CEOs don’t care about leads. They care about revenue. Consequently, the relationship between marketing and sales is often nothing short of mayhem.
A few weeks ago we began our five-part series entitled: “Five Reasons CEOs Should Care About Leads (and databases, content, social media, cost per lead and marketing ROI) and How To Fix What Is Broken.” So far we’ve covered Data, Metrics that Matter, and Calibrating Results. In this edition we will cover:
Reason #4: Persistence
As far back as April 2012, the Harvard Business Review and insidesales.com published an infographic showing how many follow-up calls were required to effectively follow up on leads vs. the current state of affairs. Their data showed that while 90% of leads could be contacted within just six attempts, fewer than 20% of reps made more than three. They found that with “just a few more call attempts, sales reps can experience up to a 70% increase in contact rates.” Their take-away: “Most sales reps give up too soon.” In fact, “Over 30% of leads are never contacted at all.”
According to SiriusDecisions, another 20 percent of leads are ineffectively worked for mostly subjective reasons (i.e., a sales rep reports, “I called the prospect three times. He didn’t get back to me, so he must not have been interested.”)
CEOs who resolve this enjoy as much as 3x additional return on marketing and sales investment (see: Mind the Gap).
For years, B2B Marketing has reported that increasing the quality of leads is marketing’s #1 priority followed closely by increasing the quantity of leads. I argue here and in (Why Your Sales Force Needs Fewer Leads) that sales does not need more leads. They need fewer, unfiltered, unqualified leads. Here is how it can be accomplished:
- Monitor the quality of leads being passed to sales. If form fills or high scoring so-called leads are being sent to sales without prequalification, you are not only wasting your sales reps’ time, you are also squandering potential future opportunity that will just be lost in a black hole.
- Monitor the follow-up on leads. Lack of effective and persistent follow-up is the #1 reason leads are wasted by sales.
- Nurturing must be in place to optimize lead generation. Nurturing is not an event. It’s a continuum with no start or stop (courtesy of Ardath Albee—watch for her new book in January 2015).
Read the 5th and final reason why CEO’s should care about leads: A 100% Sure Fire Way to Increase Revenue.