Of course, no matter how well a sales team qualifies prospects and prioritizes its time, stuff happens. Herky-jerky buyers come and go, sometimes forever but often only for a few weeks or months.
Traditionally, salespeople who hear “not now” from a prospect, whether at the start of a sales cycle or after weeks of hard work, tend to do one of two things: shuffle the lead off to some private purgatory and promptly forget about it, or engage in a well-practiced exercise of self-delusion or outright denial wherein they try to keep working the opportunity until their sales manager tells them to get real and stop. The end result is that a very large number of prospects who say “not now” end up being lost forever. And it doesn’t come as a surprise that salespeople end up picking one of these two options, since no one has ever given them a better alternative.
But there is a better way. Any complete Revenue Performance Management process needs to embrace the idea of lead recycling: the process by which sales routinely hands leads that have strayed away from the buying path back to marketing, entrusting their colleagues to take good care of them. In turn, marketing commits to bringing the recycled lead back around to sales if and when the lead shifts from “not now” back to “Okay, I’m ready.”
Lead recycling can be quite nuanced in a sophisticated RPM process. For example, marketing might offer sales reps the option of recycling a lead back to marketing for one month, ...