cost of leads

Do you ever sit back and marvel at the flood of leads coming in?  You’ve got leads from ads, social media, trade shows, and referrals – but are you managing them effectively?  What are the costs of all these leads to your organization?  Today I’d like to walk you through three areas where you may be leaving money on the table – or throwing it out the window.

1. Unworked Leads

If you’ve got a lead management software in place, maybe you don’t face this issue.  Maybe.  However, unworked leads seem to be the norm rather than the exception for many Sales & Marketing organizations.  The issue could be a symptom of a bigger problem . . . .

Misalignment between Marketing & Sales

In “chaotic” organizations, 70-94% of leads that Marketing generates are ignored by Sales according to PointClear’s Dan McDade.  That means little to no ROI from marketing investments.  According to two other surveys, “49 percent of surveyed sales reps ignored more than half of all marketing-provided leads” and “42.6% of respondents indicated that sales reps actively pursue less than 75% of marketing generated leads.”  If you have average to chaotic alignment, you are throwing away the dollars you’ve invested in lead generating marketing.

According to Hubspot, the average cost per lead in an organization with Sales & Marketing alignment is $24.  Compare that to  “no formal alignment” organizations:  a cost of $49/lead.  An unaligned organization spends 100% more than one where Sales & Marketing operate under the same definitions for Marketing Qualified and Sales Accepted Leads.

Too Much Time Spent on Non-Revenue Generating Activities

According to, 80% of the average salesperson’s day is spent on non-revenue generating activities, including not knowing where to find good prospects or recognizing them once they find them.  Are you giving your reps the right tools that streamline the sales process and cut down on administrative tasks?  One recommendation is moving your team from a list-based platform to a queue-based platform to help improve productivity, accountability, and speed to lead.

2. Slow Response Time

If you are a frequent visitor to our blog, you may have seen an infographic we shared last year:  “Lost Leads – the Infographic.”  In that post, we shared that up to 50% of consumers buy from the business that responds to them first. Did you also know . . .

  • Sales reps have a 100x greater chance of contacting a web lead if the first call is made within 5 minutes of receipt.  (source: Geisheker Group)
  • Reps who don’t call web leads within the first 5 hours have a 300x less chance of making the sale.  (source: Geisheker Group)
  • 6 in 10 companies report increased customer loyalty & revenues after implementing technologies to improve customer interactions. (source:

By implementing a lead management solution that automates the follow up and lead nurturing process, you minimize the risk of losing sales to your competition due to slow response times.

3. Minimal Follow Up

How many touches does it take before a prospect typically buys?  According to, 50-80% of new business is developed after the fifth, sixth, and seventh touch; yet, many people give up after only the second or third attempt to win new business.

If you Google “how many touches to make a sale,” over 16,000,000 results are returned.  Everybody has a theory, opinion, or best practice on number of touches.  The truth is that there are factors that make the number of touches unique for each brand and/or product. The number of touches required to make a sale in your industry or for your product will depend upon three things. Start with a base of seven touches and add from there based on the following:

  • Quality of Touch:  are you providing enough details in your call script/touch effort to help the contact understand how your product or service addresses his or her pain points?
  • Product Cost:  a B2B sales cycle for a $10,000+ software platform is going to need more touches than a B2C sales cycle for a $50 product.
  • Awareness/Interest:  if your lead already has awareness of and interest in your product or service, it is likely that fewer touches will be required to close the sale.


Enforce your number of “touches” through lead management software that automates lead distribution and nurturing to increase your new business acquisition rates.

Are You Maximizing Your Lead Management Process to Optimize Cost and ROI?

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into establishing the best lead management process to ensure you are making the most of your lead generation and management investments.  Choosing the right lead management software will help ensure your sales process is successful.  VanillaSoft is committed to helping you lower your cost per lead.  Sign up for a free trial today!