KnowledgeStorm Research Finds: B2B Companies Struggle with Lead Generation and Follow-up

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Research shows that, regardless of company size or industry, good lead assessment is key to driving business growth.

With the KnowledgeStorm Lead Assessment program, we provide the manpower in the middle of the process. We know that human contact makes the follow-up process more valuable so our team contacts each lead to better understand their level of interest and where they are in the buying cycle

KnowledgeStorm, the Internet's top-ranked technology solutions content and search site, today announced the findings of a study on lead generation and follow-up completed in partnership with SiriusDecisions, a provider of executive management services focused exclusively on the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Sales Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. The study, Best Practices in Lead Development, found that while lead generation is a priority for the majority of companies, many business-to-business technology companies continue to struggle with effective lead generation and efficient lead follow-up.

The study was developed to evaluate lead management processes. It polled marketing executives from 250 business-to-business technology companies. SiriusDecisions and KnowledgeStorm recently presented their Best Practices in Lead Development findings in a Webcast that can be viewed at: SiriusDecisions Webcast.

The research revealed that 58% of polled executives rated their marketing department's lead development capabilities as "fair" or "poor." Only 6% of executives polled rated their in-house lead development capabilities as "excellent." Organizations who indicated high performance appeared to have three consistent attributes: 1) effective communication between the marketing and sales departments; 2) clear and sophisticated definitions of lead levels and quality; and 3) the ability, through either internal or external channels, to effectively track and manage leads.

The driving force in new business growth is a company's ability to create demand for its products and services. Once demand is created, organizations need to have a process in place to develop the leads into qualified sales opportunities.

"The key reasons for these struggles are easily identifiable but often difficult to overcome," said John Neeson, co-founder of SiriusDecisions. "Executives find that a lack of coordination between their sales and marketing departments often creates friction in the organization, which results in missed opportunities."

According to SiriusDecisions, on average more than 90% of leads are not followed up on by field sales. Lead generation and management are two challenging areas for marketing and sales organizations to deal with effectively. Targeted marketing campaigns are often a successful way to generate leads, but then what?

The research found that success depends on companies establishing a definition for multiple levels of leads, and then executives coming to agreement on what levels can be passed off to sales and which levels stay with marketing to be nurtured. The lower the level a lead is when passed directly to the field, the worse the overall demand creation performance. Organizations who have good lead development practices in place, only delivering the more advanced leads to the sales force and keeping the lower level leads in the marketing department to nurture and develop, find that more than 25% of the leads become qualified opportunities.

More and more, technology companies recognize the importance of having an effective lead management process. KnowledgeStorm has been working closely with its customers to deliver services that help bridge the lead gap between sales and marketing departments. The KnowledgeStorm Lead Assessment program is designed to save time and money while providing prompt lead follow-up. KnowledgeStorm generates and captures leads from users visiting its Web site. The Lead Assessment team then separates the more urgent leads from those with longer-term potential, by prioritizing the leads based on discussions with these users. The leads are immediately delivered to the customer to be followed up on quickly and appropriately.

"With the KnowledgeStorm Lead Assessment program, we provide the manpower in the middle of the process. We know that human contact makes the follow-up process more valuable so our team contacts each lead to better understand their level of interest and where they are in the buying cycle," says Laurie Hood, vice president of marketing for KnowledgeStorm. "Once we have determined the lead level, it can be nurtured and funneled through the sales pipeline at the appropriate time. We saw a need in the marketplace, and we have the ability to address that need for our clients." In the past year alone, KnowledgeStorm has realized a 300% growth in customers using its Lead Assessment Service.

To find out more about how customers are maximizing on revenue generating opportunities by using the KnowledgeStorm Lead Assessment services, please read the following case study: KnowledgeStorm Case Study.

About KnowledgeStorm

Founded in 1998, KnowledgeStorm is the Internet's top-ranked technology solutions content and search site. With the largest online index of IT solutions, KnowledgeStorm offers technology buyers a free, easy and comprehensive means to match business requirements to a "short list" of technology providers and to stay current on technology topics and trends. This information is available through the KnowledgeStorm Network, which includes http://www.knowledgestorm.com , specialty search sites and syndication partners. Technology vendors use KnowledgeStorm's efficient, effective lead generation services to fill sales pipelines with motivated and educated buyers. For more information, visit http://www.knowledgestorm.com .

KnowledgeStorm and the KnowledgeStorm logo are trademarks of KnowledgeStorm, Inc.

Media Contact:

Amber Reed

KnowledgeStorm, Inc.

678-597-5910

Amber.Reed@KnowledgeStorm.com

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