5 Reasons Why B2B Sales Leads Go Missing

Missing Sales Leads

If you convert 25% of your B2B sales leads into opportunities, what happens to the other 75%? Many will be marked as bad leads or disqualified in the early stages of the lead generation process. Other leads will convert into opportunities, but most never leave the sales funnel. Why are these leads left behind? The growing “dead” or “dormant” lead pool is driven by five factors.

Sales Reps Can’t Connect

This is likely the number one reason sales leads die. The sales rep can’t get in touch with the prospect. It’s common knowledge that it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 attempts to reach the typical mid-level to senior-level buyer and in some cases even longer to have a meaningful conversation. “On average, SDRs make 8.2 attempts per prospect. That’s up from 7.3 attempts in 2014 and 5.6 in 2012,” according to research from The Bridge Group. Your sales reps on average will make two attempts and then move on. These connect attempts can be a mixture of email, phone, and social media outreach.

Marketing Campaigns are not Aligned With Sales Goals

Savvy and experienced sales reps can spot a good opportunity a mile away. They know their market and who the tire kickers are and which accounts are ready to spend. So when sales reps receive leads from marketing that don’t meet their expectations, they lose confidence in those leads. Over time, this situation becomes exaggerated until sales reps are ignoring leads from marketing altogether. In other cases, the sales manager may agree with the marketing manager, but individual sales reps may have different lead criteria. Aligning sales and marketing is a key reason for account-based marketing adoption.

There Isn’t a Need Yet

So your B2B sales lead has been accepted by sales, but when qualified, it meets all of the qualification criteria, except timing. There just simply may not be a need at this time. According to Gleanster Research, 50% of the leads you generate are qualified, but not ready to buy right now. 25% of the leads you generate are totally unqualified; they won’t ever buy. In fact, at any given time, only 25% of your leads are ready to buy, and that’s being optimistic. It is simply a timing issue but these leads need to be kept in the nurturing funnel. While the sales rep should be scheduling follow-up calls, these nurturing attempts may fall through the cracks due to other higher priority and value activities like closing deals now.

B2B Sales Leads are Old With Bad Data

It’s a well-known fact that sales lead data becomes outdated quite quickly. The rule of thumb says 25% of your marketing list is outdated within one year. Sustained effort is needed to grow and maintain your contact database of influencers and decision makers.

Sales Reps Asked the Wrong Question

Asking the right question, in the right way, can have a positive effect on the lead qualification process. For example, if you ask, “Are you the decision maker?” you will get a yes or no answer. If your prospect said no, you might disqualify this lead. But what if you had asked the same question in an open-ended format? Can you tell me about your decision-making process and how it works? Another example of asking the wrong question is when the sales rep does not pay attention to the lead history. Was there a previous conversation? Was there appropriate budget? Perhaps the company received funding or has new sales management. Asking the right questions can enrich the relationship and move the lead forward in the sales process.

To learn more about reviving your dormant B2B sales leads and live lead generation services, download the eCoast Marketing white paper How to Breathe New Life into Your B2B Lead Generation Campaigns.

Geoffrey Palmer