach