It’s not uncommon for qualified leads to go dark and stop responding to reps even after they seemed to show interest in your product.
While some lost leads will be impossible to convert because they genuinely weren’t interested in your product, there’s a chance that others just needed more time to consider your offer or it wasn’t a priority for them when you reached out.
Because of this, it’s important not to write off your lost lead pool entirely — it still has a lot of potential. We talked to some of the industry’s best and brightest to find out how they rekindle relationships with lost leads and how it can be even more beneficial than pursuing cold leads.
From segmenting lost leads to monitoring trigger events, here’s what they had to share.
What are lost leads in B2B sales?
A lost or dead lead is a prospect that no longer interacts with your sales reps or engages with the content you post on your website or social media platforms.
For example, they may have unsubscribed from your email list, stopped engaging with your social media posts, or read your messages without responding.
There are many reasons why you may get radio silence from a prospect, but the most common ones include:
- Your prospect isn’t ready to make a purchase because they can’t see the path to positive ROI yet
- Making purchasing decisions doesn’t currently align with the prospect’s current priorities, which could be things like hiring employees, finishing a major project, or meeting a deadline
- Your product is too expensive, or the client doesn’t have a big enough budget set aside for their needs
Lost leads shouldn’t be confused with cold leads. Where lost leads are prospects who initially engaged with your sales reps, cold leads are prospects who have never interacted with your business at all.
Many B2B companies don’t reconnect with lost leads in their sales process and prioritize cold leads instead because they think it’s unwise to waste sales and marketing efforts on prospects who ghosted them.
But in reality, it’s more beneficial for sales teams to revisit lost leads than to restart the sales cycle all over again to generate new leads.
Benefits of re-engaging lost leads for pipeline generation
Reaching out to leads who ghosted your sales reps may seem intimidating, but the benefits make it worth it. We talked to a ton of sales and revenue experts to learn:
- How they re-establish connections with lost leads
- How lost leads fit into their pipeline generation and lead management strategies
- Their best tips for using lost leads to scale revenue
From staying top of mind to increasing conversions rates, here’s what they think makes re-engaging lost leads essential to any lead generation strategy.
1. It allows you to stay top of the prospect’s mind
Not all high-quality leads end up purchasing your product right away. Some might need to focus on other priorities or get approval for a budget increase before making a purchasing decision.
Instead of writing off your lost leads altogether, re-engaging them will allow your reps to stay top of the prospect’s mind until they’re ready to pull the trigger.
“The primary benefit of revisiting lost or dead leads is that it allows us to reconnect with those who have already expressed an interest in our products but have yet to make a purchase decision.
“This helps us reconnect with prospective customers by providing them with more personalized content that is tailored to their specific needs or pain points”, says Lisa Dietrich, partner at girokonto.io.
David Bitton, co-founder and CMO of DoorLoop, adds to this: “You want to be there when they [your lost leads] are ready to proceed with their buying journey. If they forget about you and what you offer when they already need it, they’ll look elsewhere.
“Furthermore, it’s a great way to tell leads that you didn’t forget about them and their needs despite not buying earlier.”
2. It helps improve customer service and loyalty
Revisiting lost leads provides reps with insights about:
- What made a prospect stop using your product or service
- How to re-establish your relationship with them
- And, how you can provide them with better and more personalized service
“Additionally, it enables us to better understand how potential customers feel about our offerings so that we can further improve our product offering or adjust our marketing strategy accordingly.
“Doing this increases the likelihood of converting prospects into long-term customers because they are given a better understanding of what we can do for them and why they should choose us over competitors,” says Max.
Sending out surveys to lost leads is the best way to reconnect with them and acquire important insights about them, according to Max.
“Sending out surveys helps us stay connected with customers who may have gone inactive or stopped using our services altogether.
“By asking customers questions about their experience with us, we’re able to better understand what they want and how we can better serve them in the future.”
For instance, if a good amount of lost leads cite the lack of a specific feature (like the inability to track customer job changes) as the reason they dropped out, it might be worth exploring. If you do decide to develop that feature in the future, you can reach out to them with a personalized email to announce its release and let them know how it can benefit their organization.
3. It increases revenue and conversion rates
Because of the current economic downturn, it can be hard for businesses to generate leads or create new demand. Add to that an unwillingness from buyers to interact with salespeople and pipeline generation can feel impossible.
But re-engaging lost leads is an effective and inexpensive way to increase conversion rates and revenue as reps already have their information and an existing relationship.
“Revisiting lost leads can significantly reduce marketing costs as companies don't need to cast a wide net each time they're looking for potential new customers; they already have a pre-existing pool of customers who just need a bit of persuasion in order to become active buyers again,” says Robert Hoffman, Marketing Manager at Cashback Hero.
In short, lost leads positively impact your bottom line more than you think. But to convert them into customers, your reps need to know which strategies to use to get them back in the game.
Lead generation strategies for re-engaging lost leads
It can be disheartening to lose leads and miss out on potential revenue and referrals, especially if the prospects initially showed a lot of interest in your product.
Thankfully, not all hope is lost. We collected some expert-backed strategies to help your reps rebuild relationships with lost leads and increase conversion rates to help you get started.
1. Segment your lost leads
Lead segmentation involves collecting lead information from your CRM and segmenting the data based on factors like a lead’s position in the sales funnel, demographics, company size, behavior, etc.
It enables reps to evaluate lost leads based on the ideal buyer persona to determine who is the most likely to convert.
