3 Main Reasons Why Leads Don’t Convert

Generating a bounty of leads is the goal for most businesses, but if they don’t convert they offer low-value.

In order to convert leads to sales a comprehensive strategy, the right technology, proper training and a number of other things need to come together.

This is no small order which is why most companies with healthy budgets and serious goals work with the best inbound marketing agencies to drive business growth through multiple digital channels.

This article presents three primary reasons why sales leads don’t convert and is directed to internal teams, start-up agencies, business owners and marketing managers responsible for driving growth through digital marketing efforts.

1. Your Foundational Strategy

Lead qualification should be the foundation to your strategy. One simple matrix (and one advocated by HubSpot) is to have something that looks like this:


The top row reveals leads deemed a good fit for an aggressive inbound strategy using marketing automation software. The bottom row reveals leads that are not a good fit. This could be due to their sales cycle, industry, or a number of other factors.

The left column contains leads already engaging with content, and on the right are audience members who made a single touch point offering little engagement. Although this is a good, traditional starting point for qualifying leads, a third column can be added including those who have spoken to or expressed the desire to speak to someone in sales.


Differentiating good-fit leads from poor ones is a straightforward task. Your team should know what kind of buyers are most likely to invest with you as opposed to those who struggle more to see the value in what you offer.

However, be cognizant that these metrics and, and will likely change. Also, as you start to qualify leads using this matrix you will begin to notice the standard conversion rate for each bucket. If you see groups converting at a lower or higher rate than others within the same bucket then you likely need to move them to a different bucket.

Once after your buckets are defined along with their internal buyer groups can you build a strategy based on actual living and breathing data.

2. Disconnect Between Sales and Marketing

One of the main reasons why leads don’t convert into sales is due to a disconnect between sales and marketing. First of all, there is a longstanding “hate / hate” relationship between these two departments.

According to a HubSpot study, 87% of the terms sales & marketing use to describe each other are negative. Marketing views sales as “simple-minded”, “incompetent” and “lazy” while sales teams view marketing as “arts and crafts”, “academics” and “irrelevant”.

It is crucial for leadership to align these departments while reminding them they same the same goal: create revenue. Managers should also align teams around having the same underlying goals, such as using marketing pipelines to hit sales quotas.

With zero alignment comes poor communication. And when internal communication is dismal a lack of understanding buyers will cause leads to slip through the cracks. Sales and marketing should be communicating buyer persona details throughout the company, educate each other about new details, and formulate specialty teams around particular personas.

3. Poorly Designed Landing Pages and Site Architecture

If a website and its associated landing pages look like they were designed back when The Real Slim Shady started flapping his gob, the business will be hard-pressed to convert leads into sales.

Not only do websites and landing pages with an old look and feel over zero sexiness, but a message is relayed to prospects that your services and products are equally outdated.

Be sure to present your brand with a contemporary look and feel that resonates with your identity and the ideal people you want to do business with.

Site architecture is another common area where leads can get lost. Abi Solomon, marketing director at ClickTale says, “Online leads often fail to convert due to poorly designed site architecture.

Either the path is unclear and visitors get lost along the way and don’t reach that final step, or the path is too long requiring visitors to go through too many steps before they reach the final step”.

Your homepage and its navigation must be user-friendly and simple. There should also be a strategically placed call-to-action button, and visitors shouldn’t have to travel more than three clicks to find your offer.

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