The Problem with Inbound Leads - A Sales Rep's Perspective (& Solution)

Posted by Ian Adams on Mar 20, 2014 8:21:00 AM

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What was wrong with the inbound leads

You know when you get excited about new inbound leads. Then when you call them, all you hear is "not interested", "just researching", "not involved", "not a decision maker" etc. And you soon realize you are completely wasting your time.

Well, I called 185 inbound leads like that, in one week.

Not only was it a waste of my time, but the repeated failure really started to get inside my head. After making that many calls, you start to recognize behavioral patterns in the leads. You start to see unique trends based on the specific source of the leads. Both good and bad trends. In my case, it was a bad trend.

My objective was to book a 15 minute call with them (not a tough sell with a warm inbound lead). So, when marketing sent me the new inbound leads, I naturally got excited.

What Was Wrong with Marketing's Inbound Leads

My excitement quickly subsided after the first few frigid responses on the phone. After 185 calls, I took a moment to analyze the lead source more closely.

(I'm changing the facts of the story slightly to avoid scapegoating the responsible marketing team)

The leads came from a webinar. The webinar was called, "The Future of Social Media." Which is relevant when you're selling social media management software.

However. Think about who uses social media management software? Marketing employees and entrepreneurs mostly. Right?

But, who wants to watch a webinar on the "Future of Social Media"? Just about anybody curious in the social media industry. Right?

My grandmother might even sign up to learn about the future of inmails, likes, and tweets.

My point is, the topic is too broad. The content does not speak to any pain point or need the customer is facing. Therefore, even though the quantity of leads was good, the quality was very poor.

I wrote an article for my sales club about the "Best Answer to Sell Me This Pen I Have Ever Seen." It quickly became the most popular content on my site. Why? Because it's hyper specific content. Let's say you have a sales interview coming up. And you know they may ask you to "sell me this pen." That's an article you need to read.

How You Can Attract Better Inbound Leads

If you want to attract better inbound leads you need to make your content more targeted and specific. More specific to the needs and pains of your target audience.

Here's a better webinar title to attract higher quality inbound leads, "How to Get 3X More Social Reach with Your Brand."

Then, every registered lead has a specific problem they're looking to solve by watching your webinar. So after, when you make your sales calls. And ask a lead, "what was your specific interest in the webinar?"

Their response will explain the specific problem they are facing. And it will be a problem that your product perfectly solves. Make your content more targeted and specific to address your customers problems.

So tell me, what was the source of a recent inbound lead campaign that completely wasted your time?

Ian Adams

Today's guest blog is by Ian Adams. Ian is the founder of the Senator Club, a social club for entrepreneurs and sales professionals to get good at sales. Founded in 2013, the Senator Club is designed to educate members on modern day sales strategies and technologies. Get to know Ian via Twitterand Facebook.


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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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