Depositphotos_2425224_sDo you know the type?

  • “Please call me in 6 months”;
  • “I’m physically unable to say no or interrupt, so I’m going to just listen, although I should have told 10 minutes ago that I won’t buy this”;
  • “That spam again! I won’t read that”;
  • “I’d love to, but…”;
  • “I gave false phone number in contact form, ha, ha!”;
  • “I’m only looking around, doing some research”;
  • “I’ve already bought your competitor’s product and I’m satisfied”.

95% of your leads aren’t ready for contact with salespeople (Ad Age). How many of them have you acquired with great effort only to abandon after two failed phone calls? What happens to these who were passed to sales department, but didn’t purchase anything?

Lead Limbo

With time passing, you forget them, maybe send them a newsletter which they won’t open… Jeff Coveney calls that state “leads graveyard”, but we prefer the term “limbo” – a place that is neither heaven, hell or purgatory, where souls with which nothing can be done go. Neither saved nor damned, neither happy nor in pain, they wait.

Why do you abandon your leads in limbo?

Lead limbo exists, because salespeople are driven by quotas, meaning focus on short-term deals. Lead is passed from marketing to sales and receives 2 – 3 calls (according to Spear Marketing). If there is no response, the contact breaks. Purchase never happens. Salespeople have no time to check on the lead again.

It occurs no matter how precise and accurate your scoring tools are –  not every customer that behaves as if s/he was sales ready, is sales ready. So what to do about such prospects?

Funnel is a Two-Way Road

In theory, lead should travel one way: from first touch to purchase to retention. In practice, it can get complicated. Many sales-qualified prospects experience obstacles preventing them from purchase. They aren’t lost – simply need more time, information or change of situation. Instead of leaving them, take them back to previous stages.

Such practice aims at reducing costs: instead of constant re-loading the sales funnel with new, expensive leads, only to use 5% of them, work on prospects you already have. Educated lead, who in not actively in purchase mode, can become a customer in a year – provided that you stay in touch.

Don’t waste time and money you invested in acquiring and nurturing of leads – recycle!

Recycle leads to reduce leakage

The term „Lead Recycling” denotes the process of passing a lead from sales back to marketing because a lead was not yet ready to buy; accompanied by subtraction of scoring points. It means that when a prospects don’t buy regardless of sales department efforts, you should lower their scoring, wait a moment and start a marketing campaign. Keep in touch, deliver educational content.

Conditions of successful Lead Recycling

To conduct a Lead Recycling you need:

  • Scoring to identify leads stuck in limbo. Don’t forget about negative points, so you can pass a lead back,
  • High quality educational content (in some businesses entertaining materials also work) to keep in contact with a prospect,
  • Lead Nurturing smart enough to eliminate the risk of passing leads to sales too fast.

What kind of leads can be recycled?

You can include leads:

  1. With budget problems: budget can grow, priorities can change – be prepared for such situation,
  2. Delaying decisions: maybe they don’t tell you something?
  3. Not responding to calls or emails: however that’s a pretty clear signal that they don’t want to buy, they have attended a webinar or downloaded an ebook, so definitely they’re interested. It would be a shame to lose contect,
  4. Not-decisive: there is no point in forcing to buy somebody who has no power to do so. But deepened education can make such person an advocate for your product and brand,
  5. Who chose competitor’s solutions. Right now they won’t be eager to change provider, but wait patiently in the neighbourhood,
  6. All others who keep bouncing of sales (unless there is an evident mistake or somebody deliberately, directluy and clearly refuses receiving further messages).


Abandoning your Leads too fast is one of the most frequent Lead Nurturing Mistakes. Ensure that your program enables passing a prospect back.

Educate, provide valuable content and offer help instead of torturing a lead with helpless calls to finally abandon him in lead limbo.

Want to know more about Lead Nurturing?

7 Common Lead Nurturing Mistakes

How to create valuable content?

13 Reasons Why You Need Lead Nurturing

The power of scoring