Last time, we examined the first component of a lead lifecycle campaign: lead handoffs. Today we’ll look at the next component: lead recycling. This refers to what you should do with leads that are not yet “sales-ready”. The first point to make is: don’t forget about them! It’s a shocking condemnation of business that up to 80 percent of leads in a sales pipeline can be ignored or lost by a Sales Department.
In one study, the Marketing Department sent 12,000 leads to Sales one year, of which 2,500 “fell through the cracks”. The majority was indeed composed of dead ends – they had either lost interest or bought from a competitor – but 375 prospects actually were ready to talk with Sales, and half of those ended making purchases resulting in $1.2 million of additional revenue. The take-away from this is that leads should be recycled, either through an automatic system or manually by the Sales Department.
When a lead is recycled, it is reassigned to a later campaign period. The reassignment is tracked so that the lead can be reactivated at the proper time. Sometimes, recycling is needed for “good” reasons – for instance, a hot campaign results in a flood of new leads that temporarily overwhelms Sales’ resources. If leads cannot be contacted in a timely manner, Sales and Marketing should set up a set of rules that flags these leads for recycling. By knowing the volume of recycled leads, Marketing can plan automated campaigns that are triggered by specific conditions or rules. In addition, if a sales rep receives feedback from certain contacts that they are not yet ready to commit, the rep should reassign the contacts back to Marketing for recycling, adding any details gathered from speaking to these contacts. These additional details will help Marketing gauge when to re-engage these leads.
If you recall from earlier posts, a lead lifecycle campaign utilizes lead scoring to trigger actions. For instance, a lead might be assigned 20 points for attending your presentation at a trade show. When a lead is recycled, its points should be reset to an agreed level, say 15 points, and left with Marketing to accumulate some target level, like 70, points. At that juncture, the lead will be sent back to Sales for follow-up contact by a rep. Alternatively, when Sales recycles an already-contacted lead, it can use its knowledge to recommend a specific timeframe for re-engagement by Sales.
We’ll say more about lead recycling in our next post.