There’s always room to improve the handoff between Marketing and Sales, and our data shows marketing and sales teams need to continually communicate and refine their SLA, even if there’s already one in place.
When we asked marketers where they got their best leads, the majority said
inbound-sourced leads were the highest quality. However, salespeople who
participated in our study rated marketing generated leads last, behind self sourced
leads and referrals.
Which source provides the highest-quality leads for your sales team?
Which is the top source of leads for your sales organizations?
How would you rate the quality of the leads you receive from the following sources?
Breaking down scores on a more granular level, a full 70% of sales respondents gave marketing-generated leads a “3” out of five or less.
What is your organization’s primary approach to marketing? Which source provides the highest-quality leads for your slaes team?
The difference in where quality leads comes from is pronounced when we compare inbound and outbound marketing teams. 73% of inbound marketers say the best leads originate from inbound practices, compared to just 18% of outbound marketers. Given the different focuses of the cohorts, their differences are expected. What is interesting is that 20% of inbound marketers and 33% of outbound marketers admit that the best leads are sourced directly by Sales.
What best describes your level in your company? Which is the top source of leads for your sales organization?
The marketers who recognize Sales values the leads they individually source are realistic and pretty darn perceptive. When we asked sales professionals where the best leads came from, they rated the ones sourced from Marketing dead last.
When we cut the responses by seniority, we find that senior sales leaders actually value referrals the most. All other groups consistently rated Sales-sourced leads the highest.
How would you characterize your company’s sales and marketing relationship? Which is the top source of leads for your sales organization?
So what’s going on? Clearly, the leads sourced by Marketing aren’t favored by Sales, even if Marketing is none the wiser. So we broke down Sales’ ratings of leads against marketing/sales alignment and found that sales organizations with SLAs were more likely to rate leads from Marketing higher. When Sales and Marketing have agreements in place that 1) defines a good marketing lead and 2) guarantees a work rate from Sales, the two groups work better together.
At the end of the day, it comes down to communication. There’s room for improvement on Marketing-sourced leads, but Marketing won’t know what needs to be fixed unless there’s a feedback mechanism built into the Marketing and Sales relationship. Whether it’s truly the case that Marketing is failing to deliver enough high-quality leads to Sales or not, marketers should be aware of salespeople’s low opinion of their work, and take action accordingly.