Why Sales People Don’t Follow Up Sales Leads
Follow up Sales Leads
Sales leads continue to have a poor conversion ratio when followed up by sales people, despite surveys showing most B2B Sales Reps are struggling to hit sales targets. Surely when sales people are under pressure to hit targets, then logic would dictate to follow up sales leads would be a priority. Furthermore surveys show following up is key to sales success, for example, a survey by InsideSales reported “Sales people who follow up a lead within 5 minutes are 9 times more likely to convert them” and “50% of sales go to the first sales person to contact the prospect”. Why then, is there such a disconnect between Sales and Following Up?
Due to the perceived quality of the leads, Sales People simply do not believe the Sales Leads provided will convert to a sale. Content Marketing has helped drive a different type of web traffic – people searching for answers. This is not the same as people searching for solutions they are willing to pay for. Once the traffic is on your website, marketing then drives the list building process via the numerous lead capture methods, such as white papers, video demo’s and free ebooks. With most sales leads coming from online, companies can only influence not control who visits their website and who fills in the web contact forms. According to Marketing Sherpa a massive 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales and only 27% of leads passed to Sales are qualified.
There is then a mixture of Sales Leads in terms of quality and rather than simply passing these on to sales people, the Sales Leads should undergo an initial qualification by marketing or inside sales, before being passed to Sales Professionals. Should these Sales Leads not be “ripe” enough to qualify, they should then enter the Lead Nurturing process until they are “ripe” and ready to buy. According to The Annuitas Group, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured Sales Leads.
Content Marketing is here to stay, but we need to align our sales process with it, if we want to get the most from it, and not increase the gap between Sales and Marketing. Giving Sales People unqualified Sales Leads not only wastes their time, it demotivates and distracts them from what they should be focusing on – the qualified Sales Leads and their existing sales pipeline.