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. For B2B companies, about 0.0078% of leads eventually become deals.
But what are you doing about the remaining 99.9922% who 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 follow ups with them on their interest, until they decide whether or not to speak to sales.
Untouched leads are wasted sales opportunities
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses we speak to don’t take care of their unripe leads well.
The sales team would cherry pick the hottest 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. Lots of leads end up neglected as a result.
In our experience, less than 5% of leads that marketing hands over to sales get sufficient follow-up and attention. This represents a massive waste of money, effort, and time for marketers. In fact, we’ve had a client who spent more than $100,000 on a B2B campaign, only for it to fail because their sales team did not follow up with most of the leads generated!
Some marketers run lead nurturing campaigns, activate lead scoring, and pass on the highest scoring leads to sales. But the problem with lead scoring is that it identifies hot leads by making educated guesses based on the information shared by leads, which may be vague or inaccurate. As a result, lead scoring sometimes fails to identify genuine sales opportunities.
Over time, a lot of “forgotten” or “old” leads slip through the cracks and accumulate. No one knows what to do with them. One client in the education industry, General Assembly, even had about 10,000 untouched leads in their database before they turned to us for help!
Bring cold, “dead” leads back to life with the power of artificial intelligence (AI)
Here’s how using an AI sales assistant can help you uncover the gold in your marketing database:
Your AI will contact every lead in your database, no matter which stage of the buying cycle they are in, and engage them in conversations about your business. But your AI is more than an outreach tool. Your AI 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, your AI will route the lead to a human sales rep to follow up and close the deal.
Example of how your AI sales assistant engages leads in a conversation and qualifies them
Remember General Assembly and their 10,000 untouched leads? After their AI engaged every lead, it managed to surface more than 600 hot leads for the sales team to close!
For another client, global recruitment firm Randstad, using their AI to engage with their large backlog of stale leads boosted their lead to meeting conversion rates by up to 79%! It worked so well for them that they introduced their AI to their Hong Kong, Australia, US, and Malaysia offices, where it has demonstrated similar levels of success.
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.
I take difficult and complex B2B tech topics and turn them into crisp, compelling, and creative copy. When I'm not doing content marketing for Saleswhale, I'm blogging or honing my manga drawing skills.