3 Lead Follow Up Mistakes and Best Practices to Avoid Turning Off Your Inbound Leads

You did it! Your marketing is paying off and people are coming to your website. Poking around. Maybe even some of them are coughing up email addresses, names … phone numbers. Eureka! You’ve turned your website into a lead generation machine and sales is thrilled. You, the marketer have done your part – right? Wrong! Don’t let sales creep out your leads with a flawed lead follow up or handoff process. You can solve this with strong sales and marketing alignment. Without it, you run the risk of one of these creepy follow-ups that will likely turn off your prospects.  

Lead Follow Up Mistakes

Lead Follow Up Mistake 1: We got a live one!

The problem:

If it has a pulse – it gets a call or an email. There’s a school of thought in some sales organizations that every lead that comes through your website needs to get handed off to sales immediately.  If you have a well-established sales process that’s helpful, that may be ok. But if you’re still figuring things out and just want to get the contact in the hands of a hungry salesperson, it likely isn’t. The reality is just because someone subscribed to your blog or downloaded an awareness piece of content, doesn’t mean that they’re ready to buy, or that they’re even qualified to buy or ever will be.


The best practice solution:

Document lead qualification for your organization [here are some best practices]. What does a good lead look like? What’re the demographic indicators and buying signals that indicate this lead is ready for sales to take a look?  You’ll gather demographic attributes from the form fields a prospect fills out (and potentially from your CRM tool if it can pull in additional data, like social media profiles). For buying signals, look at the content they are consuming – how engaged are they. Once they’re qualified, you can feel better passing the lead off to sales. This also will help avoid the dreaded “all the leads suck” conversation with sales in your weekly or monthly reporting meeting.

Know when your leads are qualified and ready to talk to you. Download Lake One’s Lead Scoring Basics guide now.

Lead Follow Up Mistake 2: I see you  

The problem:

Your marketing team has put in a ton of time and effort to build content throughout the buyer’s journey. Even starting all the way back at the top of the funnel, in the awareness stage, where prospects are starting to research their pains and identify possible solutions. Marketers don’t create this content through the buyers funnel because they like TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU acronyms – they do it because it helps identify relevance and indicate buying signals (see above).


When you follow up with a lead and say, “ I saw you were on our website recently,” it’s creepy. It’s not relevant and it tells your prospect you aren’t paying attention.

Related Articles on Lead Follow Up:

The best practice solution:

Instead of a weird “I see you message”, give some context. I know that the form I filled out is going somewhere. So respond in kind.

Hi Mr. Prospect, I saw you recently downloaded our “guide to selecting the ultimate widget for your hot need of the day.” Is the guide providing value?

I’d like to connect quick for 15 minutes and learn more about Acme Co and what lead you to seek out a guide like this. Here’s a link to my calendar, feel free to book a time that’s convenient for you.

Lead Follow Up Mistake 3: Who’s on first?

The problem:

Some set and forget a few too many autoresponders. Before you know it, your leads are getting email sequences from 6 different departments and no one is paying attention. Worse yet, no one is monitoring an inbox so when they respond pointing it out, no one is there to fix it.


The best practice solution:

Automation is great – and mistakes happen. But automation should always get some TLC to make sure that everything is working as expected. With any change to enrollment criteria, lists or properties, do a quick audit and make sure the trains are running smoothly so leads aren’t stuck getting 12 different follow-up emails from 6 different people every day for the next 21 days. It’s aggravating – and it happens.

Get sales and marketing on the same page

One of the best things you can do or your organization to avoid bad lead follow processes is get sales and marketing aligned. Make sure there is an agreement around all their activity, including the lead handoff timing, procedure, and accountability. Grab our sales and marketing guide below to learn more.

how to achieve sales and marketing alignment

Lake One’s Guide to Sales and Marketing Alignment

What is sales and marketing alignment?

Alignment is a state of agreement or cooperation, integration, or harmonization of aims and practices within a group. Apply that to Sales & Marketing and the first thing you’ll notice is they should be one group instead of viewed as separate entities as they are within most organizations.

