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August 08, 2019 // Rachel Danner

Pipeline Progression: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The Lead Marathon

Turning leads into closed-won deals is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if a company has a lot of contacts at the starting line, as these potential qualifiers face more and more obstacles along the course, they end up dropping off – never to be seen or heard from again. Why? They haven’t been properly coached to make it across the finish line.

The point is this – after you have your leads, it’s necessary to have a strategy and execution process to eventually get your opportunities to cross the finish line and collect the gold.

Here are the questions to ask yourself when leads take off at a sprint but lose steam before the end of the race, leaving your sales team without any qualifiers to close.

 

Are Your Leads Qualified?

You Need to Start with the Right Materials and Information

Diet, rest, and a healthy lifestyle are all necessary while preparing for a race. Having strong processes and content throughout your lead’s journey is equally as important to reach each point of the sales funnel.

The people you have calling and emailing prospects are most effective when they have proper training. Developing processes to reach decision makers will give you a chance to qualify the contacts most likely to buy. Researching, understanding, and presenting your customers’ pain points will then help you move the most qualified prospects to the next steps in the pipeline.

 

Are You Staying in Front of Qualified Leads?

Marketing Automation is Essential

Consistent training is necessary for staying in shape for any race. Marathon runners will agree that a couple workouts won’t get you in the best shape to compete. The same goes for leads. You must stay in front of prospects in order to get them to buy.

Pairing marketing automation and email messaging with calling can help you remain visible to the customers you want. Using software like Hubspot gives you insight into how prospects interact with your email campaigns. As opportunities move through the pipeline, you’re able to tailor your messaging based on the engagement with previous emails. Hubspot also lets you add sequences that automatically notify salespeople to follow up at different touchpoints in the sales cycle.

 

Are You Appealing to All Stages of the Buying Process?

You Need to Use Lead Scoring

You can’t expect a newbie to start on the most difficult course and you don’t want to give seasoned marathon runners a beginner workout. This is also true for leads. While some may be ready to buy right off the bat, others may take some nurturing before they know your product or service is right for them.

Scoring leads will help you put the right information in front of prospects at all points of the sales funnel. Assigning numbers to leads that put them in different nurturing campaigns allows you to present them with the best information for their current stage in the buying process. This also gives your salespeople the opportunity to follow up with buyers when they are most likely to make a purchase.

 

Are You Accurately Tracking All Stages of the Lead Lifecycle?

Check Visibility and ROI with CRM Platforms

It’s always beneficial to keep a log of your workouts to see how far you’ve come from beginning your training to the day before the race. In the end, you’re able to prove your hard work was worth it by seeing your PR time or weight loss. You can also adopt this mentality to see ROI for all of your sales and marketing efforts.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software provides full visibility into each stage of the lead lifecycle. Programs like Salesforce and Hubspot track each step of the buying process, from contact to contract, letting you see just how effective each campaign was in moving prospects through the middle of the funnel and providing the revenue generated from the money you spent.

 

Are you ready to take on the Lead Marathon but still feel like you need a personal trainer? Let’s Talk!

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