Filling the Funnel: 3 Steps to Turning Cold Leads into Hot Prospects

7 Min Read

Every business has its periods of ebb and flow. Some months have people lining up to throw cash at you while others make you feel like a desperate door-to-door salesman.

During the slow times, it makes a world of difference to have an established system in place for generating new leads and pushing them into and through your sales funnel.

This is obviously much easier said than done.

Inbound marketing efforts are not always effective. The leads you do have go cold. And even more often, people are just downright uninterested.

If this is the situation your brand is currently facing, fret not for you can refill your marketing funnel with just a few steps and a little bit of guidance.

1. Land in the Right Inboxes

When your sales funnel is barren, there are a variety of ways to drum up leads. You can ask current customers for referrals, attend networking events and collect business cards, write informative articles in publications your desired audience gravitates towards, and so on.

There is a good chance, however, that even these tactics will fall short and you will have to mine for prospects using search engines and platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social destinations.

The key to this method is selecting an industry or demographic that has proven particularly fruitful in the past and targeting these individuals.

Create a spreadsheet for this folks and organize them by their likelihood to be interested in your offerings.

Before reaching out, however, it is necessary to ensure you have the correct and appropriate email address. Since people have, on average, 1.7 email accounts, your best bet at catching their attention is using a corporate address; this, unfortunately, is not always easy to find.

In such situations, it is wise to deploy an automatic email finding tool.

This type of service will save you tons of man hours hunting down the correct address and can ensure you are getting in front of your audience.

Once you have the right contact information for your leads, it’s time to start the outreach process.

2. Start Cold Emailing

There are a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs that shy away from cold emailing tactics and largely consider these types of communications to be spam; this is nonsense as cold emails are still a widely used technique in various fields and are (more importantly) still quite effective.

You do, however, need to know how to appropriately construct your message and grab their attention. Anything that is are extraneous in any sort of way will get glossed over and eventually canned.

Start by ditching the introduction. Forget telling people about who you are or what your company does. Honestly, at this point, they don’t care.

Get right to the meat of your pitch by pointing out your prospect’s potential pain point and how you can solve it.

Additionally, considering that there are 205 billion emails sent every day, cold emails have a tremendous tendency to get lost in the mix.

This means that you need to continuously follow-up to verify they have seen your message. If this sounds time consuming, that’s because it is.

A more efficient technique involves leveraging a cold email outreach service like Mailshake which allows you to schedule various follow ups at custom intervals.

These types of services are not only an incredible resource for helping to maximize your funnel filling potential, but they often provide other beneficial tools for brands to utilize such as templates, analytics, and other insightful features.

Using this method, you are far more likely to gain the attention of a prospect than by simply sending a solitary email and crossing your fingers that they respond.

3. Know How to Follow-Up Effectively

You’ve manage to hook your lead and gain their interest; fantastic!

Now you need to close the deal.

Sending your prospect a business proposal is one of the best and most effective ways to showcase your company’s skillset and its ability to generate results.

Again, easier said than done.

Starting your proposal off on the right note and organizing the material in a convincing and appealing way is no small feat. Your copy needs to be insanely compelling. Additionally, company data like objectives, strategy proposal, campaign breakdowns, pricing packages, and more all need to be featured in an appealing and professional manner.

If this is something that you struggle with, you might want to consider setting your frustrations aside and utilize a powerful proposal software like PandaDoc that eliminates many of these pain points.

Any proposal software worthy of your time and money should be dynamic in its ability to create, send, and sign documents while also providing useful resources like templates, analytics features, and information archives that allow users to become increasingly effective at writing organized proposals.

Cold emails can often feel like a shot in the dark; especially when your company’s sales funnel is running on empty. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are extremely viable options for vetting out cold contacts, making sure they get in front of the right eyeballs at the right time and with the right message in order to move them into your sales funnel and get them to convert.

If your brand needs a refill on prospects, this is proven method to welcoming new and loyal prospects into your all-important sales funnels.

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Itai Elizur is the COO at Inbound Junction, a content marketing agency specializing in helping startups and business increase their online visibility. Prior to joining the Inbound Junction team, Itai worked as a Creative Manager at, and as the Director of Marketing at Infolinks, the 3rd largest website network in the world.