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Decreasing closed lost by refocusing targeting and channels

Generating a high volume leads that aren't closing?

So was the client of Janelle Amos. Janelle is the Founder of Elevate Growth and a prominent Demand Generation advisor.

Here's the process she followed to get her clients closed lost ratio down from 48% to 11% in one financial quarter.

Industry and company size
  • 100 employees
  • SaaS
Funnel stage
  • MQL > SQO
Playbook impact
  • 48% > 11% closed lost ratio
12x headshot images for fix your funnel playbooks_Meg copy 2

Janelle Amos

Founder @Elevate Growth

Increasing conversion rates through the funnel
Generating a pipeline of high-intent quality leads for sales
Spend budget more efficiently with positive ROI

Let's jump in 👇🏻

💡 What was the problem?

Janelle was brought in as an external consultant to help this B2B SaaS brand.

Before Janelle was involved, the brand was:

  • Sourcing lead quantity over quality
  • They partnered with vendors to pay for net-new contacts in order to hit their MQL target.
  • The company had been so focused on sourcing leads at any cost that they had neglected focusing on building a respected brand. 

The people being acquired were technically in the ICP, but had very low engagement through emails and rarely made it deeper in the funnel.

This was because they had no buying intent or awareness of the brand. 

No one knew what problems this product could help solve - so there was no urgency to buy from them. 

And any leads the company did get were sent to sales regardless of quality for the sake of checking a box for their MQL goal.

At the time, the sales team within this organisation were following the MEDDIC sales framework - standing for: 

  • Metrics
  • Economic buyer
  • Decision criteria
  • Decision process
  • Identify pain
  • Champion. 
They’d have a series of around 12 questions that SDRs would ask during discovery calls, and if the prospect fit the criteria, they’d be passed on. In many cases, this is where many prospects were filtered out due to being a bad fit.

Janelle said:

“It was a really high friction process and was filled with people who weren't even qualified to buy. And marketing wasn't sourcing nearly the amount of revenue they were responsible for. They were only achieving about 12% of their goal.”

💡 Identifying audience and right way to reach them

Janelle spotted that this wasn’t a problem with the product - but a problem with the targeting. 

While looking at customers and use cases, Janelle identified the real opportunity was for the company to do ABM. Their TAM was small and their deal size was large, making them a perfect fit. 

Together, they reworked the GTM ICP identifying target accounts and began to switch from a lead gen model to a fully fledged-out ABM model. 

At the same time, Janelle partnered with the content agency to help the company reposition itself as a painkiller solution, not just a vitamin.

Janelle then ran an audit of the channels being used to reach prospective buyers, the content being used there - and came to realise that this was where a lot of significant changes could be made to improve. 

💡 Aligning resources to the right channels

Before Janelle’s plan was implemented, the brand was doing a lot of:

  • Content syndication
  • Trade shows
  • Content downloads

Janelle reworked the budget to focus on the channels that were strategically aligned with the target audience. 

Janelle said:

“All it was doing was fluffing MQLs but we were getting no ROI out of it. None. We could use that money elsewhere to do something better.”

“Their conversion rates from MQL to SQL were at 7% and I wanted to see them get to 20% - so it became all about improving MQL quality.”

This meant going back to the drawing board when it came to understanding the target persona, and reworking the budget into channels where these personas could be reached meaningfully.

For this brand, that meant strategic and targeted account-based and contact-based paid ads, thought leadership emails, monthly thought leadership webinars for awareness, SEO and PR. 

💡 What were the results?

In the previous financial quarter before Janelle joined the team, the results looked like this:

  • Total of 29 opportunities
  • Created 15 open opps this quarter
  • 14 closed-lost
  • Closed-lost ratio: 48%

After the changes implemented with Janelle in the next financial quarter:

  • Total of 18 opportunities
  • Created 16 open opps this quarter
  • 2 in closed-lost
  • Closed-lost ratio: 11%

While the number of opportunities dropped from one quarter to the next, the quality of these opportunities was much higher and closed at a much higher rate. 

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