Why Salespeople Don’t Follow Up with Marketing Leads

employee looking at phone screen with computer in the background
There’s one thing salespeople do that frustrates marketing more than anything else. Actually, to be more clear, it’s something they don’t do. When salespeople don’t follow up with marketing leads, a division between the two teams is bound to occur. But, what if there was a way to address this issue before we got to the board room standoff? Prior to marketing shaking their heads in frustration that sales isn’t following up with leads, it might be helpful to take a step back and ask why.  Identifying the reason salespeople don’t follow up with marketing leads and taking steps to address their issues will be a lot more effective in the long run than throwing your sales team under the bus.  It’s also worth mentioning that sales shouldn’t provide the common response that “these leads stink” when trying to determine the disconnect between sales and marketing. 

3 Reasons Why Salespeople Don’t Follow Up with Marketing Leads 

After dozens of conversations with business development teams over the past year, here are the three most common reasons that sales stop following up with marketing leads: 
They Aren’t Empowered with Enough Information
It’s important for marketing to provide salespeople with context when following up with leads. How did they show up on the lead list? Was it because of a contact form or download? What did they download? What are some of the pain points addressed in the resource? Equipping your salespeople with as much information as possible will help them create a better first impression with a prospective customer. This is why it’s important that your marketing and sales technology are in sync—so that salespeople can look back at everything a prospective customer has done (every download, website visit, etc.) when following up. 
They Don’t Recognize the Need to Nurture Leads
In today’s complex business world, a potential customer could be anywhere in the buying cycle when the rep calls. Some are ready to make a final decision, while others are just beginning to explore their options. Many salespeople often underestimate how long it takes for those leads to turn into sales. It’s important for marketing and sales leaders to sit down together, identify the average length of the sales cycle, and evaluate the buyer’s journey. Marketing needs buy-in from salespeople to keep circling back on leads, so that you both can get an accurate idea of how marketing leads perform over time.
The Don’t Feel Equipped with Resources to Last Throughout the Sales Cycle
Salespeople can easily feel overwhelmed by the expectation to nurture hundreds of potential sales conversations on their own, especially when they don’t feel equipped with resources to guide the prospective buyer through the sales cycle. As a result, they either give up on leads or push prospective customers away because they’re trying to close the deal before the lead is ready to buy.  To address this issue, it’s important for marketing to create sales-enablement tools that your team can actually use. You might not be able to force sales to use the tool you provided, but taking the time on the front end to create assets that work will save you a lot of time on fighting the eventual battle of neglecting leads. When there’s a breakdown with your business development team, the problem usually isn’t the leads. It’s how salespeople follow up on them. Make sure you address the real issue and remind both teams that sales and marketing alignment is essential for the success of both teams. 

4 Inbound Lead Nurturing Tips Every Biz Dev Pro Should Know

Tree growing and turning into an arrow shaped tree flying off
Inbound marketing has become the most effective way for businesses to generate leads in today’s digital age. However, there’s one essential element required to maximize the ROI of your inbound marketing efforts lead nurturing. Creating an effective campaign means thinking beyond generating a lead and considering what happens after someone submits their information to download your inbound marketing resource. This is where lead nurturing comes in. Lead nurturing will help you qualify and develop the leads your campaign generates, moving them from early-stage leads to interested prospects who are a good fit for your product or service. 4 Inbound Lead Nurturing Tips Every Biz Dev Pro Should Know But what’s the key to effective lead nurturing? Here are four tips you should know:
  1. (Pre)segmenting the leads you’ll generate.
Before you start writing emails and setting up your nurturing flows, first think about who the leads are you are likely to generate and how you should follow up with them. It’s possible that one nurturing track and one set of messages will work forall of the leads your campaign generates, but it’s more likely that you can segment those leads and nurture them in more targeted ways. For example, if your business caters primarily to two specific industries, you may want to nurture each industry’s leads in different ways and with different content.
  1. Defining your goals and creating email content.
With your segments in mind, you are now ready to start writing the email content for your nurturing flows. When deciding what kind of content you’ll use, it’s helpful to ask yourself what your ultimate goal is for each segment you plan to nurture. If your high level goal is to turn early leads into sales ready leads, what does that mean in practical terms? Do you have different goals for different segments? Once you’ve determined the goal for each nurturing flow, start mapping out your emails and your content.
  1. Nurturing through your website.
You’ve got your emails written and your automation flows in place. That’s great! But nurturing your leads shouldn’t stop at the inbox. Your leads are likely coming and going from many different parts of your website all the time. Maybe they directly type in your web address to get to your homepage or click a link on social media and end up back on your blog. Depending on the tools you use, you may be able to deliver targeted messages to these leads too.
  1. Determine when leads are ready for your sales team.
The machinery of your campaign is almost fully set up! To take things the final mile, give some thought to when and how you’ll pass leads to your sales team. How this process takes place varies widely from company to company. If you get a few leads, you may walk over to your sales folks and have a face to face discussion about each lead that comes in. If you get a large volume, it’s helpful to have an ongoing process in place. Free Resource: Inbound Marketing, Lead Nurturing, & More! If you want to learn more about everything that goes into an effective inbound marketing or lead nurturing campaign, don’t miss our free resource How to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing. In it, you’ll find everything you need to know, including a checklist, for how to create, promote, and measure an effective inbound marketing piece.

4 Ways to Measure Inbound Marketing Beyond Leads

measure inbound marketing
Measuring your results is important in every area of marketing. However, it can be difficult to know how to calculate the ROI of tactics such as inbound marketing when you’re used to managing traditional marketing campaigns.   The good news is that you can measure your effectiveness at any given point throughout the campaign or at its conclusion by tracking various metrics along the way. You also have the ability to monitor, measure, and manage almost every aspect of your campaign, including landing pages, emails, blog posts, social messages, keywords, pay-per-click advertising, and other sources that are contributing traffic to your campaign. Ultimately, the success of an inbound marketing campaign is based on the number of leads that were generated, but it’s good to know what metrics influence that final number. 4 Ways to Measure Inbound Marketing Beyond Leads When evaluating your inbound marketing campaign, here are just a few questions that should be asked to see how your promotion channels did overall in the campaign:
  • Which emails did the best at bringing people into the campaign? 

  • What blog topics led to the greatest number of conversions? 

  • How did PPC compare to Social? 

  • Overall, what channels are most effective in this campaign? 

Inbound campaigns are an impressive feat once you have all channels firing toward the same end goal. The trick is to keep your campaigns focused and powerful. At the conclusion of your campaign, you can measure your efforts and evaluate everything from your offer to your promotional channels. This will give you an opportunity to analyze and optimize your marketing efforts like never before. A Free Guide to Inbound Marketing If you want to learn more about inbound marketing and how it can help you increase your overall effectiveness for generating leads and closing deals, don’t miss our free resource How to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing. It will walk you through everything you need to know from setting goals to measuring ROI and everything in between.