Failure to Deliver Leads to the Right Person

In the first article in this series, How Organizations Waste Perfectly Good Leads (Part 1), I introduced you to possible lead bottlenecks that may be preventing or limiting timely follow-up on the great leads you are generating for your sales team. In ‘How Organizations Waste Perfectly Good Leads – Part 2’, I want to focus on another possible barrier to timely follow-up – the failure to deliver leads to the right person.

B2B research indicates that as many as 70% of all leads never even get to the right salesperson for follow-up. Forget about not responding soon enough; these leads don’t even make it to the right person for ANY follow-up! What are some of the root causes of this particular barrier?

Incomplete information

One very basic cause of leads not getting to the right person is simply not collecting enough information to make an intelligent assignment. Many times this is just poor landing-page design and implementation, and other times marketers are just convinced they cannot ask for the information they need. Poor design is easily addressed. As for the second issue, if a marketing tactic offers something of value to the prospect (education, key information, tips, etc.), that prospect will provide enough information for you to evaluate their interest and make a sales assignment where appropriate.

Competing channels or territories

Another common cause is the existence of competing channels or sales territories and a lack of any automated or even “fast manual” method for getting a lead to the right salesperson or channel partner. This is generally a “cop-out” that goes back to the “one person must assign” thinking, or is just a result of a lack of leadership and willingness to make decisions. The costs are huge as leads wither while they are waiting to be given to the right person.

Developing a consistent, repeatable methodology for lead assignment throughout both your internal sales organization and external channels is an essential goal if you want to enable quick and consistent lead follow-up (in other words, if you want to increase the effectiveness of leads). Figure it out and get leads to the right person quickly!

Apathy and Indecision

The last common cause is just a lack of interest, focus, or money. Basically, no one has cared about this and still does not care about it. No executive sponsor has discovered the gaping hole in the lead process and the cost of failing to address it. The company is leaving big money on the table AND, at the same time, likely pushing the sales people even harder, while they are groping in the dark for good leads to call.

Sales executive buy-in is essential to ensure that lead delivery is a priority, that there is a well-defined lead distribution methodology in place, and that leads get delivered.

Last Obstacle

The final article in this series, How Organizations Waste Perfectly Good Leads (part 3) – Lead Quality and Accountability, will show you the last two remaining obstacles that may need addressing to truly enable timely lead follow-up. How Organizations Waste Perfectly Good Leads – Part 2