Monday, April 6, 2009

The Endless Lead Loop

Dear Sales Department,
What happened to all the leads we sent you?
Sincerely yours,
Marketing Department

Dear Marketing,
We closed all we could.
Dear Sales,
What happened to the rest?
Dear Marketing,
The rest weren’t ready to buy. That’s why we need more leads.

Does this sound familiar? Welcome to the Endless Lead Loop.

Guess what? According to Sirius Decisions, 80% of the leads that sales disqualifies end up buying anyway – often from someone else. If you’re not actively nurturing these ‘rejected’ leads you should be.

But who owns this nurturing process? Sales or marketing?

If salespeople have too many leads:
Marketing should own the nurturing process.

If salespeople have too few leads:
Sales should follow up but marketing should still own the nurturing process.

Marketing should utilize marketing automation tools to build relationships with “Not Ready to Buy” leads, nurturing them until they are “Sales Ready”, at which point they are handed off to sales.

This leverages the high efficiency – low cost benefits of marketing automation, keeping the high cost – low efficiency folks (sales) focused on “Ready to Buy” leads.

So in the future when sales asks for more leads, rather than creating brand new expensive lead gen campaigns, you can simply point them to the existing "Ready to Buy" leads you’ve been nurturing all this time.

Steve Kellogg
aDemand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
aEloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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