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June 14, 2019

5 Reasons You’re Losing Leads (And What You Can Do About It)

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Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it seems like you’re spinning your wheels with your sales and marketing efforts. You’ve implemented what you feel is a strong sales enablement program, and you’ve been reasonably successful with it … until now.

Suddenly, it seems like that well-oiled sales enablement machine is grinding to a halt and you’re not sure exactly what to do about it. You’ve worked hard to make sure that you’ve set up your sales enablement strategy properly, including developing a well-defined mission statement and creating buyer personas to target your potential customers.

You’ve set goals, developed a thorough on-boarding program and are working to provide ongoing education for all team members. You’ve made sure they understand the processes and are up to speed on collaborative tools. On paper, it looks like you’ve checked all the boxes, but your sales results are telling a different story.

There are many different reasons that you start losing leads and it can be difficult to determine what’s causing this sudden slowdown. It’s time to take a closer look at what’s happening in your sales enablement strategy and see if any of these common problems could be causing you to lose leads.

No. 1: You’re Not Providing the Right Information at the Right Time

Timing is everything. That’s true in dating, sports and, especially, in content marketing. When you know what your customer is looking for, you can tailor your messaging to their stage in the buyer’s journey. If you’re trying to close a sale on your first interaction, you’re kind of like the guy who shows up with a ring and pops the question on the first date. (Not that we’re judging anyone who does that, of course.)

Providing leads with the most valuable content for their stage in the journey, or providing them with the resources they need to help solve their problems, shows that you’re interested in serving their needs first rather than simply watching out for your own business needs.

Giving this kind of value first builds trust and respect, and keeps the relationship moving in the right direction.

No. 2: You Aren’t Responding Fast Enough

Forget the stats that tell you what days and times are best for calling on prospects; your best bet for a great response is to reach out immediately when a contact shows interest. According to an InsideSales.com 2018 survey, the best companies respond to leads in under 30 minutes. And MIT found that the odds of qualifying a lead drop significantly in just a matter of minutes: The odds of qualifying a lead in five minutes is 21 times greater than if you wait for 30 minutes, and even waiting 10 minutes will decrease the odds of qualifying them four-fold.

Creating a system for faster response time is an effective way to improve your results. To do that, make it easy for sales team members to respond to leads quickly, such as implementing desktop notifications that alert them in real time to a new lead. The easier you make it for your team to respond with the speed of a Family Feud contestant, the better your odds of keeping — and converting — those leads.

No. 3: Customers Aren’t Clear on the Next Steps

Are you taking buyers on a clear-cut, logical journey, or are they going to feel more like they’re trapped in an escape room and are desperately looking for clues for their next move?

If you’re not fully utilizing your calls to action, or CTAs, you could be losing leads. A great CTA will tell prospects exactly what to do next, where to click and how to move forward. It makes the next step in the journey completely clear and gives the lead some sort of incentive to keep moving forward.

Using concise, actionable words like, “learn,” “discover” and “download” are a critical part of providing next steps, and adding a sense of urgency with words like “now” and “today” can help move that message along even further. Don’t hope that they’ll know what you want them to do next; tell them!

No. 4: You Aren’t Using the Proper Channels

You probably wouldn’t reach out to your grandma on Instagram and you wouldn’t try to reach your teenager through LinkedIn. But if you’re not monitoring where your customers spend their time, you could be putting all your time and effort in the wrong place.

What’s worked best to help increase traffic and generate more leads? Does blogging seem to pull in more interested leads? Do you get more interest through targeted social media campaigns? What about your email campaigns? Monitoring and analyzing the results of your marketing services should inform how you move forward. It’s hard to know which platforms work best for you unless you’re tracking that, so pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, and make your plan accordingly.

No. 5: Your Sales and Marketing Teams Aren’t Aligned

Sales enablement relies on your sales and marketing teams being closely aligned. Spoiler alert: sales and marketing are not necessarily accustomed to playing on the same team. And as a result, despite all efforts to bring them together, sometimes miscommunication happens.

Marketing’s role in sales enablement is to pass along as many qualified leads as possible, but maybe the leads aren’t as qualified as sales needs them to be. Or maybe they’re generating too many leads, and sales is having difficulty keeping up. That can create leaks in the funnel that lets good leads slip away before the sales team gets to them.

To improve alignment, cultivate communication between your teams. Make sure they have the right team communication tools for the job — and that they’re using them. If marketing is providing too many leads, or if the leads aren’t as warm as they need to be, sales needs to communicate about what they need. If you have a content marketing or SEO agency, communicate this to them so they can adapt or even scale back their strategies. An added benefit on this could be a decrease in ad spend or other marketing expenses.

Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results

As you look at where and why you’re losing leads, you can get a better understanding of what works —both for your customers and for your sales and marketing team. Putting your sales enablement strategy in place is just the beginning; the more information and insight you can acquire into your customers’ behavior, the better your results will be. And, the more you analyze and fine-tune your efforts, the better your teams will work together and the more efficient (and profitable) your sales enablement machine will become.

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Sales Enablement
Paula Felps
About Paula Felps

Paula Felps is a staff writer and editor with madison/miles media who has written for a variety of print and digital publications. She is the author of multiple books and is owned by a 17-pound Boston terrier named Archie.

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