The challenge faced by sales teams when trying to optimise resources to maximise pipeline
According to our clients, on average only 1.5% of leads will eventually close, meaning 98.5% of leads are rejected by sales teams at some point along the sales pipeline. But what can cause a lead to drop from the pipeline? Leads can be lost from a sales funnel for a variety of reasons such as:
- Poor lead routing between multiple lead generation agencies – vital information is lost due to incompatible delivery systems and verification platforms between different agencies.
- Lack of insights for sales to take effective action or close – incorrect or out of date contact information, not enough information about the company’s needs, stakeholders or buying cycles etc.
- Lack of training for BDRs – untrained BDRs are unable to efficiently qualify leads that are generated leading to a lower quality pipeline.
- Lack of resources – with a continuous stream of new leads, sales teams often lack the capacity to review previously closed negative opportunities and re-engage them.
- Leads are not immediately sales ready – sales teams naturally reach for the most qualified leads first. So MQIs and MQLs don’t get the attention that the need to push them through the funnel.
- Internal sales KPIs to convert MQLs to SRLs – there is often unrealistic timeframes imposed on salespeople to convert prospects that clearly need more nurturing to sales ready.
Although these leads drop out of the pipeline, it does not mean that they are a lost sales opportunity. In most cases, they simply need more nurture throughout the pipeline. Not only will this nurture allow sales teams to identify when a lead is sales ready, it will also provide a deeper understanding of why the lead was closed in the first instance, as well as key insights into buying committees and purchasing cycles which can be used to tailor their future outreach.
However, BDRs and sales teams often do not have the resources that allow them to nurture or regularly revisit discarded leads to re-engage with them. In-house sales teams are already facing a mounting level of burnout and adding the task of re-engaging with previously discarded leads to workloads will only further amplify this pressure.
To cope with the volume of prospects that need to be processed, sales and marketing teams at vendors often outsource this work to third-party agencies. However, to limit potential brand damage and to help ensure prospects are nurtured up in the right way, picking a specialist agency is a crucial part of the process. To be efficiently nurtured in order to be converted, prospects must be followed up by highly trained and qualified BDRs who intimately understand the problems faced by the prospect and how to appropriately align them with the client’s product or service.
BNZSA’s Lead Recyclr: Lead Recycling Solution
BNZSA’s Lead Recycling process is driven by its highly trained and specialist BDRs, that are presented to clients as ‘Virtual Teams’. Clients provide BNZSA with a database of leads which have been deemed a lost opportunity at different stages of the pipeline – these leads are then picked up by BNZSA’s BDRs with the express objective of re-engaging the prospect, nurturing them, and pushing them through the sales funnel until they are eventually sales ready.
The leads are analysed using our Decision Science Practice and our InTNT intent data activator, that uses intent data and analytics to determine which leads are more likely to be in market at that time. This will allow the leads to be prioritised for follow up by our agents.
Agents will work to connect with each prospect over the phone, which allow them to determine what obstacles the prospect encountered originally and why they were not considered a viable opportunity at the time. For example, there was an established interest but not in the timeframe required to be qualified as a sales accepted lead (SAL)
By re-engaging the lead, BNZSA BDRs will be able to bring the lead back into the pipeline. Although not all will be sales ready, the nature of BNZSA’s approach, the quality conversations its BDRs have with IT decision makers will help to enrich the database and provide quality insights into buying cycles and buying committees.
Also, by allowing a specialist agency such as BNZSA to concentrate on reviving, nurturing and enriching top of the funnel leads to more ready for follow up with a product specialist or more sales accepted lead, existing client BDR teams can concentrate on opportunities that are perhaps more complex, lucrative and more importantly closer to converting to closed won.
On average we are able to re-engage and bring 56% of recycled leads back into the funnel. This engagement allows our clients to gain insight into the needs of their prospects and identify why these leads were originally considered a lost opportunity.
Of these re-engaged leads, we are typically able to convert 10-15% of them from a closed opportunity to a sales ready lead, increasing pipeline substantially and re-claiming a vast amount of revenue which otherwise would have been lost.
Additionally, the conversations held between our BDRs and Decision Makers means we can provide deeper and more comprehensive insights into approximately 60% of the contacts which were not converted. These conversations allow our BDRs to enrich our client’s database with crucial information concerning intent buying signals, continued interest in product or service, need for product or service and buying committees.
BNZSA’s Lead Recyclr – A Case Study
BNZSA recently completed a lead qualification campaign in the US market for an existing blue chip IT client.
Originally, we had undertaken a lead generation campaign for the same client, producing MQLs and organising telephone appointments for follow up. These leads were then transferred to another third-party agency for follow up.
However, the second agency were not thorough enough in their follow up leading to many of the opportunities we had identified were closed negative. This equated to a lost pipeline worth millions of dollars in revenue for our client.
But we were confident in the quality of our work, so we took it upon ourselves to implement BNZSA protocols to recycle and revive these leads and complete the follow up ourselves.
We received 62 leads which the second agency had closed negative to investigate why they were closed, with the aim of re-opening the opportunity and re-claiming revenue for our client.
We were able to deliver the following:
- More than 56% of leads were re-engaged and re-entered the sales funnel
- 18 meetings booked using our trademarked Warm HandoverTM process
- 13% of leads converted to sales ready
- Pipeline of 8,000 units
- $1.5 million in forecasted revenue
Sales teams can often be daunted by the number of old leads that they have that can be recycled, even the best sales teams will struggle to allocate resources to this this activity on top of their regular outreach to new leads. But leads are expensive and marketing budgets need to be spent efficiently.
Leads that have been prematurely closed negative, for whatever reason, can equate to millions in lost potential revenue for a company.
BNZSA’s Lead Recyclr provides the resources sales teams need to recycle old leads and re-engage sales pipeline, so they can concentrate on what they do best – closing deals. Our Virtual Teams of BDRs provide support to in-house sales teams to re-activate leads, bring them back into the funnel and re-claim lost revenue.
Our approach not only generates high quality sales ready leads, but also enriches sales pipelines with detailed insights and understanding of why leads are being closed in the first place, providing a benchmark to analyse future lead generation campaigns.