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Decreasing lead leakage with targeted nurturing 

Struggling with lead leakage between MQL and SQO?

So was Amanda Hudgins, Director of Marketing Ops at Quorum. They were seeing 25% of their leads drop-off in a long sales cycle. Here's how they built a nurturing playbook to slash that leakage by 20%.

Industry and company size
  • 400+ employees
  • SaaS
Funnel stage
  • MQL > SQO
Playbook impact
  • 20% reduction in lead leakage
12x headshot images for fix your funnel playbooks_Meg copy 4

Amanda Hudgins

Director of Marketing Operations @Quorum

Keeping leads and opportunities engaged in a long sales cycle
Building a nurturing program that goes beyond just email
Decreasing lead leakage through the funnel

Let's jump in 👇🏻

💡 What was the problem?

Quorum has a relatively long sales cycle, averaging between 3-6 months. And this lead time had increased over the previous year due to economic circumstances.

This means that there is a longer period between an account being identified as an MQL and the account closing where prospects would need to be kept actively engaged.

Amanda and her team identified a high volume of lead leakage between MQL and SQO stages during this lead time. To be specific, around 25% of leads would go cold due to lack of contact during this stage.

Amanda said:

“They were tending to go cold, losing that line of communication with us and the deals would end up closed lost because we would lose touch. This was really impacting our ability to close deals.”

💡 Improving the existing nurturing activity

Amanda and the team were regularly digging into the data. But during this particular period, they were going through an in-depth analysis with their RevOps team to find out why people were falling out of the funnel.

Amanda and her team felt that the most straightforward solution to this problem would be to develop a nurture campaign that would keep prospects in the fold during the long sales cycle.

Due to the capacity of the sales team - the team opted for a marketing content nurture versus a sales-led nurture as there was already a need to automate processes.

Amanda said:

“We had a basic nurture in place for opportunities, but we spoke to stakeholders across the company to figure out where they needed the most help. So it was a combination of marketing and sales coming together to figure out what we could do to deliver more value.” 

They came up with the following requirements for the new nurture:

  • Automating important messages
  • Building out social proof
  • Personalised gifting
  • Leveraging internal subject matter experts and leaders for thought leadership content

💡 Multi-threading and going beyond email

Amanda and her team built a comprehensive content nurture, delivering this to key decision makers, plus going a little wider, delivering to other relevant stakeholders. 

For example, saying ‘we are speaking to someone at your company and we wanted to bring you up to speed…’ then delivering the nurture sequence.

“The idea was to put more thought leadership and product information in front of them. For example we leveraged our demo walk-throughs.”

“We’d also sprinkle in messages from our CEO to try to get the value of our customer success team across. And messages from our CPO about how we adopt innovation.”

The majority of this nurture was delivered via email, however there were some complimentary ads for opportunity stage prospects running alongside, featuring more social proof.

This nurture sequence would start a little heavier, then slowly get less frequent while still maintaining regular contact with the account over the sales cycle period. It was also set up to stop if the account reached a certain stage in the opportunity stages.  

Depending on the size of the accounts they were bringing in, these nurtures might get more personalised with a more ABM style approach. Speaking to particular champions or companies.

To scale the nurtures for smaller companies but still maintaining the more personalised feel, the team would build out industry specific versions of this nurture sequence. 

💡 What were the results?

The initial reason for tackling this stage of the funnel was to reduce the number of leads going cold during the extended sales cycle period. 

By implementing this nurture sequence, automating a lot of the contact that sales were struggling to keep up with - the team were able to reduce the lead leakage by 15-20%. 

They also found that the sales cycle length was reduced on average by 15-20 days. 

Win rate also improved by between 5-7%. Not to mention the increased stakeholder involvement by delivering nurtures to a wider audience led to more cross selling opportunities across departments. 

Related Playbooks

Using chatbots and enrichment to reduce friction
Decreasing closed lost by refocusing targeting and channels
Using interactive demos to increase lead to meeting booked