I’m not familiar with any companies that have too many qualified sales leads or would not like to have a higher level of qualification for leads.
Naturally, every B2B sales force is looking to continue improving in both areas. Whether your form of B2B lead generation is appointment setting or event marketing, the quality vs. quantity question will always come into play.
Question: which approach is going to produce the best impact on your company revenue and what factors will help determine the best path for lead generation?
You could probably throw this question of quality vs. quantity leads at a group of business people and get back a variety of responses with some strong arguments on both sides. The issue really boils down to your business model and goals.
Clearly, the more qualified leads are going to close more quickly and provide a better lead to close ratio. In our experience, the higher quality leads have a close ratio of 60 to 75%. The higher quantity leads tend to close between 20 and 40% of the time. For some folks, you can stop the discussion right there because they are thinking that you clearly get more deals closed with the higher quality leads. However, when you look more closely at the whole picture, that is not necessarily the case.
As mentioned before, most businesses and sales people want more leads AND more qualified leads. The best focus for your business is going to depend on several factors. Let’s look first at quantity. When is quantity more important than quality?
Generally, quantity is better for a new sales person so that they can practice their approach and develop their skills without losing big opportunities or costing a fortune in lead generation. Quantity is also important when you need extra exposure. This could be because you have a hot solution going to market or there are a lot of competitors in your marketplace. In general, quantity is also preferable when you need to build more relationships because of a longer sales cycle and a more long-term approach to pipeline building. If it takes longer to close deals, you definitely want to make sure that you are initiating a lot of relationships and lead nurturing with good marketing!
Higher quality or more qualified sales leads have a more important role when a company needs to drive short term revenue. Obviously, the quicker close that goes with a more qualified lead will help push revenue up more quickly over a short period of time. Higher quality leads are also a big help if you have a smaller sales force or their time is at a premium. Sales people can maximize their time when not pursuing casual prospects that don’t have any kind of real pain or urgency.
In conclusion, let’s compare two companies in similar industry with same basic deal size. Company A puts quantity over quality and closes a smaller percentage of more leads. Company B emphasizes quality and closes a greater percentage of fewer leads. The number of deals closed and subsequent revenue in both cases will be about the same. The key to increased sales effectiveness and higher revenue is to customize your B2B lead generation process based on YOUR company profile and objectives.
If you are interested in re-assessing your company approach to lead generation, feel free to contact Vendere Partners for white papers, case studies, or a free consultation.