It’s official! The 2012 Lead Generation Metrics & Compensation Report is now available. This year’s study is based on a survey of 197 B2B companies with inside sales groups. This report is focused on the lead generation (sourcing pipeline) model.
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The fourth report since 2007 attempts to share where we are now, where we’ve been and what it all means. Survey participants were asked:
How has managing lead generation changed in recent years? Here are a few responses:
Lead Generation Has Grown Up
- The role has been elevated from being viewed as a low-skill phone resource to being viewed as an important element of a sales strategy.
- Today, quality is key and lead generation is becoming a proper part of the sales cycle. It is about identifying REAL opportunities which match with the model/strategy. For us, the group reports to Marketing and that is in question. At some point, it might have to be moved to sales.
- Lead generation used to be volume based; it was mostly about a pure appointment setting activity. Now it’s about quality and not quantity. It’s a more critical part of the pipeline generation/overall sales process than most people give it credit for.
Crazy Busy Buyers
- There’s less direct contact with key buyers. So there’s more emphasis on value messaging and specific insight from lead nurturing, trigger events or insight gleaned from speaking with lower level folks (day in the life pains).
- It’s increasingly more difficult as c-levels hide behind AAs, voicemail and even e-mail. It takes more dogged determination and creativity.
What Matters Now
- Lead Gen has evolved from purely hunting, to marketing response, to a best balance of the two.
- The more it changes, the more it stays the same – list quality and the ability to get good, clean names is the biggest challenge.
- Hiring, It has become increasingly difficult to hire reps directly out of college as we did in the past. Furthermore, there seems to be a lack of job seekers in our geography.
Motivation: New reps have come to expect a quick ascension to other roles such as outside or inside (quota carrying) sales reps. Very few lead generation reps have continued on in the role after 1 year.
- The days of “smiling and dialing” are wholly over; lead gen reps now need virtually identical training to salespeople – understanding triggers, prospect buying behavior, etc. – in order to be effective. Managing lead generation is thus not simply about enforcing call volume; it’s about ensuring that call quality is there, and every interaction is valuable for the prospect.