Buckle Up! Sales Reps Share Perceptions of Marketing-Generated Leads

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Mar 31, 2011 9:45:00 AM

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A new eBook reports on sales rep perceptions of marketing-generated leads, and the findings run from surprising to shocking to downright scary. 

Sales Speaks: Perceptions & Ponderings on Marketing Leads from The Bridge Group and Vorsight is based on survey responses from 1,150 sales representatives asked to share their perceptions on lead accuracy, lead scoring, pipeline, and sales and marketing SLAs.

The survey sample is nicely balanced with responding reps engaged in field sales, inside sales, and inbound and outbound lead generation and lead qualification. Deal size is representative of a broad spectrum of offers with nearly one-half of the reps selling solutions valued at greater than $50k.

Of particular interest—and concern!—to me are findings related to how reps rate leads. Note the following question and responses:

What Percentage of Marketing-Generated Leads do you Feel Fit your Sweet Spot?

Marketing Sweet Spot Chart

This chart is accompanied by the following observation:

“On average, Sales Reps report that only 31% of all leads generated fit their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Said another way, Sales Reps believe roughly 70% of the leads they receive have a low probability to purchase.”

The following chart looks at reps’ perceptions when the “sweet spot” qualifier is combined with the target prospect’s role in buying.

Of Those that Fit your Sweet Spot, What Percentage are Decision Makers or Strong Influencers?

Decision Maker Chart

Taken together, these two sets of responses are summarized with the observation that an average 11% of marketing-generated leads fit the sweet spot and reflect activity from decision makers or strong influencers.

One way of looking at this is to say that nearly 90% of marketing dollars are delivering leads to sales that don’t fit the target prospect profile, a finding that should generate shock and awe in the hearts of executive leadership, both at the C-level and in sales and marketing organizations.

All of this reinforces the need for a dedicated group—either insourced or outsourced—to contact marketing-generated leads to determine if they are sales-ready, if they need mid- to long-term nurturing, or if they should be deleted from the prospect database. Unless and until this intermediate “Marketing Qualified Leads” function is in place, marketing dollars and sales rep hours will be wasted on delivering and chasing high volumes of low value names.

The eBook also includes thoughtful observations on findings from sales and marketing experts like Barry Trailer, CSO Insights; Brian Kardon, Eloqua; Carlos Hidalgo, The Annuitas Group; Stephanie Tilton, Ten Ton Marketing; Mike Volpe, HubSpot; and Jill Konrath, Selling to Big Companies.

This analysis is the most informative pieces of research I’ve seen this year, and I encourage you to read the eBook available for download through Trish Bertuzzi’s blog.


By Dan McDade

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inside Sales, Prospect Development, Lead Management

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