I had the chance to attend the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston last week and was able to enjoy many quality sessions. The event gave me a nice chance to understand what marketing minds are doing locally to leverage digital, mobile and social media marketing to drive a higher volume of inbound marketing qualified leads.

My VP of Marketing was asked to set up a speaking slot with my CEO and I in which we discussed the benefits of using an inside team to further filter MQLs. Our opinion centered on the fact that the only way you can determine the level of pain in any marketing driven lead is by actually picking up the phone to find out. The only way you can effectively do that is by providing a filter between marketing and sales to further qualify the opportunity before leaving it up to sales to close it.

We went on to explain that inserting an inside team with a regimented call strategy into the process is absolutely necessary in order to get a true gauge on the viability of an opportunity. Without any consistent follow up you may be missing out on an MQL that has true potential. Just because a prospect hasn’t gotten back to you immediately doesn’t indicate their level of interest. They’re probably extremely busy dealing with the pain they’re hoping you can help them out with, and can’t carve out the time to respond to you immediately. If you stay consistent with your follow through, you’ll be able to further qualify that MQL and eventually see some closed business out of it. From what we’ve seen, if a MQL is directly handed over to sales you’ll see no better than a 30% lead conversion rate. Why is that you ask? As my CEO pointed out, sales will cherry pick the leads they’re excited about and lob a few calls and emails into them assuming they’ll be an immediate response. Every other lead they’re not as excited about will be left there to fester without any follow up. Not a great strategy if you ask me.

This philosophy can also be applied to your prospects that have told you “no” in the past as well. Many of us are guilty of allowing them to slip through the cracks. Just because you’ve been told no once during the sales process, doesn’t necessarily mean no forever…it just means “no” for now. Take a read at yesterday’s blog from Paul Castain.

He only helps to further illustrate the point of following up and nurturing your prospects. You’ve taken the time to research and identify your ideal contact within the ideal profile company…just because they told you “no” now; it never makes sense to give up forever. You can’t lose track of those people…they want to be sold to..just down the road.

So do you have a process in place for following up on MQLs? 1 or 2 follow up calls ain’t gonna cut it.

How about that prospect that told you “no” 6 months ago? If you ask me, they’re probably ripe to be put back into the call rotation.