“Lead generation is the biggest weakness in their otherwise successful marketing efforts.”
I had to laugh when I read this sentence in an article about B2B lead generation marketing trends.
The author started the paragraph the quote above came from by stating that, “Year in and year out, in trade article after trade article, B2B marketers lament that their biggest hurdles are generating high-quality leads.” If marketers are not generating high quality leads then I have to assume that their other marketing efforts are in fact NOT very successful.
We have a client that spends $150,000 per year on so-called leads that result in a 1.28% qualified rate. Roughly 6,000 leads are sent to sales and never followed up. The marketer considers her efforts a success. Sales reps, including their VP of Sales ignore the leads. The company is big enough that it hardly notices this one waste of time and money—but given the fact that this is one marketer out of hundreds that work for this giant company, you can assume that other bad decisions are being made daily costing the company millions of dollars in real dollars and millions of dollars in soft costs (such as sales reps wasting time on a stack of leads in which just one out of a hundred are worth the time).
What to do? Check out the table below for some stats that might surprise you (as I state in the whitepaper this is pulled from, “PointC: From Chaos to Kickass”, the names have been changed to protect the guilty):
Note that the 3,117 leads from content syndication cost $23.15 per lead but the fully loaded cost per qualified lead is $2,662.24. That compares to $1357.25 per lead from our targeted outbound program run at the same time. Marketing boasts success — having generated thousands of leads for under $100. Sales reps ignore virtually 100% of those so-called leads. When asked how much a lead should cost, I always answer, “More than you probably think, but a lot less than you are probably paying.”
The point of this is not to argue that outbound is better than inbound (though many times it is). The point is that measuring what matters (cost per lead that your sales reps will actually act on) is much more important than the cost per suspect. The following might help you think about what actually goes on in most companies today:
Random Visitors/”Leads” (based on quantity, not qualification) > Sent to Sales Rep > Lost in Black Hole
The bottom line is that if your marketing programs are not generating high quality leads, don’t kid yourself about the marketing programs being “otherwise successful.”