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What Qualifies as a Lead? Survey Shows Sales and Marketing Almost Agree

Sales and marketing often view leads differently—i.e. what actually qualifies as a lead and what is worth follow up. To uncover the disconnect, Rollworks surveyed 527 salespeople and 323 marketers. The results show that salespeople are most likely to reject leads if:

1. They don't fit the target account criteria (industry, company size, revenue)

2. They don't fit the target individual criteria (role, seniority), or

3. The contact doesn’t fill out a content form.

Marketers accurately predicted the first 2 conditions, but underestimated the importance of form fills to salespeople. This may be where one of the disconnects occurs—with sales not grasping prospects’ preference for controlling the sales process (not providing personal information) until they are almost ready to buy. This is a growing trend that continues to reduce the percentage of form fills (currently less than 3% for consumer sites, and significantly less than that for B2B sites). It also makes the lead process more and more complex for marketers.

All of the above refers to leads in general, however if a lead comes from an account that is otherwise a great fit, salespeople say the signals they are most likely to accept from marketing match one or more of these criteria (in order of importance):

1. Site visit

2. Content form fill

3. Competitor research

4. Pricing page view

5. Opening or clicking an email.

6. Ad click

7. The consumption of 3rd party content (i.e. a vendor brochure)

So, the obvious compensation for the lack of form fills is site visitors identification. This assumes that site visitors can be identified. And, there is no legitimate way to know the individual identity of site visitors, other than those that click through from some other source, such as email. However, there are ways for clever marketers to infer the identify of site visitors by connecting the dots from multiple sources. That’s where sales and marketing should be focusing their attention.

The survey information is based on an excellent Marketing Profs article by Ayaz Nanji available here: For a no cost discussion of your situation and how we can leverage metrics-based content development to grow your business call 630-363-8081 or email


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