The majority of companies produce 20%-25% more total inquiries and leads a month than company executives realize, but these leads are not counted, distributed or measured. They are ghost leads. This occurs more frequently in smaller to mid-sized companies, but even enterprise companies are not immune.
The “leads” sneak into the company through phone calls (sales reps, company president, customer service, product management), emails, unrecorded leads in trade show booths, etc. These “ghost leads” are not entered into the CRM or marketing automation systems, and follow-up is scant at best. Certainly, there is no count.
When this happens, marketing appears to be less effective than it is when measured by the numbers, follow-up suffers, and nurturing is non-existent. Ghost leads are often from your most qualified prospects, which are current customers, which means the loss to the company is huge.
Why it Matters
"Ghost leads are often from your most qualified prospects which are current customers which means the loss to the company is huge."
When this happens, unbeknownst 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 10-35% 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 ignored. 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, especially from current customers. 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.