Why Making It “Rain Leads” Is A Bad Idea


Share on LinkedIn

I was reading some questions posted in a LinkedIn group when I noticed a question asking about the best way a BtoB marketing department could make it “rain leads” for their sales organization. While I appreciate the author’s desire to increase the number of leads marketing provides to sales, the use of the term “rain leads” troubled me. It implied producing a mass amount of leads was the goal, with no mention of lead quality.

In an era where salespeople are asked to do more with less, showering them with leads could do more harm than good. Customers today are spending more time on the web self-educating and doing independent research; we are meeting customers earlier in the sales cycle. Most of these customers are not yet ready to engage with a salesperson. A study by Marketing Sherpa found that 73% of all B2B leads are not sales-ready. As Marketers, we just can’t send dump leads on sales and give them the task of determining which of the leads are good (sales ready) and which are not, that’s our job. The implications of sending leads to sales too early are too important to ignore. Sending leads to sales too early will result in sales wasting an enormous amount of time perusing leads with no real sales potential. But salespeople are smart, after doing this for a while they will come to the conclusion most marketing generated leads are low value, and will start ignoring these leads. As Laura Ramos said in an article from Forrester Research on Improving B2B Lead Management – “B2B marketers who emphasize lead volume over lead quality reduce sales efficiency, increase campaign costs, and fuel the gap between sales and marketing”.

So what is a Marketer to do? The answer lies in lead scoring, a methodology for ranking leads to determine their sales-readiness. The goal of lead scoring is to identify which leads are ready to move to sales and which require more nurturing. Lead scoring results in efficiency – focusing limited resources at the right contacts, at the right accounts, at the right time. Lead scoring methods range from the simple (scoring based where the lead came from), to the complex (point systems based on behavioral and demographic metrics used in marketing automation software.)

Regardless of what method you use, the need for lead scoring cannot be ignored. Because if you ignore lead scoring, there is a good chance sales will start ignoring your leads.

David Corr
David Corr is a Marketing Director at Contech Engineered Solutions. He is an experienced marketing executive that helps organizations build awareness, generate leads, and engage their target audience. David has a rich work history that encompasses all aspects of BtoB marketing included sales, sales training, product management, marketing operations, branding, and communications. David holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, and an MBA from the University of Dayton.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here