“By segmenting our audience, we can identify which leads are more likely to be receptive towards our offers and outreach campaigns which improves the likelihood of reviving a dead lead.
“Additionally, this allows us to tailor our campaigns according to their needs which further encourages response from the customer,” says Robert.
Let’s say your software got a major upgrade that sales and revenue leaders can benefit from. With segmentation, you can filter prospects based on the number of activities they’ve completed to determine the ones more likely to convert into customers.
For example, you might want to prioritize a prospect who downloaded an ebook, signed up for your webinar, and registered to receive newsletters from you over someone who only completed a form fill.
2. Create email marketing campaigns
According to the 2022 Demand Generation Benchmark survey, email remained the top channel to drive leads into the pipeline, and for good reason.
Emails are the best way to provide value to the receiver; they can be hyper-personalized and used to start a conversation, ultimately building a long-term relationship with a prospect.
Plus, it’s easy to follow up with prospects using email automation tools. This is why most experts recommend using email along with other lead nurturing tactics like social media campaigns and webinars to rekindle your relationship with a lost lead.
David Bitton, Co-Founder and CMO at DoorLoop, says, “A tried and tested strategy we use to revive lost leads is email drip campaigns developed based on specific URL visits.
“This involves sending a series of short automated emails to specific audiences. We pinpoint leads who continue to visit our website, then send them personalized communication based on the pages they visit the most.
“For instance, if the lead frequents our pricing page, we’ll send them emails focusing on why our pricing models make sense for them. We’ll also email them about our latest promos and offers.
“Meanwhile, if a lead often views any of our portfolio pages, we’ll continue to stir their interest by telling them more about a specific benefit of our software in each email we send.”
David adds, “email drip campaigns are a great way to maintain recall because your email will show in your audience’s inbox several times, and you’ll be able to focus on one topic at a time, allowing the recipient to digest your message more effectively.
“In short, you’re not overloading them with information. And when you create your messages based on the website pages your audience visits more often, you can leverage the interest that they already have in your product or service. As you continue to feed your lead’s interest in every email sent, you take them a step closer to converting.”
Lisa Dietrich, Partner at girokonto.io, echoes the same sentiment. “At girokonto.io, we use targeted email campaigns as one of our primary strategies for revisiting and reviving lost or dead leads.
“We create segmented lists based on the interests of our prospects so that we can tailor our messaging to address specific pain points or offer solutions that are relevant to their needs.”
Lisa continues, “this helps us engage with people who may have shown an initial interest in our products but haven’t yet converted into customers.”
Email templates reps can use to restart conversations with lost leads
There’s no one-size fits all approach when it comes to re-engaging lost leads. However, we’ve included a few email templates below that experts use to reconnect with prospects who ghosted them.
1. Resource recommendations
Abhishek Shah, the founder of Testlify, recommends reaching out to prospects with case studies, webinars, or industry research to re-establish trust and position yourself as a helpful resource.
2. Smart solutions
Kenny Powell, Sr. ADR at UserGems, recommends providing the prospect with a solution to a problem they’re facing. Here’s the email template he uses to rekindle a relationship with a lost lead:
3. Feature focus
Alwin Wei, the CMO and Head of Strategy at SEOAnt, says his company creates a personalized email using the following template to revive the relationship with a dead lead whenever they make product improvements that cater to a prospect’s specific need.
3. Monitor trigger events
Trigger events are significant changes that create openings for reps to reach out to or reconnect with prospects and sell to them. For example, a company expansion, a new product or service announcement, or even a prospect's job change.
Given that prospects and customers change jobs more often than they did in the past, your reps should track job changes because it helps them to prevent prospects from turning into lost leads when they move to a different company.
Ellie von Reyn, Conductor’s Director of Demand Generation faced this exact dilemma. She knew she had to track customer job changes. But her team looked for past contacts on LinkedIn or reached out to lost leads one at a time, which was time-consuming and sometimes unreliable.
That’s when she began searching for tools that would automate the process and found a solution.
“We found UserGems, a sales intelligence tool that essentially does the heavy lifting for us,” said von Reyn in a MarTech article. “The technology identifies when contacts from our existing customers move to a new company. We’re now able to automate email campaigns that get in front of previous users — we call them our past-user campaigns,” she said.
Once Ellie’s team made UserGems a part of their tech stack, training was a breeze because of how intuitive it was. Plus, UserGems pulls information from Salesforce, a tool Conductor’s employees were already familiar with. Whenever a contact switched jobs, Conductor’s reps received an automated alert, allowing them to reach out using an automated email sequence congratulating them on their new role. They also included a list of helpful resources to get the prospect up to speed on important industry news and updates. This helped them to 30x their ROI and close a number of new deals easily.
Revisiting lost leads saves time and resources
Re-engaging lost leads is one of the most efficient and inexpensive strategies you can use to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty. Since prospects have already shown interest in your company, your chances of converting them are relatively high.
Start by segmenting lost leads, creating email campaigns, and monitoring trigger events like job changes with sales intelligence tools like UserGems.
UserGems enables your sales reps to discover lost leads without putting in hours of manual research, start warm conversations with them, and eventually convert them into customers.
UserGems is a pipeline generation software that helps revenue teams generate and protect revenue efficiently. With UserGems, companies can track and automate outreach when their champions change their jobs, and capture the buying groups to find the warmest path into every account.
Companies like Mimecast, Greenhouse, Medallia use UserGems to reach their revenue goals, quickly and efficiently.