The Importance of Dead Lead Tracking

Tracking dead leads will give you a deeper understanding of lead value, competitive threats, offering deficiencies, and your own sales process.

Understanding lead performance is critical when you’re spending money on lead acquisition. Having a solid grasp of lead performance will also give you a deeper understanding of lead value, competitive threats, offering deficiencies, and your own sales process.

Knowing when a lead hasn’t been contacted for an extended period or when a lead closes within a few hours is rudimentary. This level of tracking through your sales pipeline gives you priceless insights into your leads and sales process. But what about "dead" leads?

Identifying why leads are “not interested" helps track non-conversions, but other non-conversion factors are just as important. These reasons and their importance will vary from one organization to another, but let’s review some common examples and the valuable opportunities they can create when tracked appropriately.

By segmenting disinterested leads by reason, you create even more granular data from which to draw insights.

Dead Reason: Went With Another Company

Opportunity: Competition Analysis

Tracking leads lost to competitors keeps your finger on the market's pulse. If few leads are lost to competitors, you have some insight that you’re doing something right. 

On the other hand, if you’re losing a lot of leads to other companies, you have an opportunity to analyze the market and make adjustments. The market may be oversaturated, and you need to differentiate from your competitors. It could be that another company offers pricing that you can’t compete with. This suggests that you should educate your prospects on the value you provide that your competitors don’t.

Some organizations can track which of their competitors they’ve lost a lead to. Tracking sales lost to competitors is undoubtedly tricky, as it requires persistence (and asking your leads what company they went with). However, when done correctly, the marketing insights drawn from tracking with this level of granularity are invaluable.

Dead Reason: Looking for Service/Product We Don’t Offer

Opportunity: Marketing and Business Analytics

There are many reasons why leads don’t convert when looking for a service or product not offered by your organization. Tracking when this occurs is the first step to identifying the problem.


Your website or marketing materials may be ambiguous, making it difficult to understand what you offer.

This is an opportunity to reevaluate marketing and brand approaches. Aligning marketing and sales is a significant first step.

Lead Sourcing / Bad Match

Poorly targeted leads will lead to higher than average “bad match” contacts.

If this happens with leads purchased from a third-party provider, their sourcing may be the issue. If this is happening with leads that you generate (i.e., web leads), you may need to reevaluate your targeting and qualification criteria.

See also: Lead Buying Best Practices For Marketers

Inadequate Offering

An inadequate or outdated offering is an obvious problem but not one that’s always easy to see.

Understanding when your offering misses the mark is an opportunity to provide a service or product you hadn’t thought of offering before.

The service/product “bad-match” lead category is one that some organizations have had great success addressing with extremely granular tracking. When you can track a non-conversion because your offering doesn’t match a prospect’s needs and precisely what they are looking for, you may uncover opportunities you wouldn’t have found otherwise. You may even be able to adjust your offerings and re-engage with these leads.

Dead Reason: Unable to Contact

Opportunity: Communication Method & Cadence Analysis

Leads that don’t convert because you can’t reach them are still potential opportunities. Ideally, you will already be nurturing these leads with a drip email or text message campaign. These records provide valuable data.

If an unusually high proportion of leads are unreachable and their contact information seems valid, you may need to adjust your outreach approach. If you collect email and phone numbers for your leads, your sales process should leverage both contact methods to engage them more effectively. If you aren’t utilizing both contact methods, this may be the reason you have low contact rates.

If you are already engaging your leads through multiple contact methods and still have poor contact rates, you should review your sales cadence for opportunities to improve. 

Organizations often use cadences that result in calls and messages going out to prospects at the same general time each day. Some leads may not be available to take calls or reply to messages during this time. By the time they are available, it may have been hours since you tried to connect, and they may easily forget to return your call or reply to your message. 

Varying your sales communication cadence can have a significant impact. Of course, with any outbound communication cadence, you need to make sure you are operating in compliance with TCPA and any other federal, state, or local laws and regulations – you can read more about this here.

The content of the messages you send out may also impact your ability to connect with some leads. The emails, text messages, and voicemails your leads receive should be informative and provide a call to action (CTA). 

The Takeaway

Tracking your leads is critical. Your ability to understand where a lead is in your sales process at any given time can result in actionable data insights. For dead leads, this is even more important. By building granularity in tracking dead leads, you can gain insights into your weaknesses, allowing you to take actions that can help you develop and grow your organization.

See also: Maximizing Value from Cold Leads with a Segmentation Strategy

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