Lead generation can be expensive.
According to Hubspot, the average cost per lead for B2B companies is approximately $43, so it’s vital to protect that investment. However, your sales pipeline will likely spring leaks and channel partners will lose valuable leads and revenue without the proper foundation.

Rather than jumping straight into demand generation, follow these best practices to make the most of your lead generation investments and put an end to the leaky sales pipeline syndrome.

What’s Causing the Leaks?

The sad fact is, 79 percent of marketing leads never convert to sales. The most common cause for this poor performance? Lack of lead nurturing.

If your partners aren’t prepared to properly qualify and nurture leads, you’re wasting money on prospects that aren’t ready to buy. Instead of pouring more money into lead generation for a leaky sales pipeline, start shoring up your investments by ensuring that partners have engaging websites with targeted, relevant content along with the visibility to actively monitor site visitor activity and qualify leads.

Partners also require a solid social media presence complete with syndicated content to push fresh content to multiple social media sites and position themselves as experts in the marketplace. They’ll also need tools to help them properly qualify leads, such a telemarketing call scripts. Without proper qualification of leads, prospects fail to connect with prospects and the cost spent to create the lead is often wasted.

Put Nurturing Before Demand Generation

Once marketing and sales qualification strategies are in place, then you can move on to nurturing and lead generation. According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. A lack of nurturing leads can lead to a huge loss of potential revenue, so focus partner efforts on nurturing before net new demand generation.

Seal the Leaks to Seal More Deals

Partner support will increase the number of qualified leads your team can convert to sales, so be sure to give partners the tools they need to build their pipeline and avoid the leaking:

  • Ensure partners have their tele-qualification roles defined with scripts to improve the effectiveness of outreach efforts.
  • Support partner social media efforts and expand your reach with social media syndication.
  • Provide content and technology to ensure partners are able to nurture leads and stay top of mind even when they are not yet ready to buy.
  • Improve partners’ online presence with dynamic content syndication to ensure brand consistency, enhance visibility and capture detailed analytics about site visitors.
  • If you are already generating leads for your partners, use automated lead distribution to quickly and easily distribute leads to partner sales teams and gain visibility into what is actually happening with shared leads.
  • Offer demand generation elements, such as PPC/online advertising and email marketing to drive additional leads for the partners – but not until tele-qualification and nurturing efforts have been firmly established.

Has your sales pipeline sprung a leak? What are you doing to help partners seal pipeline leaks, qualify leads and nurture leads through to close?