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What Are The Three Types Of Leads?

Table of Contents

There are three types of leads:

  • A-Lead: Hot leads

  • B-Lead: Warm leads

  • C-Lead: Cold leads

If you’re a business owner or a sales and marketing professional, you know you need to generate leads to keep your business growing.

One thing leads have in common is that you or someone in your sales and marketing department has identified them, via demographics or past buying behavior, as someone likely to be interested in your company.

But you’ll want to approach each type of lead differently to achieve the best results.

What Is An A-Lead?

A-Leads are straightforward. They need your services and are interested in purchasing your product.

You can tell they’re an A-Lead because they’ve done their research, asked specific questions, and took the time to visualize how your services provide a solution to their problem.

What Is A B-Lead?

This lead type is trickier. They need your services but not right away. But definitely in the next year. Or maybe two years. But they’d like an estimate now.

Warm leads are familiar with your brand. They may have found your company through a referral from a trusted friend.

What Is A C-Lead?

C-Leads are the most challenging to “win over.” C-Leads are unaware of your product and might not know they need it or want it.

They may not be familiar with your brand. They may have replied to one of your posts on social media or found your blog in a Google search and commented on it.

These leads will be the hardest to nurture as you’ll have to build trust and brand recognition while educating them about your company.

Read the following points to learn how to reach out to cold leads:

  • Use a series of calls, emails, and social touches.

  • Ask them for a follow-up on your emails.

  • Mention your purpose of setting up a meeting more than once during a call.

After these, you should be able to land a meeting with them to get through the next step.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Lead Outreach Methods

Maybe they’ve discovered you through your inbound marketing efforts — such as blogging or social media outreach — and they’ve reached out for the answer to a question or to find out if you can help them solve their problems.

Identifying where leads sit in the sales funnel — and determining at what point a lead becomes a prospect — can be tricky.

Depending on the size of your sales team and how many leads you have in your funnel, you may decide to pursue a conversation with warm leads, MQLs, or SQLs.

Starting a conversation with warm leads should be easier than trying to gain the attention of cold leads.

Reach out — via phone, email, social media, or even SMS — and remind them of past conversations or ask them questions about their specific needs.

However, having a salesperson reach out to cold leads could scare them away if they are still getting to know your company.

To determine when to reach out to a lead, you’ll want to gauge their qualifications based on demographic information, needs, and budget.

You can gather this information by monitoring their online activity with your brand or through a discovery call.

The better you can classify and qualify leads, the higher your conversion rates will become.

What Is A Prospect?

A prospect has shown interest in your company and its goods or services.

You’ve had some two-way communication with them, and they are moving down your sales funnel until, if all goes well, they become buyers.

Some business owners and sales leaders consider prospects as “hot leads,” “working leads,” “qualified leads,” or “nurturing leads.”

That means they are leads who have expressed interest in your company.

What Are Marketing Qualified Leads?

Marketing qualified leads, or MQLs, have slightly more information about your company than IQLs, because they’ve done more than just downloaded one content asset.

Maybe they attended a webinar, visited your site frequently, or interacted with your team on social media.

The marketing department can continue to nurture this lead with quality content or encourage someone on the sales team to reach out and determine if the MQL is a good fit as a customer.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

What Are Sales Qualified Leads?

You now have a sales-qualified lead if the MQL raises its hand and moves to the decision stage. If a lead is sales qualified, a salesperson has had an initial conversation with this person.

The conversation was deep enough to have identified that this was an actual opportunity. It might not be an immediate opportunity, but there is potential.

This potential would consider them qualified. This usually means you’ll have access to power, they have real pain, and the fit for what you do is what they need.

What Is An Information Qualified Lead?

When a lead first converts, they often provide their contact information in return for some useful information, also known as a top-of-the-funnel offer.

Information qualified leads, or IQLs, are a specific type of warm lead that has already given you some information about their needs.

Examples include an e-book, whitepaper, or tip sheet. The buyer is usually just beginning to research the solution to a problem. 

They usually don’t know your company and how you can help.

The IQL is also invited to learn more about how your company can help solve the problem related to what they have downloaded.

Examples of enticements toward the next stage include free webinars, case studies, samples, product spec sheets, and catalogs.

You can certainly keep in touch with them with email newsletters and new content offers, but based on their actions alone, the IQL can be considered a cold lead and a lower priority for sales follow-up.

How Do You Know When A Sales Qualified Lead/Marketing Qualified Lead Is Sales-Ready?

Some may consider a lead as sales-ready if they read even one ebook. Others may consider a lead as sales-ready only after expressing full interest.

To understand whether or not a lead is sales-ready, marketing teams usually use the BANT strategy:

  • Budget – Is the prospect willing to spend money?

  • Authority – Is the prospect the decision-maker?

  • Need- Does the prospect have a pain that needs to be solved?

  • Timing- Do they need a solution immediately or within a short timeframe?

Which Lead Should You Focus On?

As a rule of thumb, you should focus all your efforts on the ones that are highly likely to close the deal.

This means that a hot lead deserves more attention than a warm one, an SQL deserves more follow-ups than an MQL, and so on.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Thrive With Kennected

From attracting new customers to keeping existing customers happy and having the capital to do it, Kennected has worked for four years to craft the best lead generation tools.

There are various types of strategies to achieve significant numbers of leads. Whether it’s a cold lead or other types of leads, Cloud Kennect can help you grow your LinkedIn network.

Cloud Kennect automatically reaches out to prospects daily to develop personal relationships with mutual friends and other professionals like you.

The best news is that you leave the rest of the work to automation.

For example, if you did a Boolean search and wanted to target your search results, you would plug in the LinkedIn URL to Cloud Kennect.

If readers find this blog interesting, check our additional services and other writing on related topics.

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