Lead Conversion–the Biggest Challenge in the Marketing-Sales Funnel


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A couple of weeks ago we purchased the comprehensive, 200 page MarketingSherpa 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report. This veritable source of marketing insights is a reminder of the B2B marketing industry’s key challenges and ways in which organizations are struggling to overcome them. Over the next few posts on my blog, I thought it may be worthwhile to focus on certain aspects of this report and how marketers can apply this intelligence to enhance lead generation strategies and processes.

The study analyses how B2B organizations plan, execute and measure business activities such as lead generation, lead scoring, lead nurturing, lead hand off, lead management and funnel optimization. Not surprisingly, only 28% of the 1700 organizations surveyed have a formal process, thorough guidelines and routine performance monitoring for their sales and marketing function. 41% of the respondents don’t follow a formal process, have very few guidelines and only sporadically measure performance. The balance 31% of organizations that participated in the study have no process of guidelines.

These figures match closely what we see in the industry; as a matter of fact, the percentage of companies that have no formal process is higher, in my opinion. In the absence of funnel optimization strategies, it’s clear why lead conversion is the biggest challenge in the marketing-sales funnel.

I talked in a previous post about working the pipeline adopting a zonal approach. This can only happen when organizations recognize that “conversion” is not a sales responsibility. Marketing has a very critical role to play and unless there is close alignment between Sales and Marketing, lead generation ROI will remain small. Size of the organization really doesn’t matter; regardless of whether you are a large, medium or small organization, if you market in the B2B space, the entire cycle from lead generation to qualification, lead nurturing, lead scoring and all the way to conversion is a combined effort of sales and marketing departments.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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