May 2010
Core. BtoB marketing essentials
from Arketi Group
Recapturing unfulfilled opportunities

How often has your Marketing or PR team cultivated a lead that failed to produce a sale? And, how does your company address that lead? We have found that a large number of companies allow unfulfilled leads to fall into a great abyss, never to be contacted again. 

At Arketi, we recommend applying the principals of nurture marketing to recapture unfulfilled sales through strategic communications and continual outreach.

Understanding the basics

Before lead nurturing can occur for an unfulfilled lead, you must identify why it was “lost” in the first place. Did the lead buy from a competitor? Did it simply stop taking action on Marketing outreach? Was it prematurely sent to Sales but not ready for a live conversation?

Recognizing when and why a lead moved on from your company is critical to knowing how to best reach out to them in the future.

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Knowing where they belong

Begin by returning the prospect to Marketing and placing them in the nurture pool. Since the majority of companies use a marketing automation and/or CRM solution to manage their leads, it should be easy to determine where in the nurture pool your unfulfilled lead belongs. We consider three phases – Awareness, Discovery and Validation – to describe the mindset of leads. 

  • Awareness: Prospects are interested in knowing the benefits of technologies but not actually shopping. Relevant material for this phase includes webinars, podcasts and generic industry white papers.
  • Discovery: Prospects are starting to shop and are looking to determine their buying criteria. Relevant material for this phase includes case studies and more detailed industry white papers.
  • Validation: Prospects are ready to buy and want to know your differentiators. Relevant material for this phase includes product and company brochures, comparison sheets and product quicktours.

Based on a lead’s past history, you can place them in the appropriate phase and take the appropriate actions. 

For instance, take a lead that came from a tradeshow and was immediately handed to Sales but was not ready to purchase. There is a strong probability that this lead should be in the Awareness phase and wants to receive invitations to industry webinars to learn the benefits of solutions that are on the market.

Another example is a lead that already made it through all three phases, was handed to Sales and then bought from a competitor. Rather than sending them an Awareness-level podcast a month later; try sending them a Discovery-level industry white paper that discusses the how leveraging technology provides real ROI. This provides the lead with educational information to use in future purchases and also pushes them to expect those results from their new provider.

Simple can be strategic

This strategic placement of leads back into the nurture pool ensures you are staying in front of former prospects with information relevant to where they are in the purchasing cycle. And rather than pushing prospects to make decisions before they are ready, recapturing unfulfilled sales promotes continual nurturing until the prospect identifies themselves as a hot lead. This new way of thinking will make Marketing a hero for reconnecting with unfulfilled leads to help secure future sales. 

If you need assistance with determining how to best recycle and nurture your leads, we are always happy to help. Contact Arketi at

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