"Parting is such sweet sorrow," Shakespeare famously wrote, and nowhere is that sentiment more accurate than when you decide to drop a financial lead. After all, you and the lead had "something." You nurtured the lead. They showed promise. Yet at the end of the day, you decided they would not convert.Many marketing managers can articulate the conditions where they intuitively decide to drop a lead. But sometimes the decision isn't so cut and dry. With that in mind, today we'd like to lay out three financial lead nurturing decision rules to help you determine when you should cut the cord and drop a financial lead.
Risk vs. reward. It takes time and money to nurture a lead, so you need to ask yourself, "Could these in-house resources be better applied elsewhere?" But as you weigh this question, don't forget the elephant in the room: the financial reward of conversion. As we all know, not all leads are equal. Some have significant industry clout — securing a satisfied customer testimonial somewhere down the line can do wonders for your inbound marketing efforts. Similarly, some leads can pave the way for future referrals or lucrative upselling opportunities. If any of these characteristics apply to the lead in question, hold on.
Level of engagement. Some leads are more engaged than others — this much is obvious — and here is where intuition and your CRM capabilities come into play. If your rep sells to a low-level individual with minimal clout, with no hope of ever connecting with a decision-maker, after months of sending eBlasts that disappear into the void, it's best to call it a day. On the other hand, if your rep talks frequently with a decision-maker who understands the value proposition but is facing opposition internally, then keep trying. Better yet, be explicit in asking what, precisely, your team needs to do to get them to convert. Which bring us to our final point....
Obstacles to conversion. Leads will fail to convert because either they don't see value or price point concerns. If the lead in question fails to see value, your financial lead nurturing efforts will be that much more difficult, especially if you've been working with them for months. If they don't "get it," it's best to table the lead and in six to 12 months when you're equipped with new financial content, services, and products. On the other hand, if the lead understands the value but their CFO, for example, can't sign off on the price, you may have some wiggle room — especially if the lead is the kind of high-profile client we alluded to earlier. Therefore, be creative in your pricing structure or consider a discounted offer. Rules were meant to be broken, right?
To summarize, when considering whether to drop a lead, we suggest you closely examine each lead and their unique circumstance. If the lead is relatively low-value, disengaged, and not sold on your value proposition, drop them for the time being. If, however, the lead is high-value, engaged, understands the value proposition, but is reluctant to convert due to price point, then we suggest you extend that extra effort.
What do you think? How do you know when it's time to drop a lead? What other considerations should be taken into account? How do you track these types of leads?