The Great Sales Lead Generation Debate

It’s pretty common knowledge that in many companies the sales and marketing organizations bump heads. One of the most common areas of contention is around the entire lead generation process. The rub is that marketing program success is too often judged by the quantity, rather than the quality, of sales leads produced.  Yet, if you ask the sales force what they need to convert leads to revenue, they will tell you that more of the same isn’t better – better quality leads is better.

Granted, it is a tough balance and every company has to find the right mix as a part of their lead generation efforts.  Without the right process and preparation, too many leads, even of high quality, may overwhelm a sales team and opportunities will fall through the cracks. Not enough leads or leads of low quality diminish sales force productivity pretty quickly.

Here is a chart from MarketingSherpa’s 2009-2010 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report to illustrate. When asked, here is what salespeople want from marketing.

So, you tell me. Which do you prefer? A list of 200 names with a slim chance of closing business, or a short list of the top 25 best opportunities to focus your attention on?

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