In the penultimate blog of our series on Dan’s Top 5 Lead Gen Tips to Help Simplify Lead Gen Complexities, we’re looking at the role a mature lead generation approach plays in providing the right volume of leads to keep your sales team happy.

A staggering 61% of businesses cite generating traffic and leads as their biggest marketing challenge, according to HubSpot’s State of Marketing report.

Even in an age where highly sophisticated AI-infused marketing and sales automation tools are available (Marketo, Salesloft, ActiveCampaign etc.), the fundamental challenge of managing volume leads at scale for stretched internal sales teams remains. 

That’s why I want to talk lead management maturity. 

You may have come across the Lead Management Maturity (LMM) model previously.

Ideally, lead management in your organisation is a co-owned process between sales and marketing. (Although, according to Salesforce, for 35% of organisations this still isn’t the case.) 

The model outlines four broad levels of lead management maturity (y‑axis) which is tied into how well integrated (or otherwise) your sales and marketing functions are (x‑axis). The diagonal dotted line indicates the divide between lead management processes that have been defined (above the line) but otherwise not lived in practice, and the section below the line – indicating a well-oiled marketing and sales dynamic but with potential challenges around efficiency, reporting, monitoring, and customer dissatisfaction.

Source: B2B Marketing World (2023)

From experience, I’d suggest that most of our clients already have well-established sales and marketing functions that are integrated – they may share lead gen objectives and co-own revenue generation goals. But we do see issues with lead overload. Only 27% of inbound leads are actually contacted by sales (Ken Krogue, Insid​eSales​.com). Shocking? It should be. This speaks to a disconnect where sales are likely complaining about poor quality leads, and an inability to process and nurture leads effectively. And of those leads that are contacted, still far too many are being contacted late (some estimates have the average lead response time as 42 hours), with unacceptable knock-on to missed pipeline.

The ability for many of our clients’ internal sales teams to process, qualify, and nurture leads at scale – within a reasonable timeframe – is often compromised. And this may come down to misaligned KPIs set – where a box is ticked to reach a high volume of leads without necessarily due consideration given to lead quality or nurture capacity. The truism ​‘quality over quantity’ is even more crucial when an expanding universe of potential leads can easily tempt organisations into ​‘turning on the taps’ to the detriment of patient lead-gen building that converts highly qualified prospects into repeatable revenue streams. 

What can be done to manage the deluge of leads?

For starters, as I outlined in an earlier blog you need to get back to basics. If you don’t have the infrastructure in place for long nurture cycles, far better to target a smaller volume of sales ready leads aligned to your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and your sales team’s capacity to nurture and convert. By working in sync with your sales teams, you’ll know about their capacity planning, quota potential, and if there are any key events in the calendar that may interrupt their ability to prospect effectively. 

Failing to act quickly on new leads hurts sales. Fortunately, at TBT Marketing, we offer whole-campaign orchestration to take the headache away of trying to get the balance right between quantity and quality of leads. We can manage campaigns even when they involve multiple 3rd parties – minimising lead decay and providing consistent volumes of leads that meet your objectives and provide sustainable results.

For more lead generation insights – check out my other blogs below or get in touch – I’d love to hear how we could support your lead gen efforts.