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Sales Speaks: Perceptions & Ponderings on Marketing Leads

Posted by Trish Bertuzzi on Mon, Mar 14, 2011

With all the buzz around sales and marketing alignment we thought it was time for a sanity check. Analysts, consultants and technology providers have all thrown their weight behind the requirement for sales & marketing to be on the same page. But, having said that, how are we doing in moving towards that goal?

Rather than ivory tower it, we decided to take the question to the people in the trenches. We partnered with Vorsight (a great sales training company) and surveyed 1,150+ B2B Sales Reps. The results were so interesting, we wrote an ebook:

Sales Speaks: Perceptions and Ponderings on Marketing Leads

(Note: this wasn't a witch hunt or a slamming Marketing/Sales session. We took a look at what the Reps had to say and tried to make actionable suggestions for moving the ball forward.)

To wet your whistle, here is what Barry Trailer of CSO Insights has to say:

The half hour you spend reading/considering this ebook will be time well spent. You’ll begin questioning the “leads” your reps are pursuing, calculating your own Lead Effectiveness Index, likely consider putting an internal SLA in place between Sales & Marketing, and one more thing – turning your funnel upside down.

To give you an idea of the the feedback we received, here's a sample:

What percentage of your marketing generated leads do you feel fit your sweet spot?

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. Yikes!! We are apparently good at throwing darts at the board but seem to be missing the bulls eye on a regular basis.

Lead scoring is another hot topic. I firmly believe that an accurate lead scoring system can dramatically increase the productivity of Inside Sales teams. As the topic is near and dear to our hearts, we asked:

If your company scores leads, how accurate is the lead scoring system?

I found it a bit shocking that 40% of the responding companies have not yet implemented lead scoring. Even of those that have, there is still work to be done. I love this comment from Brian Kardon, Eloqua's CMO, as it pertains to lead scoring:

Use data, not anecdote to get it right. W. Edwards Deming, the great management thinker, said it best: “In God we trust. All others bring data.” We recommend that a lead score be based on ICP fit combined with some weighted level of digital activity for the best results.

In the ebook we present:

  • great data on the perceptions of front-line Sales Reps
  • feedback & commentary from Sales & Marketing experts
  • our interpretations & advice on what you should be doing within your own organization

We hope you enjoy the report and look forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions. Perceptions and ponderings can be interesting and often lead us to the truth!


Get the ebook:
Sales Speaks: Perceptions & Ponderings on Marketing Leads

Research into the perceptions of Sales Reps on the marketing-generated leads they receive on a daily basis.

Sales Speaks: Perceptions & Ponderings on Marketing Leads

Based on survey of 1,150+ B2B Sales Reps.

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The information on this blog is excellent. One of three blogs I read religiously. SMARKETING rules. Lead scoring is critically important and a critical step towards lead improvement. Are there lead scoring options? HubSpot has lead scoring built into some of their products, but if you are not a HubSpot customer, what are your options?

posted @ Monday, March 14, 2011 5:53 PM by Dan Tyre

Appreciate the insightful look at the the gap between marketing and sales. It's helpful to know what people's perceptions are. Interesting to note that this survey contains many perceptions and not necessarily hard factual stats. In your opinion, are our perceptions of reality skewed by our desires, our fears, our past experiences? etc.. or are the perceptions in this survey pretty much dead on with reality? 
Either way, it's intriguing to think of sales and marketing working more closely toward the same metrics. For companies that can pull this off, I suspect the gains will be remarkable.

posted @ Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:37 AM by Don F Perkins

@donfperkins Thanks for commenting. You are correct that the study contains perceptions and not hard factual stats (hence the name).  
I will tell you though that the message we got back from dozens of marketers who read the report is that hard stats or not, all that matters is the perception. Perception is often reality and leads us to the truth. That is why we created a service that takes those perceptions and then takes a deeper dive into the truth. This alignment of perception and reality as it pertains to leads is so critical to the bottom line that all we wanted to do was draw attention to it. 
I think we succeeded don't you? Always good to hear from you!

posted @ Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:55 AM by trish bertuzzi

Really enjoy reading this blog. 
There are numerous options for lead scoring in the marketplace. At Optify we have an easy to implement lead scoring feature that can help bridge the gap described. Here is a link to a webinar on our process. 
Am interested in others POV on our approach. 
Sam (I am VP of Sales for Optify)

posted @ Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8:35 AM by sam

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