Most small biz doesn’t qualify leads or track marketing ROI. Surprised?

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In B2BOnline, Christopher Hosford reports on a study by the Sales Lead Management Association that indicates “nearly 63% of small-business marketers say they can’t track the return on investment of their marketing programs.” And 56% say they don’t qualify their leads before sending them to sales. SLMA observed the prevailing attitude among marketers that sales should qualify their own leads.

The survey was conducted online, B2B writes, and of the 140 respondents, all had fewer than 250 employees and three-quarters had fewer than 25. The conclusion of the study: these companies are allowing sales and marketing to operate independently of each other without aligning their objectives.

I’ve observed it myself at one industrial business after another over the past decade, when interviewing marketing teams as part of the media sales process. The vast majority will say that leads remain their primary metric for measuring the effectiveness of their work.

And yet, they will also admit to doing nothing with the leads because:

  • They aren’t very good;
  • Their distributors don’t follow up on them anyway;
  • There is no mechanism in place to qualify leads for sales.

What a cynical way to do a job: on one day demand that your media partners provide more leads to improve your ROI, and on the next day hide that “ROI” into the bottom drawer, pulling it out only when your boss comes around and asks, “What exactly do you do around here?”

It was just such a prospect who once told me, “I don’t think our marketing efforts are half bad.” Now armed with an actual benchmark, I could now reply to him, “Actually, they’re 63% bad.”


About the Author:

Bob Rosenbaum is founder and principal of The MarketFarm, a content-oriented strategic communications firm.

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