Your sales team can’t work with outdated lead data! As the marketplace changes, lead validation becomes more important than ever. The potential customer on a list from a month ago isn’t necessarily the same potential customer sitting on the other end of the phone call today. Lead changes don’t just involve addresses and contact information. However, those do turn over quite quickly. Customer desires and intentions can also change before lead lists get updated. Companies that don’t have access to current leads struggle to make pitches based on yesterday’s news. If this is your company’s predicament, you’re truly setting your sales team up to fail. Keep reading to learn about important tips for maintaining up-to-date leads.
Why Outdated Leads Hurt Your Success Rate
It comes down to outdated data. When you have outdated lead data, leads become much harder to approach, connect with, and track. What’s more, leads are far less likely to want to engage with a caller when a pitch is being presented with inaccurate or outdated information. This can feel both impersonal and insulting. Your sales team isn’t necessarily working with the latest information regarding the intentions of their call targets.
Let’s consider a company that manages cold calling for home refinancing. A person who was seeking quotes for rates three months ago may have already closed on their refinancing project. Contacting them can only result in lost time because this isn’t a repeat product. First, this lead is simply less likely to respond because they have already checked this task off their list. Finding out about current rates after they’ve closed does nothing for them! Unaware that this lead has completely phased out of relevancy, your team will continue to try to establish contact based on the fact that they are designated as a “hot lead” over their inquiries about refinancing rates.
How Quickly Does Lead Data Go Stale?
The lifespan on a lead can vary based on the product or service being pitched. Some lead lists are more “evergreen” than others. For example, companies that cold call leads for vacation packages, phone services, cable services, home warranties, or auto insurance often have a little more room to hold on to lead lists. That’s because these are products or services that make it possible for customers to jump from company to company. What’s more, even a target lead who has locked into a rate for a six-month or 12-month term with another company could still be enticed away from that company once their contract is up. They may even be persuaded to break a contract early in order to get a special offer or feature. If someone is seeking subscription-based or contract-based services for a home, there’s a good chance that they are planning to stay in that home for at least the next 12 to 24 months. As a result, you can generally expect contact information to remain fresh.
It’s a different story for almost every other kind of lead list out there. Using the example of home refinancing from earlier, it’s clear to see that chasing down leads in cases where the ship has already sailed only leads to higher failure rates. In addition to wasting your sales team’s time, this bad lead data chips away at morale.
Here’s How Long Leads Stay Current
The truth is that most experts agree that lead databases go stale every single month. Yes, that means that data obtained on Jan. 1 is already likely to be either partially outdated or fully irrelevant by Jan. 31. This is significant because a lack of quality data is one of the biggest obstacles that modern marketing and sales teams face. If you’re going six months to a year without sanitizing your lead data, your team may be working with mostly outdated or inaccurate data. It’s no surprise that so many cold calls lead to nowhere!
How Outdated Leads Harm the Customer Relationship
Your brand doesn’t look reputable when leads are approached with old data. Making a bad impression isn’t the only concern. If a lead has changed their number since signing up, you may not be making any kind of impression at all. Targeting old numbers means that your team is cold calling the wrong numbers. What’s more, they are circling back to the same outdated number over and over again because they aren’t getting a response from the number’s new owner.
Solving the Problem of Outdated Leads
All hope is not lost! Rethinking your model for lead generation can help your team enjoy consistently fresh leads. Remember what we said about leads becoming outdated every month? This fact is precisely why so many companies that are succeeding against all odds with cold calling are actually refreshing their leads every single month. While some marketing managers feel that dumping lead data that they paid for just a few weeks ago is wasteful, the truth is that leads become obstacles to sales instead of vehicles to sales after about four to six weeks.
You don’t have to start from scratch with a big investment in leads every month. Pipes.ai has a free tool to automate your lead validation for you: Lead Optimizer. Using this tool, your sales team can automatically validate leads every month to make sure that everyone is working with current information. Lead Optimizer is an AI-based tool that makes it easy to leave behind lukewarm leads in favor of a parade of live inbound calls. In a rapidly changing marketplace, lead validation is more important than ever because it verifies the sources of leads to prevent the mistake of purchasing old, recycled, or fake leads. Don’t let your team chase another lead list until you’ve put it through the Pipes.ai proprietary verification tool!