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min read

How to Warm Up Cold Leads

headshot of Hannah Beadling
Hannah Beadling
August 12, 2022
How to warm up cold leads

Wouldn't it be great if every sales call stated with a warm greeting and friendly reminder of why the conversation is taking place. It would be so nice compared to getting hung up on or rejected.

Although this might seem like pie in the sky or some sort of scheme, warming up leads before making the pitch or sales call is very effective and helps solidify lasting relationships that generate sales for many cycles.

If you want to learn more about warming up leads to help close more deals. then read on to find out the best way to start the warm-up process on cold leads.

What is a Warm Lead?

A warm lead is someone who has already expressed an interest in your company or products but hasn't yet made the decision to purchase. This interest can manifest in various ways: a visit to your website, subscription to your newsletter, interaction with your content, or engagement on your social media platforms.

Unlike cold leads, who are unfamiliar with your brand and require extensive effort to engage, warm leads have a baseline of awareness and interest that you can build upon.

For sales teams in businesses, focusing on warm leads is a strategic approach that maximizes efficiency. These leads are more likely to be receptive to sales pitches and further engagement because they have already acknowledged a potential need that your product or service might fulfill. They are midway through the sales funnel, having moved beyond mere awareness to consideration, which makes them prime candidates for targeted sales efforts.

Related: Warm Call vs Cold Call

The Warm-Up Process

As a salesperson, the challenge is successfully informing your leads of the improvements your product can make to their business so they feel confident with purchasing. It ‘warms’ them up to your product before you begin to sell. 

If a prospect’s interest in buying was represented by a temperature scale. Cold is the least interested in buying, and hot is the closest and most interested in buying your product. 

During the warm-up process, there are several steps to take. 

You need to: 

  • build rapport
  • introduce your product
  • explain features
  • ask discovery questions
  • provide testimonials and use cases
  • answer questions
  • and pitch

Here’s how sales teams should approach warm leads:

  1. Personalized Communication: Use the information you have about the lead’s previous interactions with your brand to tailor your communications. Personalization shows that you value the potential customer and understand their specific needs or interests.
  2. Education and Nurturing: Since warm leads might still be evaluating their options or seeking more information, provide them with valuable content that educates and informs. This could be through targeted emails, specialized content offers, or even direct consultations.
  3. Engagement and Follow-Up: Regular follow-ups are crucial but should be handled sensitively. The aim is to keep the conversation going and to remind the lead of your brand’s value proposition without being overly aggressive.
  4. Demonstrating Value: Clearly articulate how your product or service stands out from competitors. This can be done through case studies, testimonials, product demos, or detailed product information that addresses their specific pain points.
  5. Efficient Use of CRM Tools: Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) systems to track all interactions with warm leads. This helps in maintaining a coherent and consistent approach and provides valuable insights into the lead’s preferences and behaviors.

For medium and enterprise-size businesses, efficiently managing and converting warm leads can lead to significant gains in sales productivity and revenue. These leads are already on the cusp of the decision stage, making them more amenable to conversion with the right mix of tact and persistence.

Sales teams should focus on nurturing these relationships thoughtfully and strategically with the right communication, turning warm leads into loyal customers and driving the company’s growth trajectory.

Communication Method

Before you’re able to do any of that, you have to start by reaching out to your potential customer. With all that’s involved, we gathered data to determine the BEST communication method for warming up cold leads, so you don’t have to waste time on channels that don’t drive results. 

Let's start with a LinkedIn poll we took earlier this year. We asked our network how they opened their biggest deal ever. And email won by a landslide!

Where to generate sales poll results infographic
How dd you open your biggest sales? - Poll results

Based on the results of the graph above, email is the way to go if you want to warm a lead to help close a large deal. 

Related: How to Close Cold Leads

But does that really mean it's the best way to warm up a cold prospect?  Emails are easier for your prospects to ignore. 

It turns out the reason email won first place in our poll is because of the sheer volume of emails that go out compared to phone calls. It’s much less time-consuming to email 1,000 people than to call them. 

Some argue that calling will be off-putting for those who find it invasive or aren’t familiar with your brand (FYI: Here’s another article to help your calls sound less invasive and more informed). However, speaking on the phone actually builds more rapport since it’s a richer form of communication compared to text-only messages sent through email. 

Drumroll …

Who do we declare the winner of the warm-up process?  Email, phone, text, or social post.

Ultimately, the best way to warm up your cold leads is to just call them.  That’s right! 

There’s nothing like real-time communication to inform a potential buyer.  If the lead sounds doubtful, you’ll be able to tell by the tone of their voice, and you can then handle any doubts or hesitancy right on the spot. 

Sure email is less personal and therefore less invasive. And we also can’t ignore that emails are the fastest way to reach the most amount of leads. But, talking on the phone wins every time.

It’s a more personal channel, and it shows your prospect that you’re willing to put in the time to dial them up and have a conversation (which ultimately is what sales is all about). 

Calling takes grit and work, but it will win people over one by one. 

Want to learn what to say on the phone to turn a prospect from cold to red hot?

- Jump over to here to read 10 Surefire Ways to Win Over Prospects on a Cold Sales Call (and common mistakes to avoid) on our blog. 


  • Email works good for warming up a lead and best for introducing your product to a vast amount of people quickly 
  • Calling your prospects will seem invasive to some, especially if the lead is too cold but a warm lead can be welcomed
  • Speaking on the phone allows the salesperson to handle objections in real-time
  • Phone calls are a more personalized form of communication. It shows due diligence and dedication on the seller’s side 

Related: How to close more deals