June 21st, 2017 | by
5 min read

What we do in sales at DiscoverOrg is regularly run plays and campaigns that have immediate boosts on our pipeline. Three of those plays we run involve some form of going back to leads that went dead on us and bringing them back to life. The really interesting thing is, we find re-livened leads actually outperform our regular leads. In this video we’ll explain how to use a few techniques in your B2B sales efforts.

Let me explain these three plays. I think you can use them, too:


1. Refresh cold leads with web form go-backs

Play number one is what we call web form go backs. Web form go backs is when a lead comes in through our website. We convert these at a 40% rate, and we are diligent about following up with these leads. We have an SLA that we call them within two minutes of their filling out the form. If we don’t get them on the phone, we shoot them an email and we call them back a few hours later, and then we call them back the next day and the next day.

But at a certain point we give up. You can only put so much effort into it, right? However, we do know that there was some interest at this company: They raised their hand for a reason, and we believe that the company has a need, and they would benefit from our service. So we don’t stop there. We wait 45 days after they in-bounded, and then we give them over to our outbound SDR team and we treat them as a cold lead again, starting from scratch. The outbound SDRs go after these leads, they go back to them, and we’ve found that they convert at a 15% rate.

Now, 15% is obviously not as good as 40%. But by the time it’s in the hands of the outbound team – when cold calling, they’re going to convert 5% to 6% of the leads that they cold call. But in this case, we give them a pool of leads to call on that they can convert at 15%. So they’re happy, they love going after these; and the company is happy because we’re getting as many of these inbound leads as possible, and real opportunities into our pipeline.

So play number one: If you’re getting any inbound leads through your website, be very diligent about following up with them – and then go back to them at some point later if you haven’t converted them.

Watch: A Not-So-Friendly Cold-Call Competition

2. Nurture cold dead B2B sales opportunities

Play number two is also zombiesque. Here, we go back to our closed dead opportunities. Now for us, a closed dead op is what most of you would call a closed loss op. But it’s not an ops we lose to a competitor; we just had no decision, they went dark on us, or they just stopped getting back to us for whatever reason. Our account execs eventually give up on those opportunities. They mark them as dead in Salesforce … and then they sort of sit there until we get them back to marketing, where they’re nurtured – but even here, for about six months to a year, marketing doesn’t put any real effort or activity into these cold leads.

After a certain period of time, we take all of our closed dead ops over the last six months or the last year and we swap them amongst account executives. So if we have Johnny, an account exec, and Jane, an account exec, we’re going to swap their closed dead ops: Johnny’s team is going to go after Jane’s closed dead ops, and Jane’s team is going to go after Johnny’s.

We find that, on average, they have 1.6 new opportunities tied to their account by the time we bring the lead on as a client. That stat is really interesting – and surprising. It tells us that our customers need to evaluate DiscoverOrg, go through a sales cycle, and come to no decision; but now they’re familiar with us, they’re more comfortable with us, they’re getting used to our price point. And six months to a year later, when we go back to them and they re-evaluate DiscoverOrg for the second time, they are far more likely to buy.

Our win rate on companies that we re-engage with and get the second opportunity with is much, much higher than our win rate on companies where we’re going through our first opportunity with them.

So lesson number two is similar to lesson number one: Go back to companies that you had previously identified were good fits, were qualified, and previously went through a sales cycle with you. Find out: Is there new leadership there? Are there other stakeholders at the company we should be engaging? Or is the timing better now if we just go back to the main point of contact we had the first time around?

Maybe now they’re more comfortable with the thought of investing in your solution. This is my favorite play we run on the sales team.

Cold leads refreshed B2B sales Pat Purvis

3. Revive and nurture cold leads

Play number three is what we call re-livens, a very zombiesque word! Re-livens are similar to closed dead ops, but they happen earlier.

Suppose I’m an account executive at DiscoverOrg and I have an active opportunity that I think is a great fit, but that opportunity goes dark on me. Maybe I had a scheduled follow-up call and the prospect didn’t show up to it, so I send them some value pieces to try to and nurture them and re-engage. Suppose I do that for a week, then I give up, because I’ve got 100 open opportunities and I don’t have the bandwidth to continually chase down someone who’s gone dark on me.

I’m going to pass this cold lead back to my SDR and say, “Go re-engage my main point of contact by calling them repeatedly – more often than I can – send them value emails more often than I can, or go around them to other stakeholders in the organization.” And just like the closed dead leads, when we re-liven these opportunities, the win is much higher rate than opportunities that are going through a new process.

Closed dead opportunities – leads that have gone dead and cold on us – are sometimes the best performing leads.

We know that these companies had an interest in our service at one point, expressed a need or a problem that we can help solve – and it would be a shame not to fully capitalize on those. So we want to go back to those leads and opportunities, and bring them back to life.

These are three plays we’re constantly running in the sales team to get short-term gains and immediate pipeline. This is something I think about as a sales leader all the time: How can I impact sales, not three months down the road, not six months down the road. Rather, what can I do right now to impact sales this month, this quarter?

We’d love to hear from you. What plays are you running in your sales team to boost your pipeline and get immediate results? Please comment on the video below. Share it, let us know your thoughts!


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About the author

Patrick Purvis

As Chief Revenue Officer, Patrick manages sales and customer success at DiscoverOrg where he is responsible for new account growth. He is a graduate of Oregon State University where he studied Economics.