Leads That Go Bump In The Night

The sun goes down over the horizon. You’ve gone home for the day, and everything seems quiet around town. Eerily quiet. You walk your dog past the old cemetery near your office, and pause. Did I just hear something? you think. Wait, did I see something? What was that? Perhaps you’re just imagining things, but no, it seems so real. There it was again! There is something out there, something haunting, alive. But what is it? A zombie? A ghost? “Lead Cemetery” the sign says, but just who is out there? You know those leads you worked hard to acquire, but then they just never ended up engaging with a sales rep? Those are the leads wandering around as ghosts in the Lead Cemetery, waiting to be brought back to life.

Studies have shown that only 17% of new leads are actually sales-ready, and if not handled properly, that can mean a lot of lost investment. What happens to the 83% of leads that may not be ready to buy right away? Sales teams focused on hitting quota are likely to toss them aside. You spent a lot to acquire those leads, but now they are languishing away in a place we call the Lead Cemetery, where good leads go to die. It’s easy to write these leads off, putting them in the land of “what might have been,” but what if you could bring those leads back to life? Bet that would put a little pep in your step!

There are a number of reasons why prospects may not be ready to purchase at the moment they enter your funnel. One of the main factors is simply timing. Perhaps they are waiting on their new budget to be approved, or they are stuck in a contract with their current vendor. But they will be ready at some point, and research tells us that most of the people who have raised their hand by converting on your offer will make a purchase within the next 24 months. How can you be sure that you are the one they turn to? Well, you can’t desert them in that creepy old cemetery. You have to begin building a relationship now.

Timing isn’t the only issue you might face. Some leads end up in the Lead Cemetery because they don’t feel completely confident in what your product has to offer or how it works. So, it’s important to help potential customers of all skill levels feel informed and educated about what you do and how it will impact their business. Set up nurturing campaigns fully stocked with content that reaffirms your company as a subject matter expert, and educates prospects on how you can help them fulfill a need or overcome a challenge. Spend some time teaching potential customers about your products, but also mix in interesting non-product articles, helpful hints, and other thought leadership content. This will help them inch closer to a purchasing decision, and it’s all automated, so your sales team can still focus on hot leads until a prospect shows interest.

Resurrecting a ghost can take some time, so be patient! Make sure you’re tracking all of your leads properly, and adjust their path based on how they interact with you. Work to ensure you’re following up with all leads in a timely and relevant way, that none are falling through the cracks. Think about the right approach for each type of customer, and implement dynamic content to deliver a personalized experience.

Back at the Lead Cemetery, you cautiously look closer, and you see it… it wasn’t a zombie or a ghost, it was one of your leads! You remember meeting him at a trade show last year, and you assumed at this point the deal was long gone. Just then, *poof,* he vanishes. Wait, where did he go? Ah, but you know. That lead is back in the funnel. He may not be dead after all. You smile. See? Lead generation doesn’t have to be scary.

Need some help understanding lead nurturing, and how it can take you from screaming to smiling? Download our Complete Guide To Lead Nurturing.