Leads are the high-fructose corn syrup of the B2B marketing and sales world. Just like sugar is a low-quality source of energy, leads are a low-quality source of pipeline.
3 Reasons Why Leads Are Bad for You
If your organization is like most, you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle to get more leads. HubSpot found that 61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. No matter how many leads you have today, sales will demand more tomorrow. Here are three reasons why relying on leads is horrible for your funnel.
1. Leads Will Never Buy From You
99% of the leads you create will never become customers, according to Forrester Research. Another study by Gleanster Research, found that only 25% of leads are legitimate in the first place. The ugly truth you have to face is that the majority of leads you create come from people and companies that either have no intention of buying your solution or don’t have the means to buy your solution.
2. Leads Are Generated Too Late in the Sales Process
By the time you generate a lead that’s actually interested in your solution, their company has already gone through most of the research process. Unsurprisingly, Sales Benchmark Index found that 65% of the buying process is now done before the buyer engages with to sales. And Gartner predicts that by 2020, that number will rise to 80%.
If you wait until leads come to you, you’ve lost the opportunity to influence the buying committee. It’s similar to receiving a request for proposal (RFP). When you receive an RFP, it typically means a competitor has already been working with the account and helped the buyer put the RFP together.
When you get a lead, there is a good chance that a competitor has already influenced the buying process.
3. Sales Doesn’t Really Want Leads
Whether they’re right or wrong for doing so, sales doesn’t consistently follow up on leads. Only 27% of leads will be qualified by sales, according to a study from MarketingSherpa.
The low-quality nature of inbound leads pits marketing and sales against each other. Sales is always complaining that the leads are bad, and marketing is complaining that sales isn’t following up on their leads. This cycle causes lead-to-opportunity conversion rates to decline, which results in marketing having to generate a greater number of leads. This then reduces the quality even further, creating a neverending cycle of pointing fingers and chasing more and more leads.
Stop Being Dependent on Leads
Want to stop consuming endless amounts of leads? Then start targeting accounts together, as one revenue team. When marketing and sales work together to target and engage best-fit accounts, activate personalized outreach, and measure the same KPIs, magic happens. Sales creates more opportunities, deal sizes get bigger, and sales cycles get shorter. We call this the TEAM framework.
- Target the best-fit accounts most likely to buy.
- Engage the entire buying committee with multi-touch marketing programs.
- Activate sales with actionable insights.
- Measure success with account-based metrics.
If leads are the sugar of B2B marketing and sales, then accounts are the kale and quinoa superfood smoothie. Working with sales to target your best-fit accounts focuses your resources and efforts on the accounts most likely to buy, gets you in front of buyers before your competitors do, and ensures sales is working in lockstep to take action on the accounts marketing is engaging.
Check out the TOPO Account-Based Funnel Report to learn how organizations are creating 7X more sales opportunities and shortening sales cycles by over 40% using an account-based strategy!