- Share your values and create a personal connection to build trust and engagement with warm leads
- Demonstrate and compare your products using visual aids and case studies to educate potential customers about what you offer
- Use testimonials, reviews, and referrals to provide social proof and help warm leads feel it’s a good choice to buy from you
No matter what product or service you offer, leads are at the core of your company’s success. That’s why lead generation and lead nurturing should take center stage in your marketing strategy.
Once you’ve attracted a lead, the way you nurture that potential client depends on where they are in your sales cycle. One way to manage potential customers is to classify them as cold, hot, or warm leads. You can then apply the most effective marketing strategies for each type of lead to move them through your sales funnel.
Warm leads play a very important role in your sales process. You’re already on their radar, and with the right nurturing, you can convert them into hot leads and, eventually, paying customers. Learn more about where warm leads fit into your sales pipeline and how to convert them into loyal customers.
Managing your sales leads for success
The first step in managing your leads is to categorize them. There are three types of leads, and each is at a different stage in your sales process.
Cold leads are right at the beginning of your sales pipeline, and you’re making contact with them for the very first time. Perhaps you’re running an outreach program that includes digital advertising, cold calling, or cold emails. These potential new leads may fall into your ideal target audience, but there’s a good chance they’ve never heard of you.
Your aim at this point is not to make a sale immediately but simply to build brand awareness. To do this, you need to understand your potential customer’s pain points and show them how your business can help solve them.
Hot sales leads are at the other end of your sales pipeline, and they’re the best-case scenario for every salesperson. They know quite a bit about your brand and are ready to buy.
Hot leads have likely already made a purchase decision, so your goal at this stage is to get them over the finish line. They may simply need guidance on exactly which of your products or services is best for them. A little extra motivation to complete the sale sooner rather than later can also go a long way—for example, a discount voucher with an expiration date.
Somewhere in between these two ends of your sales funnel are your warm leads. Sales reps also call these qualified leads. Although they haven’t bought anything yet, they meet two criteria:
They’ve heard of your business. For example, they may have been referred to you by a friend, seen an advertisement, or found your landing page via a search engine—which is why implementing search engine optimization (SEO) on your website is crucial.
They’ve taken some kind of action to show further interest. For example, they may have:
- Made a phone call to your inbound sales team (as a small business owner, that’s probably you)
- Filled in a contact form on your website
- Signed up for your email newsletter
- Followed your social media page
- Registered for a free webinar
Because they’ve connected with you, you probably have at least some of their contact information. They may be on your email list or social media channels, which makes it easy for you to follow up on their interest.
Your goal with these warmer leads is to build trust—trust in you and your business and trust in your products or services. This can take time—and often many interactions—but if you do it right, you’ll convert those warm leads into hot leads who are ready to buy. Here are three proven ways to do that.
How to work with warm leads to drive sales
The foundation of trust is a sense of safety and mutual respect. It’s the result of the actions you take and the ways you show that you care about your customers. To engender trust with your warm leads, focus on these three elements when building out your content marketing strategy.
1. Bolster engagement by sharing what’s important to you
Research shows that potential customers are more likely to buy from businesses whose values align with theirs. Here are some ways to build your rapport with warm leads:
- Clearly explain your vision, mission statement, and values in a way that inspires
- Add a human element by sharing bios of your team and celebrating their achievements
- Post photos or videos of you or your team at work on social media
- Get involved in your community and publicize any contributions you make to charity or fundraising events
- If you offer services to individual customers, set up an appointment to meet them face to face
2. Educate your warm leads about your products or services
Let potential customers know what you offer and why it’s the right choice. Keep in mind that when creating email marketing campaigns, it’s best to keep it short and sweet (including your subject lines). Here are some ways to educate warm leads about your brand and boost your conversion rate:
- Regularly share spotlight features that explain the benefits of a specific product or service
- Use tables or infographics to compare products, providing recommendations for when each would be most useful
- Use photos or videos to demonstrate how to use a particular product or service
- Provide case studies of how other customers have used your products or services
- Share the answers to questions you’re frequently asked
3. Provide evidence of how others have benefited from what you offer
Studies show that potential customers trust friends and family most for recommendations, followed closely by review sites. That said, any evidence you can provide that other customers are satisfied with your brand will help to reassure warm leads. For example:
- Ask happy customers for written or video testimonials, then share those as social proof
- If you provide a service, share before-and-after photos or videos of jobs that you’ve successfully completed
- Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by adding or claiming your Yelp Business Page and providing links to that page on all your communications
- Respond constructively and promptly to customer reviews, whether they’re positive or critical
- Take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing by starting a referral program that rewards customers for referring family and friends to your business
Yelp tip: You can use your Yelp Business Page to get leads who are searching in their area for products or services like yours. Customers who are interested in your business can reach out directly via the basic information on your page like your website or phone number. Or if you have messaging enabled, they can send you a message, such as to get more info, request a consultation, or request a quote. (message type varies by business category).
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Converting your warm leads into customers
Warm leads are at a critical stage of your sales process. They’ve heard of your business and have taken some kind of action to show further interest, but they haven’t bought anything yet.
To convert them into customers, create a sense of safety for them. Use your content marketing strategy to develop a personal connection and build trust by sharing the human side of your company. Educate them about what you offer and then provide evidence that others are happy with their purchases from you.
When you’ve earned the trust of your warm leads and they can see how your product or service can benefit them, they’ll be ready and willing to buy from you. Once your leads have bought from you once, turn them into repeat customers who can’t wait to buy from you again.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.