One of the top priorities of every business is to establish a working sales pipeline with a sufficient number of prospects for its sales team to work on. Another priority is to reduce customer acquisition costs by utilizing several lead sources. 

Developing a steady sales pipeline and finding potential customers is accomplished through multiple marketing channels.

However, several factors to consider here include a budget, years in the industry, type of business (B2B/B2C), and the industry itself. Spending a lot of money on generating leads, only to have them fall through the cracks later in the sales process, is the most frustrating part for a business owner. 

There is seepage at every stage of the sales funnel if you look at the lead flow, and inadequate sales and marketing processes can cause leads to leaking out. 

 

What is lead leakage?

Marketers lose the majority of leads because they focus on gaining new leads instead of nurturing existing ones. 80% of the generated leads do not interact with sales (Lisa Cramer, Marketing Profs). In this regard, lead leakage refers to the progressive loss of leads as they progress through the funnel.

To create a sale, you must guide the customer down each step of the funnel. In this process, there is always a chance to lose leads if you don’t nurture them or close the deal.

There are two types of leads that leak:

  • Cold leads (inquiries or suspects) are passed to sales and never worked upon because sales assume they are uninterested.
  • Warmer Leads that have been worked by sales but have not progressed down the pipeline for some reason.

 

Why does lead leakage happen?

The following are the most common causes of lead leakage:

 

1. Unqualified leads:

In marketing and sales, dealing with unqualified leads is one of the biggest time wasters. These prospects are still at the very top of the sales process, and they haven’t yet decided whether or not to purchase. You can use lead scoring, which ranks leads based on their level of interest, actions, and readiness for purchase, to ensure that your leads are ready for sales before they are sent to them.

 

2. Lack of lead nurturing:

For building relationships with leads and customers, lead nurturing is a critical component that you should not neglect. It’s a way to keep in touch with prospects even if they’re not quite ready to buy. 

 

3. Non-sales ready lead:

While nurturing your leads is critical, you must also be able to tell the difference between engaging with them and keeping a safe distance. Too much persistence from the sales team can result in lead leakage. Make sure you know where your lead is in the sales process and only give them what they need. 

 

How to control lead leakage?

Talking about a lead-tight solution, here is how you can keep it under control:

 

1. Identify the leaking point

Before you do anything else, you need to figure out where in the sales process you’re losing leads. Is your website getting a lot of traffic but only a few conversions? Are you getting a lot of trialists, but they are not converting into customers? Are you having a hard time convincing potential customers at the proposal stage?

The first step in preventing leaks in your sales funnel is figuring out where the problem is.

 

2. Investing in technology for sales and marketing

Investing in technology is crucial for enhancing tour sales performance and losing out on leads. Some tools that you must adopt are:

 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management):

Some companies continue to use MS Excel to keep track of their customers. But lead storage, lead distribution, and lead information cannot be managed efficiently using excel alone. There are CRMs for every size and type of business these days, and the investment will be worthwhile in the long run. In this way, you can maintain tabs on a potential customer’s purchase progress and know when to follow up.

 

Marketing Automation tool:

To help inbound marketing activities, marketing automation tools are an excellent resource for gathering contact information from potential customers. Using variables such as industry, company size, and other critical factors such as lead industry segmentation and CRM integration, they excel at all facets of managing leads, from the initial capture to the end of the lead’s lifecycle.

It’s easy to remarket the content to leads who are a good fit for your products but are still a few months away from making a purchase using these tools.

 

Sales acceleration systems/technology:

These platforms assist in refining the organization’s sales follow-up process that includes a series of touchpoints such as phone, email, and social media.

Related: Integrated sales lead management system

 

3. Lead Nurturing

Marketing must take the responsibility of nurturing and promoting sales-ready leads to the sales team. Marketing can develop, identify, and handoff sales-ready leads with lead nurturing. This includes sending relevant content to prospects based on who they are, their interests, and how far along they are in the buying process (based on their digital activity on your website).

Marketing should also be in charge of re-nurturing leads that have been handed over to sales but have not yet been converted into sales opportunities.

 

4. Cooperation between sales and marketing

It is important to have scalable processes, and both the sales and marketing teams understand and share responsibilities. Both the teams need to:

  • Agree on a predictable lead scoring method for sales-qualified leads.
  • Keep a Fortnightly or Monthly lead dashboard and analyze both Sales & Marketing follow up on leads.
  • Have a standardized approach to lead nurturing and remarketing.
  • Ensure that the right content for the right lead is created and pushed at the right buying stage. For this, regular customer feedback from sales to marketing is required. 

 

Why is it important to control lead leakage?

Lead leakage is one of the most expensive marketing and sales issues, and it affects the company’s bottom line and slows its growth. To avoid losing leads, you must plug any gaps in your sales funnel. A business must control lead leakage to boost sales and revenue.

 

Conclusion

Lead leakage is one of the most challenging areas for sales & marketing teams. Ensuring proper lead management is critical for organizations to avoid lead leakage

Also, to reduce lead leakage, identify points in the funnel where users frequently stop or resign. What do they require there? What about additional motivation? What about direct contact with salespeople? Dispelling their skepticism? Remember to personalize your messages and content according to the stage of the funnel.

Read Also: Types of lead in sales