As a demand gen leader, you and your team are working hard to capture the attention of your target audience and nurture them through the buyer’s journey. You’re constantly strategizing, launching new campaigns and optimizing your performance. And each month, you hand off a healthy number of leads to your sales team.
But only a small fraction of those leads become customers. And as the pressure mounts to achieve ever-increasing revenue goals, your organization’s sales and marketing teams become embroiled in a vicious blame game.
Sales leaders complain the leads marketing sends aren’t any good, marketing leaders argue the sales team isn’t working hard enough to close the leads they send and no one can agree on how to make things better. Because, while marketing tech improves your ability to turn content into leads, it stops short of helping you transform leads into sales.
Why does this happen? And what can you do to fix it? At Kronologic, we’ve spent the last year investigating these questions. And here’s what I’ve discovered:
Why Do So Many Organizations Fail In The Last-Mile?
For more than a year, my company has been working with sales and marketing executives at many of the world’s fastest-growing organizations, and we uncovered something unsettling: Companies are losing, on average, between 30% and 80% of their leads before they ever become opportunities. That translates into literal millions of dollars left on the table every quarter (and, in some cases, every month).
We also discovered three main reasons organizations lose those leads:
- Competition is rising: The marketplace is more crowded than ever. Time is a precious commodity and even if you manage to capture a prospect’s attention and keep it through the initial phases of the buyer’s journey, there are zillions of other vendors/projects/problems vying for their attention.
- Customers are growing more informed: Thanks to big data and the proliferation of content, your prospects have access to most of the same information you do. Much of the buyer’s journey happens before someone reaches a salesperson.
- Everyone is busy: You’re busy. Your sales team is busy. Your audience is busy. All our calendars are brimming with meetings, phone calls and appointments, and the further you have to push out a conversation, the less likely it is to happen. It’s essential you nail down a time when your solution is still top-of-mind for your prospect because your sales team’s window of opportunity for landing a meeting shrinks exponentially every hour.
What Can You Do To Fix It?
We’ve identified the problem and why’s it’s happening, but what can we do about it?
Here’s where I give you some good news: You have the power to significantly reduce your last-mile problem. In fact, as an industry-leading marketer, there’s a good chance you’ve already identified lead deficit as a top KPI and begun building strategies to reduce it.
Early attempts to address this issue have emerged in the form of Calendly and other link-based schedulers that your sales team may be relying upon today. (And before link-based schedulers, you could summarize the industry strategy as “death by a thousand emails.”)
But those solutions are still too passive, requiring too much time and activity from a busy salesperson and their equally busy prospects. Plus, there’s no way to prioritize higher-value meetings.
Instead, you need technology that monitors leads’ actions and behaviors and automatically connects both parties at the moment you’re most likely to earn a meeting. (At Kronologic, we call this an Active Scheduling Platform.) By leveraging behavioral data and automating the appointment-setting process, you can capture a larger chunk of your leads and take back the millions (or tens of millions) you’re likely leaving on the table.
Plus, when salespeople aren’t spending vast portions of their workweeks playing email tag with leads, they can focus on other revenue-generating efforts. Like identifying which prospects’ pain points match to your company’s value propositions, for example, and having meaningful conversations that lead to highly profitable, long-term relationships.
The last-mile problem can feel insurmountable in our world of hyper-busy days, jam-packed schedules and shrinking attention spans. But, by relying on the right tech, you can seize opportunities to schedule those critical conversations and heal the discord between sales and marketing for good.
Aaron Bollinger is the Co-founder and CRO of Kronologic. Aaron is a winemaker, sales leader and former TV producer who’s not satisfied unless he’s taking on a new challenge. He’s spent most of the past two decades selling technology solutions to the world’s largest brands at all stages — from pre-seed to IPO and everything in between.