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It all started when we were running low on names to call at the beginning of last week, and were waiting for new lists to come through from a client. As you can imagine, the BDRs on the project were growing impatient and were hungry for more leads to call, as any motivated inside sales people would have been.
Purchasing a list on our own was unfortunately not an option in this particular instance, so we knew we needed to come up with a plan that would still allow us to hit our weekly lead goal despite not having fresh lists to dial into. After putting our heads together, one rep suggested that we reach back out to prospects that were unresponsive in the past. At first, I think we were all a bit unsure as to how this would work out – luckily we were pleasantly surprised by the end of the week.
Just like we were at first, I think a lot of sales professionals are skeptical about continuing to follow up on leads that are unresponsive during the first several rounds of cold calling efforts. In our experience, we’ve found that if you’ve reached out to a prospect with 10-12 touches without receiving any kind of response back, it is time to place them in the “unresponsive” bucket, reach out to them once a month, and start focusing on new prospects instead.
While bringing in new prospects is crucial to any successful cold call campaign, it’s also equally as important to nurture “old” ones because you never know what you will be able to uncover – just as we did last week. So what is it that we did to try to turn our “unresponsives” into qualified leads? We simply created list views that pulled all of the leads in the “unresponsive” bucket into one list (I recommend creating a check box option to identify leads as “unresponsive” or add “unresponsive” to your lead status picklist).
The BDRs on the team began calling into these lists and were shocked by the amount of responses they received, including responses that resulted in qualified leads.
I can remember one instance that occurred within the first day of calling on these prospects where I had a BDR run into my office with excitement saying “I have been trying to reach this person for months and figured they left the company or they had no interest and I ended up passing them as a qualified lead!” In this situation, the prospect explained to the rep that they did in fact remember their persistent voicemails and emails, but didn’t have the time to call them back since they returned from vacation. They even said, “I am so glad you continued to reach out to remind me.”
This is just one example, but it seems that lately this keeps happening, and it makes me realize how important it is to nurture leads so that you don’t let any potential leads slip through the cracks, even if they are a bit older.
Based on the experience I had last week, I don’t think it ever makes sense to stop nurturing leads that appear to be “unresponsive.” In my opinion, sending marketing nurture emails after prospects are placed in this bucket can be effective, but the most optimal way to get results is to pair these emails with continuous cold call activities. What do you think?VN:R_U [1.9.7_1111]Don't Give Up On Those “Old” Sales Leads!,
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