Are Your Leads Being Followed Up?

The respected Aberdeen Group released the results of an informative survey of 226 B2B organizations in November of 2008 entitled Lead Nurturing: The Secret to Successful Lead Generation that included this disappointing statistic:

“… upwards of 60 percent to 70 percent of leads are never followed up by sales.”

Are you spending a significant amount of money to generate your leads only to have them be ignored by salesmakers?   In the opinion of Ian Michiels, Practice Leader-Customer Management Technology Group at Aberdeen Group,  The most effective way to combat this fact is to focus on and implement a Lead Nurturing program.

Here is how Michiels defines Lead Nurturing:

“Lead nurturing is a relationship-building approach utilizing multiple media (e-mail, whitepapers, telecommunication, seminars, webinars, blogs, collateral, speaking engagements, third-party articles) to support the prospects buying cycle with relevant information and engage in an ongoing dialog until qualified prospects are deemed “sales-ready”  A “sales-ready” lead is ultimately defined by the unique definition of a qualified lead within the organization.  Sales-ready prospects are educated, informed and prepared to make a decision; thus they need to be actively engaged with sales or engaged by call to action marketing messages.  The goal of a lead nurturing program is to support and nurture long-term opportunities with the hope that these prospects may represent future sales.  Ultimately, this requires marketing to take ownership and accountability for nurturing prospects that are not ready to purchase, but may have a defined need, authority, budget or a long-term timeline.”

I have found very few organizations where marketing is accountable for the nurturing of prospects, while only the “sales-ready” leads are fed to the salesmakers.  It is typically, “here are 100 prospect names, go sell them something.”

Do you segment your Leads into “sales-ready” and prospects?  Do you have different processes built for each?  Have do you handle this in your company?

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