This step will be especially important if you have many leads that were generated before you knew who you were talking to. However, it’s important to ensure your pipeline has a step in place that checks qualified leads to determine if they are cold or hot leads.
A hot lead is someone who:
Has the budget for your product and service
Can make the purchasing decision
Wants what you’re offering
Is eager to buy what you’re offering
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How you determine whether a lead is hot or cold depends entirely on what you’re selling. For example, if you’re selling a luxury car or an expensive service such as private coaching, you may need to have sales reps initiate the conversation with a phone call. This initiation can become a consultation, in which your rep finds out what the potential client needs are and determines if your products and services can meet their needs.
During the consultation stage of the sales pipeline, the sales rep speaks directly with the prospect in person, on the phone or via video conference. The rep asks about the prospect’s needs and discusses solutions that can be offered by the company.
A purchase may or may not happen at this stage. For B2C businesses, this might be a browsing customer who is still comparing their options. For B2B companies, it could be an exploratory call to discuss services. Either way, if the consultation doesn’t result in a sale, follow-up is essential. The final decision will come during the proposal stage of the sales pipeline.