26 Reasons Your Leads Aren’t Converting into Opportunities

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:

  1. You’re passing them directly to the sales team without an intermediate step or two (i.e., lead development or lead nurturing).
  2. You don’t have dedicated resources (i.e., lead development or an inside sales team) connecting with and qualifying leads.
  3. You haven’t tried to optimize what the lead development team is doing to convert your leads.
  4. You aren’t leveraging scoring.
  5. You aren’t leveraging nurturing.
  6. You haven’t created a unified lead definition with the sales team (the term “unified lead definition” was coined by Brian Carroll @brianjcarroll).
  7. You don’t have an SLA with your sales reps for what they guarantee they will do when you pass them a qualified lead.
  8. Sales doesn’t care about you anymore and won’t follow up on anything you send.
  9. You’re considering the wrong metrics when looking for optimization.
  10. You don’t look at metrics at all.
  11. You look at too many metrics.
  12. 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).
  13. You don’t have “conversations”— optimization sessions with your lead vendors.
  14. You don’t have “conversations” — optimization sessions with the sales team.
  15. You dump leads from different sources into an identical lead development path (@cjablonski).
  16. Your shotgun marketing approach gives you a lot of quantity at the expense of quality (@cjablonski).
  17. Sales disqualifies leads because they deem the leads too early in the sales cycle (@cjablonski).
  18. Your value proposition is diluted, unreinforced, or at worst, forgotten as the prospect moves from inquiry through nurturing to sales follow-up (@cjablonski).
  19. Marketing has no process for filtering raw inquiries and disqualifying those that don’t fit (at least closely) the ideal customer profile (@cjablonski).
  20. 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).
  21. 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).
  22. Your leads were captured at a trade show two months ago and haven’t been nurtured or called since (@tlotl).
  23. 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).
  24. You haven’t educated your leads with vendor-agnostic, third-party-sourced content that validates your solution in the marketplace (@tlotl).
  25. 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).
  26. 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.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

You like me, you really, really like me! Funnelholic interview on Lead Gen

One of my favorite blogs, the Modern b2b Marketing blog, has posted an interview their editor Jon Miller did with me.  It’s part of their thought leadership series (yes, I was excited to be called a thought leader).  Anyway, it is a very thorough post with lots of good info on my thoughts on b2b lead generation.

Read here: Funnelholic Interview on Modern b2b Marketing Blog about Lead Generation

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Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter