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Prioritise your pipeline – don’t leave prospects out in the cold

Monday, June 22, 2015 Back

Pipeline creation and management is critical and something we are passionate about. We believe it is just as valuable as setting up appointments today.

Dan McDade - founder and president of PointClear

March 11, 2015

Say you’re a salesperson. One fine morning, 45 sales leads make their way to you from a variety of sources. Nothing but good news there, right?

Upon consideration, 3 of them are well-qualified opportunities who want to move forward and learn more about your product or services, 12 are completely useless, and the rest of them are in a fog of unknowingness. They don’t appear to be ready to move forward; they aren’t saying “no” either.

Many salespeople, not knowing what to do with this last group, stash them away in a folder, the trash, or mark them for later activities “when there’s enough time.” Project deadlines loom, you’re horribly busy, and it only makes sense to focus on the leads most likely to show results. This just makes sense.

Most of the time, companies simply do not have an effective process in place for handling the contact who says they’re “interested, but not right now.”

This group is often the largest category of leads sales teams see—and also the source of the biggest mistake salespeople make. When these leads are shelved or discarded due to time pressure, disorganized sales processes, entrenched culture, or misalignment between Sales and Marketing — a valuable resource is just wasted. Changing the procedures and attitude toward these prospects — ones not likely to buy now — is a gold mine of opportunity.

Within the average company, time and experience show us that each month there are hundreds of potential customers left out of the process — without a home or a plan for the future. Take a look at what we’ve found.

Whether they know it or not, for every thousand suspects, the average company generates:

  • 30-50 Real Leads.
  • 30-50 Pipeline Dispositions. Non-leads that could become viable leads in 6 weeks to 3 months, given the right follow up.
  • 250 Nurture Dispositions. Non-leads that are qualified, but need nurturing.

Are you dropping off everything except Real Leads? In most companies, the Pipeline and Nurture Dispositions are not properly tracked by Sales or Marketing, so contacts are left foundering, and eventually move on to other vendors..

Not good.

But if you take the time and effort to follow up and act on these prospects, you can easily triple your lead conversion rates in the long run! In fact, we’ve seen this group of Nurture Dispositions result in four times the lead rate over the following year if they are effectively pursued.

That math is compelling; you can see how quickly these numbers add up. Conversely, ignoring the value of this large group increases your cost per lead by up to three times.

Don’t go with those averages. Take your Nurture Dispositions seriously and watch what happens...

Originally published by Dan McDade - founder and president of PointClear

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