Reducing friction points for inbound sales leads

Reducing friction points for inbound sales leads

By Scott Sambucci | March 27, 2019

On one of our weekly coaching calls yesterday, a client shared how they were struggling to convert their inbound leads to demos.
The inbound leads started by clicking a Facebook Ad (yes, those work in enterprise sales if you do them right) specifically requesting a product demo.

These were inbound leads – people that wanted to see the product. They asked for a demo.  Yet, he still couldn’t get the demos booked.

We broke down the process, step-by-step, from the Facebook ad to actual the demo, and we uncovered several “friction points” – places in the workflow that gave the lead a chance to quit the sales process.

Here’s the workflow the seller was using:

Lead clicks Facebook Ad —> Lead shares their contact info – Name, Company, Email address and Phone Number (optional) —> The Demo Request is sent to the Seller’s inbox —> Demo Request sits in the inbox for 12-24 hours —> Seller sends a reply to the Lead asking for preferred times to schedule a demo —> Lead goes dark

Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash

Notice the friction points?

We chopped their process to two steps –

  1. Lead clicks on Facebook Ad.
  2. Lead books a time on Calendly for a demo.

Same goes with those “hot” leads from the conference booth.

Ever hear – “You guys have EXACTLY what I need. Let’s set up a demo with the team next week when I’m back in the office, okay? I’d love to get you implemented before the end of the month.”

The lead leaves the booth and you fist bump your cofounder. You’re already adding that to your MRR projections for the year.

Then what happens?



Because you created friction points.

You’ve got them in the booth. They’re excited. Book the damn meeting right there – “We’ve got our calendar set up right over here on this iPad. Let’s get that scheduled right now…”

Now, that’s just the start.

Once the demo is booked, the selling begins because you need the lead to actually show up for the demo. That’s a whole other problem to tackle.  The demo’s booked for next Thursday, but it’s only Tuesday now. Thursday might as well be an eon away.

Next, you need to implement a sequence to warm up the Lead so that:

  1. They remember what the heck that meeting on Thursday (“Why did I want to see a demo of that product again?”
  2. They’re excited to see the product
  3. You’ve qualified the lead to make sure they’re even a fit for your product.

At the recent Unleash Conference, one presenter showed that inbound leads require an average of eight touches to get the first meeting.

Think about that.

Are you even doing eight touches with your outbound leads?

An inbound lead is someone that walked into your store – they clicked your ad, or requested a demo, or filled out the “I want more info” form on your website, or came by your booth, or asked for intro to you from an existing customer.  The want to talk to you, and yet you still need to hit them an average of EIGHT times to book a call.

For my company right now, I’m setting up a health care benefits program through our HR provider. I already know which health care plans I want to offer and when I want to get started. Yet my sales rep at the HR company – a really good guy that I’ve already talked with three times this year – has had to send me four emails and call twice book the “get started” meeting with me.  This is for a product I know that I’m going to buy.

In a recent podcast interview, Marc Andreessen described it this way – there are seven billion people in the world that are just plain busy. Busy with email. Busy with meetings. Busy at home. Busy with their kids. No one is going around looking for your product. No one is saying –– “Today’s the day I’m going to spend a couple of hours looking for a solution to XYZ problem.”

Reduce friction. Sell more stuff.