Corporate investment in SEO has increased, investment in Pay Per Click has increased but, in almost every case, the results have begun to plateau and the quality of leads coming from online channels is in decline.
With the increase in SEO, PPC spend and now the next logical step, sustained content marketing programmes, more and more “leads” are being created by B2B marketing teams. However the explosion in the number of “leads” or contacts from prospective buyers has created another problem for sales and marketing operations, not enough “qualified leads”.
Marketing teams are now creating too many leads! What the Sales team actually require are qualified sales leads to make sure they invest their time wisely. Analysis shows that of the increased number “leads” that marketing are creating, in larger enterprises, 93% are never followed up effectively or touched and certainly not qualified. A further 5% don’t buy immediately and are not nurtured effectively to a successful conclusion. 2% of those “leads” move into the sales process and, with an average close rate of 1 in 10 it means that for every 500 prospective customers, who download a whitepaper, undertake a survey, or attend a webinar only 1 ends up buying!!
An interesting statistic from Harvard Business Review regarding how important it is to follow up leads in a timely manner when it comes to online leads. “Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later. Yet only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour.”
The above stat is amazing, when you think of the revenue companies are losing due to a delay in the lead follow up process. What enterprise doesn't seem to realise is that customers move rapidly, their attention span is short and they want answers quickly. So how do you make sure that you’re getting back to customers within that rapidly closing window?
Operatix have identified this disconnect, which is largely due to Marketing teams being too successful at what they have traditionally been asked to do, create leads. With the increase in volumes it is critical to identify, quickly, the real sales opportunities, versus those prospects that need true nurturing, versus those that do not justify time and money being spent. When we say quickly we mean minutes and hours, days and weeks and you have lost your prospect and lost the opportunity to turn online investment into revenue.