The Curious Case Of The Immortal Sales Lead

We have all been there, whether you are a sales rep, account exec, sales manager or sales executive. We have all see ourselves or a co-worker put a vice grip on a lead and we/them basically pulled a Rose Dewitt to Jack Dawson, “I’ll never let go”, even when deep down we know that the lead is slowly freezing to death and showing no signs of warming up anytime soon. So why do we do this? Why are we unable at times to just let a lead die and move on to a new one in the pipeline? Psychologists and other experts will tell you a variety of reasons. One thing we can tell you for sure is that we know how to help sales teams move past it and save you time, energy and in the process, make sure you and your entire sales team crush their quota.

First off there is plenty of evidence that supports and highlights the effects of the “Immortal Lead”. One telling statistic is that 62% of the time sales reps never even reach a buyers decision maker. Almost two out of every three leads that come in we don’t even reach a decision maker. Think about all the time we are wasting relentlessly engaging these leads with little to no results and in the case 62% of the time a 0% chance of the deal becoming closed-anything because we can’t even reach the individual who can say “yes” or “no”.

Another telling statistic is that on average, 32% of closed-won deals take longer than average, resulting in higher Sales, General, and Administrative costs. Why would a closed-won deal have anything to do with a poor quality lead that lingers? Time. These “Immortal Leads” that seem to never die, take away your time and energy that could be better spent on nurturing and closing a higher quality lead in a more timely manner. Think about a tool that would help you know when it is ok to filter out all those poor quality leads, refreshing your pipeline and allowing you to focus the majority of your time and energy on leads that are more likely to close.

Another pressing issue in qualifying leads is what we are Proximate like to refer to as “Sentiment” or “Intent”. According to an Altify Buyer/Seller Value study, 76% of executives and management level team members reported that they do not understand buyer behavior. The same study revealed that many buyers will “Play Along” with potential sellers purely for the fact that they believe that saying “No” immediately is rude. So sales reps and account execs could be calling, emailing, and meeting with leads and opportunities that are going through the process purely to go through the process! They don’t intend to actually buy anything but they don’t want to be “rude”.

You know what we think is rude? Wasting sales team members time when you’re not actually interested. We tend to fall prey to feeling “busy” because it makes us feel productive. Meeting, calling, and emailing these leads, providing information, answering questions gives us a false sense that the lead is progressing purely due to the fact that “things” are happening. But all interactions are not created equally. Buyer “Sentiment” Natural Language Processing can cut through all of this, interpreting and analyzing communications to and from a particular lead can help us decipher their “Intent” and understand if, in fact, a lead is actually interested and if they should be a high priority for a sales team.

Here at Proximate, we are dedicated to building a tool that leverages AI, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing to help sales teams move on from those “Immortal Leads”. The ones that just never seem to die, but always seem to always respond to engagement, but also never seem to close. Our system balances Pipeline Optimization, Sales Guidance, and Opportunity Management to ensure that sales professionals are maximizing the effectiveness of their time. Abandoning those “Immortal” low-quality leads, engaging higher-quality leads earlier in the buying process, and refreshing the sales pipeline with new leads. This trifecta leads to higher win rates (more focused lead pool), shorter sales cycles (faster more efficient engagement patterns) and increases revenue opportunity (faster pipeline velocity = more time for more leads).

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