Over the past few years, a new word or movement, smarketing, has been coined to help companies speak about their sales & marketing teams and efforts as one, singular unit working towards a complete vision. Simply put sales and marketing alignment is the process by which sales and marketing teams come together to develop aligned processes across both functions, designed to collectively better achieve business objectives. It covers things like definitions of marketing and sales roles, responsibilities to each other, reporting expectations and feedback processes.

We’ll explore sales and marketing alignment in the latest Lake One guide including topics like why this should be a key priority, key elements to aligning teams, delivering a sales and marketing meeting, measuring sales and marketing alignment and more. 

sales and marketing alignment guide

In a hurry? Request a copy of the guide to be emailed to you. 

5 Reasons the HubSpot LinkedIn ad integration has us swooning

Hubspot gave us a nice Valentine’s day gift today – integrating LinkedIn ads to their ad product. As inbound marketers who look at a multichannel approach that includes ads – this is welcomed news (especially because we found a lot of problems with alternative solutions). On this Valentine’s day, we’re swooning over this product update. So what does this mean for B2B marketers looking to add LinkedIn marketing to their mix? What’s got us all excited about the Hubspot LinkedIn ad integration? Let’s break it down.

Benefits of hubspot linkedin ad integration

Seamlessly sync Linkedin leads with Hubspot CRM

This is probably the most exciting thing we’re looking at. Historically, you’ve either had to use third party tools like Zapier to connect Linkedin and Hubspot or assign someone manually to go in daily to download your lead list and update your CRM. Yuck! With the native integration to Hubspot, when a prospect submits a lead gen ad, they get created as a new contact in Hubspot (winning!)

Easily report ROI through the CRM

LinkedIn’s ad product is coming along from where it was even last year, but reporting ROI is still a struggle. Now, closing the loop at the contact level, you can report ROI either by assigning a static value to all contacts or with real data from your CRM’s pipeline and opportunities that flow into it from your LinkedIn marketing activity.

Auto tracking

Another area of challenge with LinkedIn ads, is referral sourcing and tracking. Ads don’t always seem to get tracked well in Hubspot – now, campaigns are auto tracked. Of course, you can still append additional parameters, but if the idea of tagging a bunch of blogs that you’re running as sponsored content sounds laborious – take a breath.

Close the gap on remarketing

Similar to Facebook, reaching customer and prospect lists with audiences is even easier now with a direct connection between your CRM. Shortening any step in a day full of tasks is a welcomed event.

Hubspot LinkedIn Ads

Very B2B friendly

What we’re most excited about, is that while Google and Facebook have their place, for B2B clients who really benefit from inbound, sometimes Google and Facebook is hard to advocate for in aligning with inbound further up in the funnel. Now, with the LinkedIn ads product for Hubspot, it feels truly useful across a customer’s journey and fully aligned with the mantra of being helpful.

Word of caution

When connecting, Hubspot will sync past LeadGen Forms. This has caused some weird timeline details on some portals we’re working in. The benefits of the sync going forward far outweigh any quirks with some of the retroactive data, but if you see some historical changes to the way you were tracking your Lead Gen Form contacts, be aware there is a historical sync that takes place.

Sales & Marketing Alignment (Smarketing) Best Practices

First things first, if you haven’t already checked out our article on WHY you need sales & marketing alignment, which we will refer to as smarketing (like our friends from HubSpot) from here forward, give that a read first.

Next, we’ll get right down to it and help you get started with your strategy by outlining a few smarketing best practices.

smarketing best practices

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Lake One’s FAQs

Thinking about working with a partner on your digital marketing and sales program? Cool. Thinking about Lake One? Aw shucks. You might have some questions. Here are a few of the commonly asked questions we get from prospects and clients about what it’s like working with Lake One and what to expect from a digital marketing sales program.

Lake One's FAQs

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Why You Need Sales & Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment is more important for your business than ever. Misalignment can create internal tension between your sales and marketing personnel, and at its worst, can be extremely costly in both wasted time and lost potential revenue. One of the most common things you’ll hear when sales and marketing are not properly aligned are sales reps complaining about the quality of sales-ready leads coming in from marketing, while marketing accuses sales of a lack of follow up with the leads presented. Meanwhile, your company is bleeding money and resources as more and more prospective sales slip through the cracks. If this isn’t enough justification, we’ll walk you through a few additional reasons you need to align your sales and marketing efforts right away.

Why You Need Sales & Marketing Alignment

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