The majority of companies produce 20%-30% more total inquiries and leads a month than company executives realize, but these leads are not counted, distributed or measured. The “leads” sneak into the company through phone calls (reception, company president, customer service), emails, unrecorded leads in trade show booths, etc. I call these “ghost leads.” These inquiries are not entered into the CRM system, and fulfillment is scant at best. Certainly there is no count. Marketing appears to be less effective than it really is when measured by the numbers, follow-up suffers, and nurturing is non-existent.
When this happens, unbeknown to anyone in the company, lead generation sources appear to be under performing and leads are not processed or sent to the right sales channels. These “ghost leads” may turn into sales, or they may not; no one will know. Let's look at it this way. Every lead has a 50% chance of turning into cold-hard-cash for you. Money. Fewer leads equals fewer sales. Less revenue.
If a company “counts” 200 inquiries and qualified leads a month, they are mostly likely producing 235 to 255 a month. That difference is a big deal. 35-55 are ghost leads. Half are buyers (or would be buyers if anyone knew about them).
Get 1,000 inquiries a month, there is a good chance you have 200-225 ghost leads that are iqnored. The goal to avoid “ghost leads” is to gain control over the portals of entry into the company.
Count them all - - every last stinking one of the people who contact you from every portal of entry into the company.
Let no lead and its source go uncounted. Narrow down and control the portals of entry. Make sure every incoming phone call identified as an inquiry is funneled into the CRM system. Make sure every email that asks for information is entered into the system. Don’t allow salespeople to keep the leads from small local shows; send them to corporate.
Count all inquiries in a month, not just the unique visitors. Good sites with lots of content find that up to 25-30% of visitors are not unique, that includes people who fill out landing-page or contact-us forms. Some companies consider these duplicates and do not count or process the forms. On the other hand, some say duplicate inquiries buy at a higher rate than single-entry, one-time-only leads.
What’s my advice? Count them all - every last stinking one of the people who contact you from every portal of entry into the company. Treat them all equally. Watch the count zoom upward. Sales will follow.