Julian Archer from SiriusDecisions posted a great article yesterday on their blog about why B2B marketers need to focus on the quality of the leads they pass to sales, rather than just the quantity. A focus on quality is a core tenet of an account-based marketer, and it’s something we talk about often at Demandbase. We’ve even coined a term for getting caught up in quantity and compromising quality: Mass Backwards.
Archer brings up some great statistics from the 2013 SiriusDecisions EMEA Demand Creation survey that speak to the poor quality of leads most marketers are passing on to sales. He concludes that marketers should be doing more in the lead qualification phase to make sure the leads we’re giving sales are truly interested buyers. This is a crucial link in the demand generation chain, but the truth is, we also need to be thinking strategically about what constitutes a quality lead long before that lead even comes in.
For B2B marketers, the core focus, from the outset, needs to be on “generating demand” with businesses/companies that would make good customers. Do you sell to large companies in the U.S.? Only 22% of all U.S. businesses even have one employee, and only 0.7% that generate over $10M in revenue.
To improve quality from the outset, you need to focus your marketing efforts on those potential good customers and stop wasting resources on the large quantities of unqualified businesses. With the ability to pick out your target accounts, you can focus on attracting the right companies to your website. Once there, you’ll continue to engage those companies and move them towards conversion. Integrate Demandbase into your web analytics, content management, and marketing automation tools and you’ll have visibility of the companies that are showing buying signals – often long before a form is filled out. You’ll have detailed company information across the process, and the fodder for prioritizing and scoring leads more clearly.
If you put a Target Account Marketing platform in place, you’re focused on generating demand from quality companies at every phase of the process. You won’t be getting complaints from sales about the quality of leads, but there’s a good chance they’ll be asking for more of the same!