There is a constant appetite and demand for and from marketing managers for more contact data. While this can always be provided, companies are all too often neglecting the ‘treasures’ in their existing data. Every day at Maven TM, we see the value of companies re-engaging with old contacts, leads and lost opportunities.
And this is backed up by industry research. For example, Forrest Research reports that Nurtured Leads (i.e. old contacts that you have re-connected with or regularly communicate with) make 50% more sales at a cost 33% less than new or non-nurtured leads.
There are plenty of reason why this stat makes sense, including:
- Old contacts know your company and offerings and don’t need to be educated on these basics.
- Your sales team know the contact and company, including the decision making process, the reasons for previous interest and likely the reasons for not buying then.
- Due to familiarity, both parties are able to ‘cut to the chase’ quickly in the conversation. For example, you may not have had feature X last year, and the contact starts the conversation by asking “Do you have X now?”
- Personal relationship has already been established, and trust has been built up.
But unfortunately, we find that with most companies, 70 to 80% of contact records in their database, has NOT been called in over 12 months. Oh, they may have been emailed once in a while……but that isn’t enough. No-one from your company has had a two-way conversation with them in over a year.
Indeed, they may have visited your website many times, and downloaded very relevant content, but they still have not spoken to your sales staff in over a year – even though Marketing may have ‘pinged’ sales to follow up. A common reason for this is that the assigned sales person may think “oh, I know that contact, I spoke to him last year and he wasn’t interested” and then doesn’t follow up.
But things change. They might not have been ready last time you spoke, but they could be ready RIGHT NOW.
- 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months…… and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. [Source: Marketing Donut]
- Sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads [Source: The B2B Lead]
When you are a sales person, you are under pressure to deliver sales within your quota deadline periods. As a result, if a sales person needs more sales before the end of this month, they are more likely to ignore ‘marketing leads’ and other leads that have a longer timeframe to buying. Therefore, these leads end up getting forgotten and not contacted.
The good news is that a simple, disciplined lead nurturing programme can pay massive dividends. And it starts with simple reaching out to old leads and contacts, to engage with them and move the relationship forward.
And it starts with a simple first step, like all great journeys do. And that is, to call these contacts – you will get great return from it.
If you already have a sophisticated lead nurturing programme in place, perhaps driven by marketing automation software, then check – when was the last time old leads, previous opportunities and customers were actually spoken to? And what percentage of them remain ‘untouched’?
At Maven TM we encourage our clients to call their old contacts at this time every year, because there is a Window of Opportunity in the next few weeks, when buyers are poised to begin a buying process. Implement a campaign of speaking to your contacts NOW. And if you don’t have the bandwidth or expertise to do so, then outsource the activity to experts at this activity, such as Maven TM.
Some benefits to re-engaging with old contacts;
- Increase sales pipeline quickly.
- Increase sales revenue (by 50% greater amount than with new contacts).
- Increase your customer base.
- Have shorter sales cycles – get ‘quick wins’.
- Find out where your contacts are ‘at’ e.g. what their challenges are, what projects they have planned, and how you can help, including when they will be ready to buy.
- Remind them that you are still here, still available and interested in their business, and if they need anything that you are interested in their business.
- Update them about new offerings and options you have available since you last engaged.
- Clean and update your old data.
- Get feedback from your contacts, who represent your target audience, and as such provide valuable market information.
If you want an uplift in your sales results in the short term, reaching out to old contacts is a proven way of achieving this – and is also the most efficient, with shorter sales cycles and increased revenue.