Why Salespeople Don’t Follow Up with Marketing Leads

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.