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  • John Bugay

Aging Leads are your most valuable, despite Covid-19

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

No doubt you spent a good portion of your marketing budget last year on leads, one way or another.

So now you’ve got a stack of leads and it seems like there is not much you can do with them. MOST have not responded to your digital efforts and ignored emails.

  • What do you do with these folks?

  • Who’s buying early this year?

  • Who’s buying later this year?

  • Who are the ones you need to just simply purge from your list?

Whether you’ve spent time on content marketing, or webinars or other events, or even pay-per-click ads, you could be spending as much as $30 to $50 per click and $35 to $200+ per lead.​

  • So maybe you’ve emailed them, multiple times, and they don’t respond. Maybe a lot of them have moved on – the dreaded mental unsubscribe.

  • Your BDR team can’t handle them, because there are too many, and besides, BDRs have their own tasks, looking for and responding to fresh leads. Many are already over worked.

  • Your Sales team can’t follow up with them with any regularity, because they’re already working some live opportunities.

Where do you turn to follow up with these “aging leads”? Don’t give up on them for sure!

According to Forrester Research, businesses that nurture leads make 50% more sales, at a lower cost than leads that have not been nurtured.

79% of marketing leads fail to convert, if they’re not nurtured.

On the other hand, many of these leads WILL purchase within the next few months, making nurture a necessity. Most B2B marketers rely too much on email nurtures, which the “mentally unsubscribed” just ignore.

The first thing that you should know is that the value of these leads could turn to zero if you just set them on an email nurture, regardless of how personalized and dynamic it may be, and hope your awareness efforts keep your brand top-of-mind until the lead is ready to talk with Sales.

But we know that, with the right source of live follow up, these same leads will become your BEST source of MQLs that convert to SQLs and pipeline quickly. Here’s how to revive these aging leads with a time-tested method your competition is not deploying: CALL THEM IN MASS, AT SCALE.

By calling these contacts in mass your brand will break through the digital atrophy. After all, people buy from people, even in the B2B world. Done within a short time frame you will get a true picture of your aging leads as they are NOW so you can take action NOW.

This current snapshot of all those hard-earned leads will yield immediate qualified leads and the details you need to forecast and modify your demand generation efforts to exceed your goals.

The recent disruptions and change to remote working has made the telephone more effective. Its funny that these same disruptions derailed many sales cycles and suspended budgets.

But we are persuaded that the human voice on the telephone is going to be the best way for you to reach out to your aging leads.

Two Ways to Derive Value from Aging Leads

There are two primary ways to revive and bring value from those aging leads with a call strategy:​

  1. Have a “Mass Call Sprint”, internally. Rally all your sales and marketing resources: Sales directors, Account Executives, Account Managers, ISRs, BDRs, SDRs and even Customers Service and Interns.

  • Alert them that the calls all need to be made within a short time frame so you have a complete actionable picture

  • Let them know that initiatives are being planned, budgets finalized and vendor short lists are being created now, so they’ll need to start right now

  • Keep the calls short. Keep in mind that the lead maybe multi-tasking from home. The goal is to reengage and bring life back to these aging leads.

  • BOTH getting qualified leads AND verifying the lead for future action with data collection are equally important. Ask a few qualifying questions and/or set the appointment.

  • Use the call-center or dialing technology to save time

  • Provide value immediately. Keep in mind that when the lead gets a call from your brand, they will immediately have their ‘Sales” guard up

  1. Have a 3rd party reach out to them. The actions and guidelines are the same BUT the calling persona and conversation is different. We have used this method for our clients with great success. In fact, our clients have been getting a much higher conversion rate from our “aging” approach at a lower effective cost-per-lead. I like to refer to the 4th quarter 2020 as “the quarter of aging leads”. This aging process is likely to extend throughout 2021.

Having a 3rd party call your aging leads will yield a higher connect and conversion rate.

By nature, this type of call is educational and promotional to the recipient, and not “salesy”

This is important, because the 3rd party can’t sell them anything. And yet, data is verified.

Permission is confirmed. The lead is qualified and scored while receiving pre-sales content.

In other words, these 3rd party calls are setting them up for YOUR sales process, at scale.

I am not saying that you need to focus solely on aging leads.

But as a supplement to your efforts, deploying a mass call sprint is the best way to build pipeline now. Do not ignore your top-of-funnel efforts to generate fresh leads, as they will become your aging leads.

Regardless of which of the two ways you choose, Aging Leads need to be scored to be actionable.

Types of Leads Among Your Aging Leads

To keep it simply, we recommend 3 categories:

Actionable Leads: These are leads that you can turn over to your sales team or BDRs. MQLs for your sales process.

Potential Future Leads: These are people you can put into your nurture programs. They will respond much better now that you have started a real relationship with them. They may simply have put the project or purchase on hold because of budget priority or other forms of reorganization. Again, we can identify decision makers and influencers, budgets, and time frames.

Dead Leads: Face it, some of them may just have disappeared over the last year. An old boss used to tell me, “there are two winners in every sales process: the one who makes the sale, and the first potential vendor who gets out (and doesn’t spend resources following up on a no-deal). This also reduced database bloat.

Calling is also data collection/verification. Archive those Dead Leads.

One of the most important benefits of a call is mental, it revives your brand and builds the relationship at a higher level. Perfect for nurturing.

We have seen the results. The smart money for Q1 pipeline is on the personal touch of the human voice with aging leads already in your funnel, especially as we all work remote.

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