How to drive a conversation with a cold lead to close a deal

Cristina Prelli in

Blog/B2B Sales Strategy/How to drive a conversation with a cold lead to close a deal

“… Nobody said it was easy…” I wonder if Coldplay had in mind salespeople’s job when they were composing this song 😉 … Indeed, converting leads into deals is a real hot potato and it’s always quite challenging, as you can get concrete results only if you nurture and stalk those potential customers.

gif with bomb


Unfortunately, there is no know-how bible to which you can devote yourself if you wanna overcome your sales hurdles. Yet, we have some proven hacks which can help you:

  • drive your sales conversation better
  • turn cold leads into paying customers
  • generate more revenue

These B2B sales tips come straight from our salespeople’s experience and their need for constant improvement. Hopefully, they will be useful for your business as well.

And now… Let’s get started!

#FIRST THINGS FIRST: design the steps of your sales pipeline

steps for a sales pipeline

Are you still trying to drive your sales conversations without a clearly defined pipeline? If so, my friend, it’s time for some changes 😉 Indeed, with a well-structured sales process, salespeople are able to know exactly how to manage their cold leads at each stage. Consequently, their work is more organized and efficient.

These are the steps followed by our team:

Basically, this is the structure salespeople use to properly organize their conversations with potential customers. Starting from here, it’s possible to pinpoint all the B2B sales tricks they adopt to be successful.



If you want to have chances to close a deal, you actually have to talk only to the right people. Use both inbound and outbound tactics (plus referrals) to generate your leads.

    Marketers should always take care of the settings, the strategy and the content of your cold email campaigns. However, it’s good if salespeople forward the full email cycle to prospects. It helps guarantee a more personal and direct approach with these cold leads when they need to be transferred from marketing to sales.
    In this way, it will be also easier to:
    -carry on a conversation with them
    -start a business relation
    -warm them up
    Use a pre-sales specialist to further qualify these leads and get to know more about them (biggest challenges, type of clients and how they approach them, numbers of employees…) In this way, you are able to understand if they can perfectly match your target customer profile. Real optimization, indeed, happens when you let go unqualified leads as soon as possible so that your salespeople could focus on the right ones.

Remember: timing is essential in all the steps of the pipeline. When potential clients get back to you, quickly answer and keep up the conversation. They’ll be pleasantly surprised by your fast reply plus if you follow hard on their heels, they will have fewer chances to change their minds about a possible deal.


This is when salespeople and leads start playing hide and seek. A successful salesperson is someone who will eventually be able to flush potential clients out and make them say “yes” aka leads will be sent to the next stage of the pipeline.

What can you do to grab their attention?

1) Schedule pre-demo calls and use them to:

  • Build a relation with potential clients. Everyone knows your aim is selling a solution. However, it’s proven that a little bit of humanity and empathy can help you reach your goal
  • Make them talk about their pains and their needs
  • Show interest in what they do and ask as many questions as you can
  • Show that you have researched about them to make them feel important and considered – use Linkedin or visit their website
  • Introduce the need of presenting a demo. Only in this way, they can truly understand the potential of your pain-killer solution. If someone thinks they don’t need the demo, prove them they are wrong. Your service/product is great, but only if they see it first-hand they are able to check its effectiveness

In this transition stage, you will lose some leads. Some of them will be eager to move one step further, others won’t have time for you and your solution.

2) Schedule the demo call and use it to:

  • Present your solution and make sure they understand how it works. To this end, you need to schedule Skype interviews with them – not simple calls – so that you will be able to show how your product/solution practically functions
  • Be sure you understand what your potential clients are doing and what their target customer is. If you notice you cannot help them with your solution (ex. you offer a social media analyzing app, but the lead is targeting elderly people) be honest and end up the call. You don’t need them and they don’t need you. As simple as that. Use your time wisely and focus only on valuable leads
  • Listen to their questions and provide valuable answers
  • Give substance to your solution by presenting some case studies

Remember to:

  • mention pricing at the very last moment, not before. Lead the whole conversation trying to focus on the value you can give them rather than on the cost of your solution.
  • set deadlines for your further actions during the call and stalk your potential clients until you get an answer – whether it’s a long yes, a yes, a maybe, a not now or a no. Never leave pending leads or you’ll damage your sales cycle.
  • push your clients to get an answer. You cannot just be kind and wait until they get back to you – or there will be high chances you will never hear from them again. Use both email follow-ups and calls.

NB: don’t get discouraged when you lose leads (cold leads), it’s a regular thing at this stage. Surprisingly, you can close 16% of them with this re-targeting strategy 😉


All the leads who survived the former step are now ready to be further qualified. If you don’t wanna lose them, make sure you customize your solution according to their needs – after all, everyone knows that nowadays’ key for success is personalization.

So.. what you should do at this stage is to:

  • Schedule a pre-call to get more information about your leads and their needs. In this way, you can determine the tailored features you need to ensure in order to make the agreement more appealing to them.
  • Schedule a call to talk about the details of the agreement and to set a deadline for the signature.
  • Hunt your prey and keep asking until you get a definitive answer


When potential clients get back to you with the contract signed… Congrats! You got your deal!

Remember: don’t be rude after achieving your goal. We all know your aim was just selling a business solution, but don’t cut ties just because your mission has been accomplished. Instead, you should smoothly foster the transition from the sales team to the service one.

After all, good manners count. If you make a good impression and your product is valuable, customers could spread the word for you and eventually decide to renew the agreement with you.

#LAST BUT NOT LEAST: some karma tips

To be a good salesperson, you also need to:

  • Be a psychologist:
    depending on who you’re talking to, choose a proper language style. Some cold leads will prefer a more informal conversation, others a formal one. Understand their needs and act consequently. If you do so, you will definitely leave a good impression on them.
  • Be honest:
    Lying won’t help you boost your sales. Sooner or later the truth will be out and you’ll lose leads and credibility. Be frank and you’ll gain trustworthiness. Indeed, you are there to help potential customers solve their problems, not to cheat them with bold promises and zero sustainable results.
  • Be passionate:
    Most of the sales pitch are boring. If you make them more exciting you can persuade your leads more easily.
  • Be yourself:
    Some salespeople might have a more salesy and direct approach to their job, others, instead, might feel more comfortable in trying to build up relationships with their customers. Good news is that you don’t need to put yourself in somebody’s else shoes… you are already good the way you are 🙂
  • Constantly work on your skills. There is always room for personal improvement!


Now that you know the tricks our sales team uses to convert B2B cold lead into a deal, you just need to get out of your comfort zone and start selling like a pro 🙂

Ps. I know.. sometimes it’s not easy to be a salesperson, but don’t lose hope and remember that: when the going gets tough, the tough gets going!

Ps2. The first photo was designed by Freepik

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