We read an interesting blog post by the Bridge Group recently. They have conducted a survey of over 1100 B2B inside sales reps, asking them what they thought about the sales leads they were getting from their company's marketing and lead segmentation efforts.
"What percentage of your marketing generated leads do you feel fit your sweet spot?"
B2B sales reps reported that nearly 70% of the leads they received have a low probability of purchase.
This is a huge red flag for any sales/marketing organization. Clearly sales and marketing are not on the same page. B2B Lead generation efforts are going after the wrong target market and/or attracting leads with the wrong bait. Marketing methods and content need to be fine-tuned to target high probability buyers with messages that resonate with them. The right mix of online and offline, demographics, competitive intelligence and marketing strategy need to be updated to optimize demand generation and conversion.
"If your company scores leads, how accurate is the lead scoring system?"
Nearly 70% answered that lead scoring was either "not at all accurate" or "somewhat accurate".
Back to the drawing board on lead scoring to maximize the success of your sales force. Many companies do not even practice lead scoring, and many more have inadequate systems in place to automate lead segmentation and lead scoring processes. Revisit your lead generation methods and take a hard look at the questions you need answered in order to qualify leads. Are they included in your sales scripts and lead conversion forms? Once the data is collected, how do you process the information, segment and assign leads and notify the appropriate sales reps?
In order to correct these issues you may need to evaluate your entire sales and marketing process, better align your teams and invest in marketing automation and CRM software. Many companies recognize the value of outsourcing important parts of the process, including B2B lead generation and B2B inside sales, since they can virtually eliminate the evaluation and onboarding process needed to improve sales performance.