Many marketers are focused on optimizing their marketing funnels to the fullest.
They conduct A/B tests to see what variation of email headline/ad copy/hero image gets the most clicks.
They amass heaps of data about their leads, segment them, and send each segment personalized content.
They track leads’ activities within the marketing funnel and try to determine which ones are the most qualified to talk to sales.
All in the name of distilling as many qualified leads as possible. A tiny percentage of these leads will eventually become deals.
But what about the leads that don’t become deals?
Along the way down the marketing funnel, a lot of leads fall off the radar.
Maybe their leads scores are not high enough. Or perhaps they have not been actively engaging with your marketing content.
Often, these are the “unripe” leads. Some leads have only just started exploring their options, while some are interested but unable to commit right away. Other leads may have jumped on your demo but said that they were not ready to buy.
It’s not that these leads would never buy from you. In fact, 45% of B2B leads will end up buying! The key is to have regular sales follow ups with them on their interest.
Untouched leads are wasted sales opportunities
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t take care of their unripe leads well.
The sales team would cherry pick the best leads, work with those, and leave the rest untouched. Or, the sales team would work on the leads they receive but don’t follow up with them long enough. 44% of salespeople give up on prospects after one follow up, however, it takes about eight attempts to reach a prospect. Lots of leads end up neglected as a result.
Over time, a lot of unripe leads slip through the cracks, accumulate, and turn "cold" in CRMs. No one knows what to do with them.
Bring cold, “dead” leads back to life with the power of artificial intelligence (AI)
Many of the suggestions for re-engaging old leads that you can find online focus on tactics. For example, crafting an attention-grabbing email, using social media to reconnect, and invite them to an event.
These could be effective. However, when you have thousands of old leads and a tiny sales team, these tactics are hard to scale.
That's where technology comes in.
AI sales assistants are a type of conversational marketing software that identify qualified leads and hand these leads off to sales reps. They are capable of having back-and-forth email conversations with thousands of people at one time.
Here’s how using an AI sales assistant can help you uncover the gold in your marketing database:
It will contact every lead in your database, no matter which stage of the buying cycle they are in, and engage them in email conversations about your business. But an AI sales assistant is more than an outreach tool. It qualifies leads based on their intent to buy as it converses with them, separating the truly “dead” leads from the genuine ones. When leads express interest in buying, the AI sales assistant will route the lead to a human sales rep to follow up and close the deal.
In this example, an AI sales assistant reaches out to a lead that had expressed interest in a school some time ago:
Want more deals? Start re-engaging all your stale leads
Many marketers try to generate more sales-ready leads by ramping up their top-of-the-funnel marketing activities.
But if you don’t take care of your leads well, then it doesn’t matter how many leads you attract. You might end up accumulating a lot of misjudged, forgotten, or under-touched leads.
Don’t let your hard-won leads go to waste. Begin re-engaging your current backlog of old leads, where you can find many valid but dormant sales opportunities. With the help of AI, you can bring those stale leads back to life.
Interested in using AI to get more sales-ready leads? Request a demo of our AI sales assistant today!
Originally published on 13 November 2018, updated on 6 January 2020