Who are Bad Leads: definition, qualities, causes, and solutions

When it comes to lead generation, higher quantity doesn’t mean better quality. The biggest mistake marketers make is getting hundreds of leads, whom salespeople will further estimate as ‘bad.’ 

Who are bad leads?

Bad sales leads are low-qualified prospects who have a low likelihood of buying from a company. Often called ‘tire kickers,’ they have no clear understanding of their needs and no particular interest in a business’s offer.  

Qualities of bad leads

There are certain traits that make a portrait of bad leads and differentiate them from qualified ones. As a rule, they:

  1. Don’t understand what the company offers to them.
  2. Can’t draw a parallel between the value of the business’s offerings and their needs.
  3. Have low decision-making power.
  4. Have inadequate expectations about the price of a product or service. 
  5. Aren’t motivated enough to buy from the company.
Good lead vs. bad lead

Why do you have many bad leads? 

Bad sales leads may get into the company’s prospect list due to various reasons. Here are the most widespread causes of why it occurs:

Buying email lists

Some companies that use email marketing for their sales campaigns resort to finding a shortcut to growing their list ― they start buying email lists. As a result, what they receive is low-qualified leads who have no interest in their content, never open their messages, or, worse, mark them as spam.

Poor landing page experience

Aimed at getting more traffic to their website, many businesses care much more about its call-to-action parameters than the real value their landing page brings to leads. Consequently, people who have managed to get to the call-to-action are poorly informed about the company’s real offerings. 

Improper lead qualification

Another problem why bad sales leads may end up in the company’s list comes from the conviction that brands should and can sell their product or service to anybody. Such companies can’t qualify their leads properly and, as a result, don’t segment and target their customer base. The truth is that while they are trying to sell to anyone, they are selling to no one. 

Aggressive prospecting

Sometimes pursuing a goal to get as many leads from cold-calling as possible, companies choose to be too pushy. Meanwhile, 61% of buyers dislike the aggressive outreach strategy.

Prospects who can’t easily withstand it might agree to the second contact not being interested and not understanding what they are agreeing to. Therefore, when a company sends their leads a follow-up or a “promised” demo, they turn out to be confused or even irritated. 

email finder

Solutions to “bad-leads” problem

Not to waste time on bad leads who will never buy from your brand, you should be ready to take some clear steps, most of which come out from the above-mentioned reasons:

Don’t purchase email lists

The success of your campaigns starts with getting emails of prospects to whom your offer will be of interest and value. By purchasing email lists, however, you might send emails to completely irrelevant or invalid addresses.

Use other ways of growing your list, for example:

  1. Create subscription forms for different pages of your website.
  2. Use a double opt-in to make sure your email list is clear from bots and spam traps. 
  3. If you use a single opt-in, do remember to put the explicit consent checkbox on every form. 
  4. Use lead magnets by offering prospects helpful resources in exchange for their email addresses.
  5. Rely on the Email Finder tool to scrape emails from relevant websites and social media pages.

Check out other options of how you can avoid growing your email lists by simply buying them. 

Do lead scoring

Before making a call or sending an email to your leads, gather information about them to identify:

  • What company they work for and what position they hold there.
  • How long and how often they interact with your website. 
  • Whether they fit your buyer persona.

Based on this research, companies may score leads in different ways: by assigning points, implementing rankings, or using terms. Lead scoring will help you identify those leads who have little interest and thus don’t need your attention. Besides, you will know which prospects are ready to move to the sales stage and which of them need further nurturing. 

Qualify leads properly

No matter how your leads joined your mailing list, proper lead qualification will allow you to analyze all of them and weed out those leads that will never close a deal. While on the phone, ensure you ask them correct qualifying questions. 

Don’t be too insistent and direct. Avoid asking too many general questions that often have an effect of putting pressure on leads, which makes them unwilling to continue cooperation.

Examples of qualifying questions

Follow-up without delays

Even leads who seem interested may lose motivation if nobody contacts them right after they have made an inquiry on your website. Be sure to follow-up on your new prospects at the moment they show interest in your product or service. Catch them hot by prompt calls or emails from a real person. 

Don’t be afraid of a ‘No’ word

If you hear ‘No’ from any of your bad leads after multiple attempts to achieve efficiency, it’s a signal that there is no need to waste your time on those who will never buy from you. Instead, you should find other leads who will be more interested and thus likely to convert. 

Wrapping it up

This is natural that some people don’t fit your ideal customer profile, so whether you want it or not, a few bad leads will seep into your list. However, if you let too many unqualified prospects pile up in the sales funnel, you will waste your time and resources on people who are cold to your offerings instead of concentrating on good sales opportunities.

Clever lead management will help you avoid the problem. Learn how to score your prospects, as well as build proper qualification processes and effective follow-up system to ensure you target qualified leads who are more likely to bring you long-awaited sales wins.  

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