Quality over quantity: key lead generation insights

13 January 2016 Sam HockleyResearch

Last month we released our State of Sales Report, which explores the trends and challenges facing salespeople today. Today, we’re going to introduce some of the key findings from the report concerning lead generation.

As a vital consideration for sales teams across the world, lead generation is an important focus of our research. To find out more, we surveyed over 1,400 sales and marketing professionals across a broad cross-section of B2B sales – making this one of the largest survey reports of its kind.

Download the State of Sales Report

Whether you want to improve your lead generation processes or simply see how your company stacks up against the competition, the findings of this report should provide you with valuable insight.

Challenges and capability gaps

Two of the three most commonly identified challenges identified by respondents were generating more leads (29%) and generating better leads (26%), indicating the importance of improving lead generation for sales teams.

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Compounding these challenges, the report discovered two major capability gaps concerning lead generation. While 89% of respondents said generating quality leads was ‘very important’ or ‘important’, only 55% said their company was ‘very effective’ or ‘effective’ in this area.

A similar capability gap emerged when it comes to generating a sufficient number of leads. Although 78% acknowledged this as a priority, only 55% considered their company to be effective or better in this area.

These findings suggest that many companies could improve their lead generation processes by addressing these capability gaps.

Quantity and quality

These responses also reveal that generating quality leads is a more important priority than simply generating more. However, the underlying message is clear: lead generation processes need to be improved across the board.

Respondents to our survey generated 20 leads per month on average, with responses ranging from 0 to 400,000 leads. Around half (49%) said that they were generating the same number of leads per month, while 37% said they were generating more.

Various reasons were provided for the increase in the number of leads generated, with a better understanding of the market highlighted as a factor:

“Better market intelligence [and] taking on dedicated staff to follow-up on opportunities [has helped increase leads generated].”

We have previously explored the value of harnessing company data for B2B sales and lead generation, and found that companies that fully utilise company data are more than 10 times as likely to generate enough leads than those who do not.

Other findings

The survey asked respondents about the channels they utilise to generate leads. The most popular online channels for lead generation are:

  • Google (53%)
  • LinkedIn (45%)
  • Facebook (34%)

Meanwhile, the most popular offline channels are:

  • Referrals (63%)
  • Trade shows and events (49%)
  • Direct mail (41%)

Four of these six channels involve ‘human to human’ marketing, demonstrating the importance of fostering connections with people when it comes to developing business relationships.

The survey also found that 69% of respondents do their lead generation exclusively in-house, while 23% use a combination of in-house and outsourced leads. Only 8% rely exclusively on outsourced leads.

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Around half of respondents (49%) stated that when it comes to in-house lead generation, both sales and marketing departments share the responsibility. One-third (33%) stated that sales alone is responsible for lead generation, while marketing is solely responsible is solely responsible for just 12%.

Find out more – download the State of Sales Report

If you’re interested in the full findings and the methodology behind it, you can download the report here.