by Jen Doyle, Senior AnalystA Long Road from Lead Generation to Sales ConversionClick here to see a larger, printable version of this chart
One of the most challenging obstacles to marketing is the time span from lead generation to sales conversion. These long sales cycles put pressure on marketers to streamline the lead nurturing process.
When prospects first enter the pipeline, they may be months away from defining specifications, a budget or a purchase timeline. It is marketing’s responsibility to identify and fulfill the information needs of prospects at each stage and to advance prospects through the pipeline to a sales-ready stage as rapidly as possible.
We also wanted to know what percentage of leads at each stage of the pipeline were likely to advance to the next stage. We found that on average, nearly four in 10 leads move from initial inquiry to being sales-ready and the same ratio advance from sales-ready to qualified prospect. As might be expected, the trend deteriorates moving to the next stage where only three in 10 qualified prospects convert to a sale.
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from MarketingSherpa’s 2009-2010 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report