Stop Losing Deals over Poor Lead Management

My company has been doing lead generation for four years now.  We've learned something along the way. You would be amazed by how many leads are simply dropped a week or two after being generated.  The sales agents no longer calls or emails the prospects. 
Our company does an audit of the leads every six months.  During our last audit for our credit card leads, we found that 25% of the leads we sold, the merchant never got a call from our vendors.  25%.  I'm scratching my head.  Of the leads that did close, 15% to 20% were not closed by our vendors. The biggest takeaway was that the leads were not being worked.  The saying goes, that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.  
Why is this happening?  There are two big reasons.  One is inculcated into the culture of nearly every sales organization.  Gotta make the sale today.   They are short term focused.  They want the sale now.  An agent's performance is typically measured every week, every month, every quarter.  His pay is based on his short term success. 
But the buyer is not on the same cycle.   Sometimes, he can afford to wait before purchasing your  product or your service.  I like to use this analogy.  God forbid, you total your car.  Immediately, you are in the market for a new car.  You need to buy one quickly.  Your sales cycle is short.  
In the second example, you just made your last payment on your car.  After five years, you want to get a new one.  You begin your search.  Within the next 3 months, you are going to purchase a new car.  Your buying cycle can be said to be long term.  
Now enter the sales agent.  Most sales agents will close the buyer in the first scenario.  That's a no brainer.  In the second scenario, most sales agents will warm up the buyer for a third party agent to close.   In other words, he will not make the sale,  because after a few weeks, the agent loses interest in the lead and another sales agent comes along serendipitously and makes the sale.
How does a sales agent close the long term buyers without expending a tremendous amount of effort?  It starts with good lead management.  Second, you need some sort of drip marketing automation so that you can stay relevant, but not intrusive, to the buyer over the long term.  Fortunately, for the broker there are affordable drip marketing automation programs on the market.  My company helps sales organizations get set up with a few of the top ones.  One reason we do this is that we can build sustainable relationships with these sales teams.   They are going to close more deals and buy more leads.
If you are just using a CRM, that is great.  If you are using your CRM as a database, you are wasting your money.   You might as well use google docs and save the $65 per agent per month. 

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