TLDR: On average, less than 4% of leads reach SQL, many more end up in a recycle bin for future nurturing and the vast majority stagnate with no user engagement for long periods of time. Rather than exclusively look at spend on new lead gen as a way to drive new pipeline, putting unsuccessful leads (whether in the remarket pile or idle) through custom nurture tracks can drive zero-cost conversions to opportunity.
Businesses are forward-looking. This upcoming year, next quarter, next month. We are in planning and execution phase all the time to meet and exceed our business goals. Past campaigns and investments are studied for ROI, and then done and dusted so we can focus on extracting the most out of the next marketing spend. While it is normal and even prudent for organizations to look ahead, it helps to look every once in a while in the rear view mirror and see if there are things of value that we may have left behind in our journey forward.
Marketing spend ranges from 10-25% of revenues for growth companies, per the Marketing Leadership Council and a big portion of that goes towards lead generation. Yet only a small percentage of these leads convert. If this lead flow can be understood and optimized, it can directly improve pipeline coverage and revenue attainment. Rather than exclusively look at spend on new lead gen as a way to drive new pipeline, any efforts towards improving the ROI of prior sunk investments is a worthwhile exercise considering it costs nothing in new dollars. With some focused efforts, the marketing ops team can set up customized programs for all stale and/or recycled leads with the goal of resuscitating some of them back to MQL and SQL in the future. We recently completed an analysis of a customer’s RevOps processes, specifically their lead to opportunity conversion (see program here) where we discovered a high percentage of idle leads and rejected MQLs that could be revived into future opportunities. Below are some of our findings specific to these failed leads. For privacy reasons, all sensitive data is anonymized but the key insights we uncovered may still provide value to our readers.
The BigLittle RevIntellect product was used to study the customer’s Lead to Opportunity Engine and visualize the flow of leads to MQL, SQL and closed won, as well as to any other states. The following flowchart captures the customer’s current lead flow within marketing:
When MQL leads are rejected by SDR sales at qualification time, they are set in status to a Remarket state. Our analysis uncovered the following rejection reasons:
|Rejection reason||% of Remarketed leads||Recovered MQLs|
|Unable to reach||26% of Remarket leads||0%|
|No pain at this time||18% of Remarket leads||+ 2.6% MQLs|
|No budget at this time||17% of Remarket leads||+ 1.1 % MQLs|
|Already have a solution for this pain||13% of Remarket leads||+ 1.8% MQLs|
|Not a decision maker or influencer||11% of Remarket leads||+ 0.3% MQLs|
|Other||15% of Remarket leads||+ 0.2% MQLs|
Creating a connection with your leads is important to conversion. Just as important is maintaining it. In this case, a large volume of leads (83%) had turned completely cold and unresponsive with no apparent path to MQL. These ‘idle’ leads had a minimum threshold of 90 days of unresponsiveness, with an average age of 390 days. Here’s what the analysis uncovered:
|Title||Lead to MQL conversion rate||Median age of Lead||Average # of touchpoints|
|Admin/Analyst||11%||< 200 days||5.6|
|Time to stage||Duration|
|Time to first touch for leads that eventually became MQL||1.5 days|
|Avg time to MQL (excluding instant MQLs)||52 days|
At BigLittle, we are helping define and build this future of RevOps. We are the Intelligence and Orchestration layer for RevOps teams and can track and triage all revenue processes end-to-end across marketing, sales and customer success operations. By working with and at a level above the operational tools, we can help RevOps teams to avoid alert fatigue and insight storms by streamlining revenue processes across sales, marketing, and customer success. Get in touch with us to know more. Get in Touch