BEST PRACTICE: Turning leads into sales

Here are two sobering statistics. Firstly, on average, 30 per cent of all B2B product/service inquiries translate into a sale within 18-24 months on the inquiry (this statistic applies to complex and high-value sales and not commodities). Secondly, the best conversion rate documented from inquiry to sale is five per cent for any one company.

What happened to the other 25 per cent of inquires that converted to sale received by companies? The simple answer is that they bought from another supplier, but the real question is why?

Of all the marketing communication money spent by B2B companies, studies have indicated that 90 per cent is spent for the primary purpose of generating leads for sales (inside, field and business partners). No one disagrees with that, and some would even say it's 100 per cent. The problem is that most of this money is spent to generate an inquiry: that is where the process breaks down, after the inquiry. We don't need more inquiries, but rather to convert a higher percentage of inquires to sales; so how do we do this?