B-to-B: Lead Generation Is Broken
If you put 1,000 inquiries and/or targeted suspects into the top of that sales funnel, in a normal scenario, this is how those stages would look (see the first chart in the media player to the right).
According to SiriusDecisions, the two areas of "purgatory" where lead leakage occurs can be defined as:
• Marketing lead purgatory occurs between MQL and SQL, with marketing throwing leads over the fence and sales never accepting them. Approximately 70 percent of all leads are rejected by sales—either actively or by inaction.
• Sales lead purgatory occurs between SAL and SQL, with sales accepting leads but subsequently losing contact or interest. Another 20 percent of leads are ineffectively worked for mostly non-intuitive reasons (i.e., a sales rep reports, "I called the prospect three times. He didn't get back to me, so he must not have been interested.")
With a lack of accountability in both marketing and sales lead purgatory, leads are lost and ultimately reappear as wins for the competition.
There is another significant problem with this model: It's incredibly inefficient.
Plugging the Leaks
Lead leakage occurs primarily because leads are turned over to sales too early. When correct lead qualification and lead nurturing processes are performed by skilled professionals, MQL should meet the SQL threshold. Let's revisit the framework when results are based on deployment of a dedicated group of skilled professionals. We can attribute a higher close rate because the leads are more fully qualified. (See the mediaplayer to the right for an example of qualified leads in the sales funnel)
Closing 10 deals at $120,000 each results in a $1.2 million return; a very efficient model from an ROI standpoint when, for example, investing $60,000 in a lead qualification and lead nurturing initiative.