Lost Lead: How to Easily Win Back B2B Leads

Olin Hyde
August 18, 2019

Yes, you can recover lost leads and turn them into new sales opportunities.


B2B leads go bad all the time for a variety of reasons. Some leads go bad simply because Sales forgot about them. In juggling other prospects in their lead pool, it’s understandable that some great leads can get lost in the shuffle. And by the time they get in touch with them again, these lost leads might be outdated with contact info that’s now bogus, or the prospect has no idea why Sales is contacting them and what your company is selling.

So how can you re-engage lost leads?

You can use outside resources, like artificial intelligence companies, to revive these leads – but maybe you’d prefer to keep the ball in your court. Or maybe you’d rather not spend additional resources when you’ve got a great Sales team at the ready.

One key characteristics of the best B2B sales reps is the ability – and willingness – to recover lost leads and turn them into customers. Just because a lead goes bad doesn’t mean you can’t recover them – you just need to know how to do it in the most efficient way possible.

A lost lead doesn’t always mean a lost lead

I know, it sounds confusing. This refers to lead data that’s gone bad. Bad leads happen because leads change contact details – maybe they’ve moved to a new position or new company, perhaps they’ve been acquired, maybe they just recently updated their phone number. There are a host of reasons why your current lead contact info isn’t accurate. But just because the contact info has changed doesn’t automatically mean they might not be a valuable prospect for you.

Beyond its role in comprehensive marketing strategies, your lead nurturing process should also incorporate finding leads even when they fall off the radar. Reach out to them on LinkedIn and reconnect. They’ll likely appreciate the effort you’re making to reach them – as long as you’re not super pushy – and it may even increase your chances of converting them from prospect to customer.

The biggest benefit of re-claiming a lost lead this way is that they already know you and your product or services. You’re playing on the art of persuasion – they’re already familiar so you have a small measure of added trustworthiness. When you reach out with a personalized message, they’ll likely be that much more willing to hear what you have to say.


Don’t let spam filters ruin your email marketing strategies

Very often spam filters can prevent your well-crafted messaging from getting to your prospects. Who knows how many potentially great sales opportunities get lost in the spam folder. Email providers can redirect emails to the spam folder based on an unknown range of factors – and this can impact your prospect’s email inbox as well as your own.

As a good rule of thumb, check your spam filter regularly and verify that the parameters in place aren’t so stringent that you’ll miss those valuable prospect emails. And go the extra mile by checking your spam folder at least once a day. And if you’ve got lost leads in there, loop them into your nurture cadence – or reach out to them directly with a heads up that their emails might be accidentally diverted. You might not be the only contact this is happening to, and they might appreciate you bringing it to their awareness.

Even small technical changes made by your email service provider can cause a serious ding in your email marketing strategies, so it’s worthwhile to contact them to understand why emails may be getting flagged as spam.


lost leads email strategies


How Out-of-Office Replies Can Cause Lost Leads

The average US worker is in the office around 95% of the year. Despite US workers staying in the office most of the time, this doesn’t stop can’t slip through the cracks. The out-of-office response is something that almost every company uses. But you have to go back to check the responses when you return to the office. If you don’t, you could lose out on leads.

You could be losing out on a lot of sales opportunities, especially if you are working for a well-known, in demand company. The longer you leave leads to sit, the less likely it will be that you’ll be able to get them to convert. In that period, they may have decided to go to a competitor who’s much faster with responses.

Timing is everything for business to business deals. So don’t be surprised if prospects forget about you when you allow too long of a gap between communications. There’s no bigger waste than missing out on a great lead because you didn’t respond fast enough to their email. They’re showing interest – so capitalize on it.


Understand Your Sales Cycle So You Don’t Have to Do Lead Recovery

One of the most common reasons why sales reps miss out on leads is because they stop well short of actually converting the lead. Here’s how: most companies doesn’t know how many brand touches it takes to actually convert a lead from prospect to closed won. Trust me, it’s more than you think – especially for B2B. About 22% of companies say they communicate with their sales leads at least once a week.

The reality is that it can take multiple contacts to convert a lead. The initial person you speak with might not be the final decision maker, they could have to consult with someone else before they can make a purchase commitment. It’s really important to not give up after a couple of email conversations. You might be well on your way to getting that lead to convert, so don’t give up too early.


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Talk with your marketing team to get a better understanding of how many touches, on average, that prospects go through before becoming customers and how long that timeline really is. While you’re at it, you may also want to get greater insights into the marketing content that has worked the best to generate successful leads – and provide those assets to leads with a personalized email as an extra touch point.

Understanding how to recover a lost lead is a crucial aspect of customer relationship management – because if you can’t do this, you won’t have very much customers at all. If you can learn how to do this cost effectively you’ll be able to set more appointments, boost your conversions and create beneficial business relationships much more frequently.

So go find those lost leads, get them back into your sales funnel and use personalized touches to build trust and familiarity.

What strategies will you pursue to recover lost leads for your business?

Further Reading

Lainey Mebust
July 9, 2020
Olin Hyde
April 8, 2020
. 5 min read
Lainey Mebust
November 4, 2019