According to a recent survey of 840 B2B marketers by Holger Schulze, 25% don’t know their lead coversion rates and 41% don’t know the average cost per marketing qualified lead (MQLs).
I'm sure you'd agree, a very worrying statistic! I was pretty taken aback when I saw this, but once you dissect it, it's actually not surprising at all. In my eyes there are four main areas, B2B marketers are still facing challenges, which is probably the reason why so many are having a hard time with getting a handle of their lead conversion rates.
Many B2B marketers are still working on getting their CRM to work the way they want. Data quality issues is one of the biggest universal pains for a marketer. If you put rubbish in, you'll get rubbish out! Other marketers are facing frustrations due to lack of CRM knowledge or integrations with other systems. Others don't even have a CRM - so imagine how difficult it would be for them to measure lead conversions.
A good percentage of B2B maketers have dipped their toe into marketing automation now. It's still early days for a lot of them, especially because most businesses are still making the transition from email marketing systems to a fully featured marketing automation software.
Integration and getting it to actually work
Getting your CRM system, marketing automation system and any other internal systems to talk to each other isn't always a walk in the park. It can be a lengthy process of marketing negotiating their wish list with developers ... joy!
Ownership of Initiatives
Who is really owning these initiatives? Should marketing be responsible for the CRM and getting the business, especially sales, to use it as effectively as possible in order to reap the full benefits? Frankly, if marketing doesn't then no one else probably will! Personally I feel marketing needs to take the plunge and drive all these CRM initiatives forward, unless of course your company is blessed with a CRM expert. Marketing have a strong handle of the bigger picture and are the pivotal function that connects sales, data and customer insight.
It's true that marketers of the future will need to be IT, systems and tech savvy, so why not start as we mean to go on!
Not all is doom and gloom
Despite the worrying lead conversion statistics that drew me in to check out the survey, there are some great insights which I thought were worth sharing:
- The B2B lead conversion rate stand at 5%-10% from most of marketers that know and track theirs
- The most popular conversion rates used are: Cost per lead, Revenue, Volume of leads
- The most effective lead generation tactics are the company website, email and SEO
- The most common barrier to lead generation success is lack of staff, budget and time
- Conferences and tradeshows are being allocated the most budget
- The most effective activity at conferences and tradeshows are networking during the event and speaking engagements
- Marketing automation software is used for reporting, analytics and dashboard capabilities followed by campaign tracking
- The secret to email success they believe is creating compelling content for each stage of the buying cycle
- Mobile strategies is something they are still pending to fit into their priorities
- The most commonly outsourced activity is Graphic Design and Creative, followed by SEO and PR
- Almost half of respondents don’t use direct mail in their marketing mix. Those that still do use letters, brochures and 3D promo packages as their most effective formats
Back to the theme of this post - to get a handle of your marketing metrics - be it lead conversion rates, cost per lead - it's clear that getting your CRM and marketing automation initiatives kicked off and perfected is an objective that needs to be top of the agenda for 2013. Check out the survey summary below:
Photo credit: Alex Bellink