The #1 Reason Why Generating Leads For Your Sales Team Won’t Create Sales…

Keith Gill
May 23, 2017 · 7 min read

I am going to start off this article with a Tweet that I saw not too long ago from my buddy, Peep Laja of CoversionXL, that highlights the second most important factor in a successful lead gen campaign with at least 2x ROI… I will get to what that “#1 factor” is in a minute, but first let me touch on “follow-up”

“Follow-Up” is best looked at as more than just follow-up to try to get someone to just buy something from you. A lead is NOT someone who is ready to buy something from YOU per se’… They may be ready to buy in general, but they just may NOT be ready to buy from you the “salesperson”. This is an important distinction to understand. Especially in this age where ALL buyers are a lot more informed and where competition for what you offer is just a couple of mouse clicks away…

If a buyer from a cold lead gen campaign is not made to feel like their time is important and their concerns and pain points are valid and most importantly if they are NOT made to feel from you, the sales person, that you understand and empathize with them that they need to first feel comfortable with you and to get to “Know, Like, and Trust” you, then you have already lost the sale and you are wasting the lead gen effort and dollars being spent to get you in front of the lead in the first place.

So “Follow-Up” is NOT just follow-up… It is lead nurturing so you can get the “lead” to “Know, Like and Trust” you so they are comfortable enough and ready to buy from YOU the sales person…

I speak from experience here from a few mistakes I made when launching lead generation campaigns for my sales team… I had a share of my frustrations, and what I realized is that I missed 1 crucial factor, which is the #1 reason why a B2B Lead Gen campaign will fail and it is NOT “Follow-up”, although follow-up is a very close second, as the most important factor in the success in any b2b lead gen campaign.

I thought I had it all figured out. I had an awesome offer, an awesome high converting opt-in page that I built tested and tweaked and further optimized, I had an awesome targeting method to get people to willingly opt-in, I had an awesome pre-qualifying method, I had an awesome automatic follow-up nurture method and I even had come up with a way to make sure ALL qualified leads knew and had the expectation that the next step after they opt-in was that they were going to have a 1 on 1 meeting either in person or on a conference call with an Account Manager. In fact using this process I came up with, I had some of the leads so eager to talk to someone that they would contact me before I even had a chance to assign them to an account manager wanting to discuss the offer…

Needless to say, I was able to generate a ton of very “HOT” and Very pre-qualified leads for my sales team using this multi-step process. But guess what? Despite being able to feed my sales team with very hot, fresh, targeted and already pre-qualified leads In the early days of the first few months of me creating these awesome lead generation campaigns I was able to calculate that more than 87% of those hot generated leads went cold and were NOT turned into a qualified forecasted opportunity, nevermind a closed sale. Why? Because I missed the #1 reason why a B2B lead generation can and will fail… You ready for what this reason is?

Before you start any lead generation campaign for your sales team you must have “Buy In” from that sales team to actually work the leads they get assigned

Before you start any lead generation campaign for your sales team you must have “Buy-In” from that sales team to actually work the leads they get assigned. Seems like common sense huh? It almost seems too obvious that it may not even need to be explained and to get that “Buy In” ahead of time, never mind it seeming to be the #1 reason for the failure of a b2b lead gen campaign where leads are assigned to salespeople if you don’t have it.

Part of this “Buy In” is also setting the expectations of what a “Lead” actually is that is generated from any lead generation campaign and for both the sales team and marketing team coming to an agreement ahead of time of “what” and “when” a “lead” is actually a lead.

What does this even all mean ? Let me explain….

First, you really must know your sales team, where they are in their career, and what their previous experience has been with getting assigned leads from lead generation campaigns from any other organization they may have sold for. I made the mistake of just assuming that ALL sales people would want leads and would know exactly what to do with them as soon as they received them… BIG MISTAKE on my part.

What I did not realize is that a lot of the salespeople that I was generating sales leads for were already very busy with their own book of business of contacts and customers that they generated over the years… Yes, of course, they all would like to expand that book of business and Yes, of course, they would all like to sell more and make more money. But a lot of those sales people either did not want to really work leads and nurture them to a sale or they had the wrong idea of what a “lead” actually is in the traditional sense.

In regards to some of the sales people not quite being clear what a “lead” actually is or at least what their expectation of where a lead is in the “buying cycle” I noticed a pattern. This pattern, with some of even the more tenured salespeople, was that as soon as they were assigned a lead they would poke the lead with a stick for about 2 weeks with a couple of voicemail’s left and a few follow-up emails sent and then ALL activity would drop off completely at the 2-week mark. Why? Well I realized after some poking and prodding and interviewing that a lot of these sales people were used to a very quick 30 day sales cycle and that if a lead that they were given did NOT buy something from them within 2 weeks their attention went elsewhere to focus on their more transactional book of business where they can take an order and make a sale.

I also found out that a lot of these tenured salespeople either had really bad experiences with having any success with getting assigned leads previously or what they considered a lead was NOT really a lead, to begin with, but a customer that just did not place an order yet. You see, a lot of the sales people previously experienced being passed leads that were all the way up to the point that they had their credit card out and were ready to make a purchase and all the salesperson had to do at that point was just take and process the order. So some of the sales people got used to this idea of what they previously considered a lead and if they received a lead that did not behave this way then they immediately assumed that the lead they were given was a garbage lead or they poked it with a stick for a few weeks and then just moved on… This is WHY both the sales team and marketing team must be in agreement ahead of time of what actually constitutes a lead to be worked in the first place. Then, once that is established, having the actual “buy-in” from the sales team to actually work the leads properly that will be assigned from a given lead gen campaign…

So you see, there may not be anything wrong with the quality or freshness of the leads that are generated from a lead gen campaign… In fact my leads, in particular, I am confident to say, were more qualified and a lot more cost effective to generate then going out and buying leads from outside marketing organizations that allegedly guarantee a “BANT qualified” lead. Some of those leads can cost up to $1200 a Lead , where I was able to generate a far superior and fresher lead for about $75 per lead and have these leads fully integrated with our sales funnel process and CRM. So why then did the salespeople NOT close more of the leads in the first few months? I just did NOT have the “buy-in” and the up-front agreement from the salespeople to work the leads properly that I generated for them. Not having “Buy-in” from your sales team to actually WORK THE LEADS the way they should be worked is the #1 reason why any B2B lead generation campaign will fail. Then the Sales people NOT being properly trained on how to follow-up with those leads with the minimum amount of touches is a close second…

Not having “Buy-in” from your sales team to actually WORK THE LEADS the way they should be worked is the #1 reason why any B2B lead generation campaign will fail.

I did eventually figure this out and myself and the company leadership did come up with an effective way to make sure we had the proper buy-in and proper training moving forward… But I will leave what we came up with and how we implemented it for another post so stay tuned…

Thanks for reading

-Keith Gill aka @DigitalKeith

Keith Gill is known as “Digital Keith” and is an SEO, and digital marketing strategist with over 10 years helping businesses and organizations of all sizes . You can find him posting his thoughts and detailed strategies here =>

Keith Gill

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#Technology #GrowthHacking #SocialSelling & #PunkMusic. #SEO #InfluencerMarketing Founder of #PunkPit

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