I have yet to come across a manufacturer, a distributor or an engineering firm that didn’t ask for more leads. No surprise there!
The more I probe, the clearer it becomes what they really want are more requests for quotes or proposals. This is understandable since the sales pipeline needs to be full and active at all times because of the long sales cycles that’s typical for industrial companies.
However, this singular focus is causing a lot of frustrations because not enough leads generated by marketing are converting into sales opportunities. If you haven’t already heard or read about this problem, here are two stats that will make you sit up and think.
- 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
I can cite many reasons for this disconnect. Based on my experience as an industrial marketing consultant working with clients, the root of the problem is the lack of understanding and/or spending enough time to understand the differences between Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Sales Accepted Leads (SALs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). As a result, Sales continues to blame Marketing for generating “crappy” leads that never turn into sales.