I was prompted to write this post after an active discussion on this topic with a group of sales people.
My initial thought to the question was, “what’s the definition of a lead?”
Is it someone who’s signed up to download a white paper or someone that’s called the office and asked someone to call them back?
I suspect that the sales people who said the higher number probably fell into the former camp. Which begs the question of whether it really was a “lead” anyway? In my experience, the best leads have their own momentum.
It’s interesting, however, to consider whether you are giving up too early?
Even at the low end of the scale, are you trying at least 7 times to follow-up every lead? I’d bet that many sales people (and business owners in particular) fall short on this one.
Of course, as I pointed out, it could be that there really wasn’t that much interest in the first place. Or perhaps they made a decision and went elsewhere while you were still trying to get in touch.
It could be that they were, in fact, too early in the decision making process to be a real lead but could be put into a lead nurturing process. How would you know if you wrote them off too soon?
Every now and then it’s useful to question these things.
For many sales people the number 22 completely blows them away. They don’t believe it. Likewise, the guys who are dialling all those times will look at someone who writes off a lead after just 7 calls and wonder why they’re throwing money away.
The reality is that you can’t measure what hasn’t happened.
Maybe you are stopping too early. Or maybe the percentage of leads that convert after a number of calls just doesn’t justify the effort to keep calling.
But, maybe, if you just tried to call them one more time…