I got the band back together: Tom Scearce (aka @TLOTL) and Chris Jablonski (aka @cjablonski). These are my partners in crime when creating long(er) list posts, and they certainly helped me here. We have put together a list of 26 reasons your leads are converting, and, as usual, we had some fun with it.
Before you read on, I want to make one point. There is typically one major issue to overall lead conversion: lack of lead management, also known as passing raw leads/MQLs directly to sales reps. I have yet to find an organization with legit lead management processes that can’t convert leads. They can convert co-reg, content syndication, you name it — because they have built an always-on lead management process to convert leads or inquiries into qualified leads.
One other point, this assumes you are producing at least reasonable leads/inquiries/MQLs.
With that in mind, here are the 25 reasons your leads aren’t converting:
- You’re passing them directly to the sales team without an intermediate step or two (i.e., lead development or lead nurturing).
- You don’t have dedicated resources (i.e., lead development or an inside sales team) connecting with and qualifying leads.
- You haven’t tried to optimize what the lead development team is doing to convert your leads.
- You aren’t leveraging scoring.
- You aren’t leveraging nurturing.
- You haven’t created a unified lead definition with the sales team (the term “unified lead definition” was coined by Brian Carroll @brianjcarroll).
- You don’t have an SLA with your sales reps for what they guarantee they will do when you pass them a qualified lead.
- Sales doesn’t care about you anymore and won’t follow up on anything you send.
- You’re considering the wrong metrics when looking for optimization.
- You don’t look at metrics at all.
- You look at too many metrics.
- You think your job is to get the most leads and the lowest CPL (cost per lead). Right answer: your job is to create the highest conversion at the most efficient CPO (cost per opportunity).
- You don’t have “conversations”— optimization sessions with your lead vendors.
- You don’t have “conversations” — optimization sessions with the sales team.
- You dump leads from different sources into an identical lead development path (@cjablonski).
- Your shotgun marketing approach gives you a lot of quantity at the expense of quality (@cjablonski).
- Sales disqualifies leads because they deem the leads too early in the sales cycle (@cjablonski).
- Your value proposition is diluted, unreinforced, or at worst, forgotten as the prospect moves from inquiry through nurturing to sales follow-up (@cjablonski).
- Marketing has no process for filtering raw inquiries and disqualifying those that don’t fit (at least closely) the ideal customer profile (@cjablonski).
- Your sales team already has so many good leads on its plate, and sales reps would rather close those leads than sift through your mixed bag of suspects and prospects (@tlotl).
- Your leads are going to inbound contact-center sales reps, and answering the ringing phone is always more important than calling out on your Web-captured “handraiser” leads (@tlotl).
- Your leads were captured at a trade show two months ago and haven’t been nurtured or called since (@tlotl).
- The first 100 leads tagged with campaign code “XYZ” were unreachable, unqualified or not ready to talk to a sales rep, and now any lead tagged with that campaign code is effectively blacklisted in the sales team (@tlotl).
- You haven’t educated your leads with vendor-agnostic, third-party-sourced content that validates your solution in the marketplace (@tlotl).
- You’ve purchased a targeted list of contacts or names, didn’t market to them and delivered them to sales — under the (false) pretense that they are actually leads (@tlotl).
- Your leads are great leads, but they’re best suited for a product that your sales team is not properly trained, compensated or experienced enough to qualify. For example, your sales team is world class at selling a point solution, but you’ve delivered them (expensive) leads for a bundled offering (@tlotl).
Are there more? We’d love to hear yours.