Would you ever pick out a bunch of brown bananas from the produce display? No way- you probably would have a hard time even locating brown bananas in any store worth its reputation. However, sales and marketing routinely pick brown bananas (leads that are past their prime or not even close to ideal) to target and engage with. Why?
It’s because we are desperate for bananas, or leads. If we don’t see ripe ones, the tendency is to buy whatever you can get your hands on; green, spotted, or brown, at least they are bananas, right? Wrong. Very wrong. And if you’ve ever eaten a brown banana, you know why this is not a good idea.
Sales and marketing makes this mistake all too often when we market to leads that are not quite right (brown bananas) or try to engage leads that aren’t ready. What happens when we try to engage with leads that are un-ready?
Poor Conversions- Sending emails or attempting phone calls with leads that just aren’t ready to buy or interested in what you are selling results in poor conversion rates. Engagement with buyers happens when they are ready to receive your message and welcome a conversion and not before. If you are sending to buyers who aren’t willing to listen, they delete your email and don’t return your call, even when you leave a fabulous message. They are brown bananas- why do you want them?
Content Misses- The key to high performing emails and content marketing is sending the right message to the right person at the right time. However, if you send the wrong message to the right person, it’s just as bad (an ineffective) as sending the right message to the wrong person. It doesn’t work. Content has to be relevant to connect with a buyer or else the whole process doesn’t work.
Dissatisfied Sales – If you send un-ready sales leads over to an eager sales team to further quality or maybe even close, and the leads are in fact, not ready to buy, you have big problem. Not only are sales not closing and pipeline growth stalls, but a sales and misalignment happens at an alarming rate. This impacts the ability to close and qualify leads that are subsequently passed to sales from marketing. Sales wants to avoid all brown bananas from marketing, so they start to pick their own, and that is never a good thing.
Marketing wants to do their job and provide great, qualified leads to sales. Yet…sometimes those quality leads are hard to come by so we may pass over a few leads that might not be quite ready. We give sales brown bananas. And the impact is not good for business, not good for sales and not good for marketing. Don’t give your team brown bananas- pass only the ripe ones over please.