Larry Kaul, Founder and CEO, Kaul Sales Partners

B2B SALES PERSPECTIVE SERIES

The Lead’s Not Dead Until the Coroner Comes

With the rise of fancy CRM tools and automated lead scoring, I still apply the same rule of thumb that law enforcement uses for deciding if a missing person is a murder victim: They’re not dead until the coroner puts the tag on the toe.

Developing and managing a pipeline takes persistence. Many quit after the first back-and-forth fizzles out or the first call takes too long to line up. This is leaving money on the table. We combat this by fusing proven outbound campaign strategies with content marketing to revive and engage prospects who have been laying dormant in our pipeline; this recently resulted in the signing of a new client who had been hanging around on the “no decision” list for three years.

Trying to introduce ourselves all over again and resell them worked, but we wanted more sales. We applied a “less is more” approach, creating a raft of content centered on challenges we’ve solved that are similar to the kind of situations we successfully overcame for clients. We then offered links to the content as mere food for thought. This was not a replacement for our salespeople. It augmented and improved their results.

We had two distinct segments of our pipeline in mind for our revival efforts:

  • People who responded to an email at any point in the past, but never followed up
  • People we spoke to, but who then dropped off the map

Your segments may look different than ours did. But if you’re trying the “Hey, just checking in” approach or standard problem/solution follow-ups, you’re not offering much value or giving your prospect something new and interesting to think about. You’ll be lost in the chorus of sound-alike, follow-up pests.

Not overselling the approach is key. Assume interest, point them at the content and simply invite a renewal of the conversation. Being that our lists are quite large, individual customization is out of the question, so there’s some subtlety involved in making the messaging personalized without being presumptuous about the situations they face.

This approach jolted our list like a defibrillator, reviving years of flatlined conversations. With the right amount of persistence and continually adjusted approaches, “dead leads” came back to life and have resulted in several promising conversations, three of which have turned into new Kaul Sales Partners clients in the first three weeks of the program.

You likely have similar jackpots waiting in your “dead leads” list; reviving them takes thoughtful content, proven pipeline management techniques and a refusal to accept “death” until the coroner says so.
Feel free to check out other entries in our B2B Sales Perspective Series or get in touch if you want to discuss these or any other challenges in detail.