An Unusual, But Effective Lead Follow-Up Best Practice
You convinced a potential customer to download content from your website. Then another, and another. You developed a list. Your sales lead follow-up best practice probably includes a drip email sequence — follow-ups enticing prospects to engage. You “add value.” You educate, nurture. So how many conversations with buyers result? Not many in most cases.
Let's examine why this happens and discover what to do instead.
$75,000 per 'Lead'
“I spent $75,000 last year on an outbound demand generation program that yielded a less than a one percent response rate,” said a recent student of mine. His title is Director of Customer Success at a boutique IT solution provider. We’ll call him Craig to protect his identity.
“The program included LinkedIn Sponsored InMail with ‘compelling value props,’ advertising on syndicated channels, and email campaigns. I followed the advice of gurus who came highly recommended. In the end (when all the money was spent) they had no idea how to attract prospects to my company.”
“Something is broke. You willing to schedule a call, Jeff? I want to understand exactly what it will take to generate interest with valid prospects.”
I took the call. Craig needed to make a business case for 8 weeks of coaching with me and a small group of peers.
A Best Practice That Isn’t
Craig’s $75,000 budget targeted 3,900 leads and received one response stating, “We’ll forward you to the appropriate contact in our company.” Sound familiar?
The culprit: A best practice that isn’t. It’s worst, in fact.
Follow-up email sequences sent to inbound leads usually fail to induce conversations with prospects. Because most are built on an outdated best practice. Follow-up sequences usually involve:
- Dripping content and hoping a message resonates;
- educating customers using content;
- staying on prospects’ radar (when they’re ready to buy they think of you);
- making biased calls to action rather than neutral provocations.
Fail, fail, fail, fail. Especially when you’re selling enterprise B2B solutions. The objective isn’t to resonate, engage, educate or stay on the radar. It’s to start neutral conversations with clients.