Business Leaders Concede They’re Struggling with Lead Management

The state of lead management . . . is not strong. Unfortunately.

LeanData conducted a first-of-its-kind survey, The State of Lead Management, to learn more about how businesses are managing their lead processes. The results were eye-opening. The responses from 527 sales and marketing professionals indicated that there is an industry-wide struggle when it comes to ensuring leads reach the right people in their organizations for follow-up.

  • More than 57 percent expressed doubts that their lead workflow is allowing them to create an ideal customer experience
  • Less than 34 percent said sales always follows up on marketing-generated leads
  • Almost 80 percent said they are not completely satisfied with the way their organizations currently route leads
  • One out of every four leads, on average, is routed to the incorrect account owner

“It’s clear that when the market broadly perceives products as being the same, customer experience becomes a true differentiator when researching solutions,” said Ash Kakhandiki, the vice president of marketing at LeanData, “This survey shows that many businesses are dropping the ball when it comes to making sure the right people are following up immediately with prospects with the best information.”

It’s evident that both business leaders and hands-on practitioners are worried about their ability to extract the full value of every lead.

“Organizations spend countless resources identifying innovative ways to drive higher conversion rates and build bigger pipelines,” said Craig Rosenberg, chief analyst at the research firm TOPO. “The truth is they often miss the low-hanging fruit — their lead routing process. Lead routing isn’t glamorous and is often ignored. As a result, leads aren’t followed up or are followed up by the wrong person. At TOPO, we have had scores of organizations report finding immediate upside just by fixing their lead routing issues. And in most cases, they had no idea it was an issue.”

Focusing on specific and actionable best practices are the sort of insights that will be shared when more than 1,000 sales and marketing practitioners gather at this week’s TOPO Summit. A key element of achieving scalable growth, which is where TOPO helps clients, means paying close attention to the most foundational elements of the sales process — such as lead management.

Another key survey finding is that the state of the sales and marketing union isn’t looking so great, either. Stark divisions between how the two teams view lead management workflow were identified by the responses.

For instance, 61 percent of sales leaders said their teams always follow up on leads generated by marketing. But only 30 percent of marketing leaders said they believe sales always works their leads. So it’s probably not surprising that nearly 48 percent of respondents indicated that they are concerned the teams are not aligned at their companies.

But the result that raised the biggest red flag for Christine Maxey, director of enterprise solutions at LeanData, was how a majority of respondents admitted their inability to structure an ideal customer experience.

“It’s mind-boggling that so many businesses feel like they’re not having quality interactions with their customers,” she said. “That should be terrifying. What this survey uncovered is that the problem is not unique. It’s widespread and businesses are aware that they haven’t yet figured out their lead management challenges.”

The reality, Maxey added, is that choice is king in the SaaS world. Customers always have options when it comes to vendors and solutions.

“They’re not ignoring the issue,” she said of business leaders. “They just don’t think there’s an easy fix for it, so they’re doing the best they can.”

The survey shows they also understand that this approach is not good enough.

Learn more about The State of Lead Management by viewing the full survey results.