Ask most executives and marketers what salespeople need to sell in this economy and they will say, “more leads.” So their marketing and lead generation focuses on getting MORE leads to their sales team.
But do you know how many of your leads are actually impacting the sales pipeline? We’ve done numerous lead qualification programs that have shown as little as 5 to 15 percent of all marketing inquiries turn out to be truly sales-ready opportunities.
Salespeople don’t want more leads
Here’s why salespeople don’t want MORE leads.
Salespeople want MORE effective selling time with BETTER leads that have high odds of converting into pipeline opportunities and customers.
According to MarketingSherpa’s data, generating “high-quality leads” is the B2B marketer’s number one challenge. Developing high-quality leads requires work but it’s worth it.
8 Ways to Drive Higher Quality Leads
- Develop a Universal Lead Definition (ULD) with sales and marketing together
- Co-develop lead generation programs with your sales team’s input
- Get input from sales on target companies and contacts
- Rigorously qualify ALL leads against your ULD and pass only qualified leads to your sales team
- Leverage effective lead management practices
- Close the loop with sales on leads via feedback huddles
- Connect sales and marketing data in CRM especially to measure conversion
- Start lead nurturing now!
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The chart that you have mentioned here is very good. And you are right that generating high quality leads is a biggest challenge.
Thank you for sharing it with us.
Can’t we all just get along. I think part of the issue is that marketing doesn’t always understand what it takes to generate a quality lead. Particularly online. SEO is a great example – just because you rank doesn’t mean the leads (let alone) quality leads will come pouring in. Too often simply acheiving rank is seen as success — but if it generates no sales, who cares.
Great suggestion about getting the sales force’s help when creating lead gen programs. It’s shocking how both sides tend to work in a bubble, when they’re both trying to accomplish the same thing. Why do you think there’s so much competition (and often resentment) between sales and marketing?
This post is spot on, Brian. I have seen so many companies waste time and money by having salespeople troll for prospects. One CEO described the difference as Marketing looks for “Mr. Right” and Sales looks for “Mr. Right Now.”
The fact that sales looks for Mr. Right now means they are ill suited to doing long term lead nurturing. This is why lead generation needs to be a science, rather than an ad hoc set of tactics.
This is precisely what Jim Dickie of CSO Insights told me in our interview too.
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