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Prioritize Your Pipeline: Don’t Leave Prospects Out in the Cold
Blog / For Sales Pros / Mar 11, 2015 / Posted by Dan McDade / 8829

Prioritize Your Pipeline: Don’t Leave Prospects Out in the Cold

Say you’re a salesperson. One fine morning, 45 sales leads make their way to you from a variety of sources. Nothing but good news there, right?

Upon consideration, 3 of them are well-qualified opportunities who want to move forward and learn more about your product or services, 12 are completely useless, and the rest of them are in a fog of unknowingness. They don’t appear to be ready to move forward; they aren’t saying “no” either.

Many salespeople, not knowing what to do with this last group, stash them away in a folder, the trash, or mark them for later activities “when there’s enough time.” Project deadlines loom, you’re horribly busy, and it only makes sense to focus on the leads most likely to show results. This just makes sense.

Most of the time, companies simply do not have an effective process in place for handling the contact who says they’re “interested, but not right now.”

This group is often the largest category of leads sales teams see—and also the source of the biggest mistake salespeople make. When these leads are shelved or discarded due to time pressure, disorganized sales processes, entrenched culture, or misalignment between Sales and Marketing — a valuable resource is just wasted. Changing the procedures and attitude toward these prospects — ones not likely to buy now — is a gold mine of opportunity.

Within the average company, time and experience show us that each month there are hundreds of potential customers left out of the process — without a home or a plan for the future. Take a look at what we’ve found.

Whether they know it or not, for every thousand suspects, the average company generates:

  • 30-50 Real Leads.

  • 30-50 Pipeline Dispositions. Non-leads that could become viable leads in 6 weeks to 3 months, given the right follow up.

  • 250 Nurture Dispositions. Non-leads that are qualified, but need nurturing.

Are you dropping off everything except Real Leads? In most companies, the Pipeline and Nurture Dispositions are not properly tracked by Sales or Marketing, so contacts are left foundering, and eventually move on to other vendors..

Not good.

But if you take the time and effort to follow up and act on these prospects, you can easily triple your lead conversion rates in the long run! In fact, we’ve seen this group of Nurture Dispositions result in four times the lead rate over the following year if they are effectively pursued.

That math is compelling; you can see how quickly these numbers add up. Conversely, ignoring the value of this large group increases your cost per lead by up to three times.

Don’t go with those averages. Take your Nurture Dispositions seriously and watch what happens..

For more information, read the white paper Mind the Gap, and get Pipeliner CRM’s Self-Assessment Test: Managing Leads and Opportunities.

About Author

Dan McDade is founder and CEO of PointClear, a lead generation, qualification and nurturing company that helps B2B companies with complex sales processes drive revenue. Dan is the author of the award-winning outbound sales and marketing blog, ViewPoint.

Author's Publications on Amazon

The Truth About Leads is a practical, easy-to-read book shedding light on the secrets that help you focus your B2B lead-generation efforts, align your sales and marketing organizations and drive revenue. Written by prospect development expert and PointClear founder and CEO Dan McDade, The Truth…
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