June 23, 2009

New Chart: Search is Generating the Bulk of B2B Leads – But How Good are They?

SUMMARY: The success of a marketing program is too often judged by the quantity, rather than the quality, of leads produced. But when it comes to converting leads to revenue, the sales force will tell you that more isn’t necessarily better – better is better.

The Quality and Quantity of Leads Generated by Search Sources

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CHART NOTE: Marketers were asked to rate the quantity and quality of leads generated for each of the search tactic listed at the bottom of each column using the scale shown to the right of the chart. The total percentage of each column reflects those who are using that tactic. For example, 71% of respondents use 'Search engine optimization'. The remaining 29% do not use this tactic.

Every marketing organization needs to find the right balance between lead quantity and quality. Too many leads, even of a high quality, and an overwhelmed sales team will be forced to allow opportunities to fall through the cracks. Too few leads or leads of low quality will cause sales force productivity to plummet.

Search has become an ideal solution to balancing lead flow because, in many cases, the spigot can simply be opened or closed to control volume. The more complex challenge is controlling lead quality. This requires a much more strategic approach to optimizing not only web pages for SEO but, in the case of paid search, carefully aligning the context of PPC keywords with ad listings and landing pages.

Marketers who are optimistic about the months ahead and said they will be focused on sales growth resulting from an economic rebound, understand that higher quality leads will convert to more revenue in less time, and are addressing the challenge of generating them now.

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