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Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Sales Speaks: Perceptions & Ponderings on Marketing Leads

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 VorsightBP (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.

Topics: lead generation, inside sales management

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