Pipeline Priorities: Don’t Leave Potential Customers Flapping in the Wind

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Jan 20, 2015 10:26:53 AM

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iStock_flying_cash_245You’re a sales person. On Tuesday morning, 45 sales "leads" come your way through a variety of sources. Terrific!

In due time, you figure out that three of them are real opportunities and want to take the next step in learning about your services, twelve of them are bogus opportunities, and the rest of them are … well … up in the air. They didn’t give an outright “no,” but they aren’t jumping up and down for you either. So, maybe you put these contacts in your “I’ll get to them later” folder … or perhaps you just delete them altogether. After all, when you have your nose to the grindstone and other project deadlines looming, you naturally focus on the three leads that are sure bets. Who wouldn’t?

Companies simply do not have an effective process in place for handling the contact who says they’re “interested, but not right now.” This group is usually the largest for a sales team—and it's also the biggest mistake salespeople make when they discard them due to time pressure, lack of organization, company culture, or the responsibility shifting that regularly occurs between sales and marketing. A cultural and/or procedural shift in your company could change these scores of non-lead dispositions into a gold mine of opportunity. 

Time and experience show us that for the average company, there are hundreds of potential customers each month left flapping in the wind. Take a look at what we’ve found.

Whether they recognize it or not, for every thousand suspects, the average company generates:

A. 30-50 real leads.
B. 30-50 non-lead dispositions that have a good probability of becoming a lead in 6 weeks to 3 months if properly followed up. We refer to these as "pipeline dispositions."
C. 250 non-lead dispositions that are qualified, but need nurturing. We refer to these as "nurture dispositions."

If you are like the majority of companies in the United States, you are stopping at A. The pipeline and nurture dispositions are not properly tracked by sales or marketing, so contacts are left to eventually go find a solution at another company.

However, if you take the time and effort to follow up and act on these dispositions, you can easily triple your lead conversion rates in the long run! In fact, we’ve seen nurture dispositions result in four times the lead rate over the following year if they are effectively pursued. You can see how quickly these numbers add up. Conversely, ignoring the value of non-lead dispositions increases your cost per lead by up to three times.

Don’t be an average company. Take your non-lead dispositions seriously and watch your numbers grow.

For more information, read the white paper Mind the Gap.


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Topics: Lead Generation, Prospect Development, Lead Nurturing

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