Most companies have an Inside sales department whose job is to call up prospective customers and pitch them the product. Now when a sales rep calls a customer if the customer has never heard of the company or the product then it is a cold lead. Such calls are really difficult. They are no different from the calls you get from a credit card company offering you credit cards. Remember how you slam the telephone on those. Sales reps need to do these calls day in day out. What they are really looking for is a customer who has heard or recollects something about you company. This is a warm lead. Warm leads are much easier to convert to the next stage or at least willing to have a conversation about the product. Now it is the job of marketing to ensure that calls results in warm leads. So if you are investigating poor sales one of the important statistics is the warm call to cold call ratio. If this ratio is really low then the problem might be with marketing not with sales.