The figure based on research by MarketingtSherpa maybe not even surprise you, but does it mean we shouldn’t do anything about it? Should we accept that, for the average B2B company, only 5-10 percent of qualified leads actually convert into new customers?
It’s not Sales’ fault, nor is it Marketing’s fault. Lead generation is what all marketing departments are told to do. Get more traffic on your website, have people fill out an online contact form, and transmit the lead to Sales.
But salespeople are expensive. And what is a lead, but just a name and email address? What promise does it bring for future revenue? The sad reality is that most leads that marketing passes on to sales are actually not ready to become customers. And that Salespeople therefore spend their time highly inefficiently.
Lead qualification: alignment between Marketing and Sales
B2B companies now start to put more focus on lead qualification rather than on just building web traffic. But even more important is that lead qualification should be the result of a close alignment between Marketing and Sales based on:
- Shared definition – Marketing and Sales should have a a shared definition about what a “qualified lead” is exactly.
- Shared responsibility – Marketing and Sales should formally agree on which part of the qualification process is handled by Marketing, before a lead is transferred to Sales (all depending on the business you are in).
Growth of Marketing Automation
You cannot achieve this objective with fragmented IT environments where Excel, CRM systems, Email tools, CMS systems and Google Adwords are used separately.
At one point you may need a Marketing Automation Tool like Hubspot to get the processes implemented. We’ll come back to that in a later blog post!