Although it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of converting a fresh sales prospect; if it turns out that you’re dealing with a client that doesn’t have the budget or desire to work with your company, then you’ve just wasted a good chunk of your budget on a losing proposition.

According to research firm Altify, unqualified leads can cost the average B2B salesperson up to $218,000 per year in misdirected expenditure. Consistent losses at this scale can sink even the most robust inbound marketing campaign.

Bad Leads Cost Your Organization More than Money

The impacts of a poor lead hand-off system aren’t just quantitative. If your marketing team continues to pass on unqualified leads to your sales team, then it will quickly lose credibility in the eyes of key decision makers. A disconnect between the two functions can leave sales team members skeptical of even the most well-qualified leads.

Ultimately, unless lead nurturing processes are improved investments in the marketing function will be reduced, lowering the quality of your leads even further.

Selling to the Wrong Clients Hurts Your Business

Even if your sales team manages to negotiate an unqualified lead into a sale, the benefits generated may be lost in the long run:

  • Selling to the wrong audience often leads to negative feedback. At the launch stage, unwarranted criticisms from these buyers can lead your product development in the wrong direction.
  • Your customer service team will likely have to dedicate additional resources towards answering the various queries and complaints generated by these clients.
  • Because these clients don’t need your product or service, the salesperson may have to secure the sale at a below market value rate.
  • Your customer retention rate will drop, as clients tire of dealing with a product or service that doesn’t provide them with any additional value.

Learn When to Let Go

Cutting bad leads at an early stage allows you to redirect your sales team towards the prospects that can actually add value to your business in the long-term.

Bad Data Means Bad Leads

Last year researchers from the Irish Management Institute asked 75 CEOs to review the quality of data in their businesses, based on 10-15 critical data attributes. Out of 75 executives, only 2 indicated that their data was of acceptable quality.

For B2B marketers poor quality data inevitably leads to bad leads. Contact lists populated by invalid emails, blank fields, spelling errors, and duplication. On average, sales and marketing functions waste up to 59 hours a year cleaning up this dirty data. In terms of lead generation, duplicated data is especially cost-intensive, as salespeople are often led to contact the same prospect over and over again.

Tips for Optimizing Lead Generation

  • Develop buyer personas based on the demographic information, spending patterns, and preferences identified through your existing customer data.
  • Employ user-tracking tools to help identify the behaviors which precede a decision to buy.
  • Develop a tailored content marketing strategy that’s focused on attracting the right business decision-makers to your products and services.
  • Use marketing automation to help shepherd leads along the marketing funnel.