How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline

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1 2010 ITSMA and RainToday.com Lead Generation Survey Abbreviated Summary Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline Katie Espinola Senior Research Analyst ITSMA Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President Research and Thought Leadership ITSMA John Doerr President RAIN Group Mike Schultz Publisher RainToday.com

2 Abbreviated Summary Note: This abbreviated summary highlights some of the significant findings from ITSMA s, 2010 ITSMA and RainToday.com Lead Generation Survey. A more in-depth analysis can be found in the full report. Marketers priorities are changing. Lead generation has risen to the top of technology and professional services marketers priority lists (preceded only by enabling sales) as companies struggle to compete in a crowded market and gain the attention of busy buyers. Some companies are doing very well; they are filling their pipelines with quality leads and experiencing growth. Others are struggling. Why are some technology and professional services companies succeeding while others are languishing? SV4579AS 2

3 Defining Lead Generation For the purposes of this survey, we are defining lead generation as: Finding prospects and building relationships with them to develop potential new business opportunities, or leads, for your services. As we compiled the results from our survey of more than 850 respondents at professional and technology services companies, one observation stood out: not all lead generation tactics work for everyone, yet every tactic (even television advertising) works for some companies, although sometimes only for a select few. Moreover, the chosen tactics will only be effective if there is thoughtful strategy behind them, as well as relevant content, based on deep knowledge of the target audience. Companies will have a better chance of meeting their marketing and sales objectives if they create an integrated plan based on strategy, content, and tactics. SV4579AS 3

4 Uncovering the Standout Performers In your last fiscal year, how did your B2B services organization perform in the following areas: Compared to the past three years our % of Respondents REVENUE GROWTH was (N=816) 12.8% PROFITABILITY was (N=725) 12.3% Significantly better (increased by 20% or more) In good times and bad, company performance can be mixed. In the last fiscal year, we found that some companies did quite well, increasing both revenue and profitability. We hypothesized there would be a positive correlation between business performance and the ability to generate leads. 22.6% 32.0% 18.3% 22.4% 29.3% 18.8% Somewhat better (increased by 5 19%) About the same (decreased or increased 5% or less) Somewhat worse (decreased by 5 19%) Our hypotheses proved to be true. 14.2% 17.3% Significantly worse (decreased by 20% or more) Source: ITSMA and RainToday.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline, November SV4579AS 4

5 A higher percentage of companies that improved their revenue and profitability also reported good or excellent ability to generate leads. Some companies hit the trifecta: Increased revenue growth Increased profitability Excellent or good ability to generate leads What differentiates these high performers from the rest? Overall, how would you rate your company s ability to generate leads? % of Respondents (N=859) Good 35.2% Excellent 7.5% Poor 14.4% Source: ITSMA and RainToday.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline, November 2010 Fair 43.0% SV4579AS 5

6 We divided the respondents into three groups based on business performance and ability to generate leads: High performers: Increased revenue and profitability growth and had excellent or good ability to generate leads Below average performers: Decreased revenue and profitability growth and had fair or poor ability to generate leads Average performers: Everyone else Based on our analysis, we have identified the characteristics of best-practice companies. The most significant best practices are highlighted in this Abbreviated Summary. (For a more in-depth description of best practices, please refer to the full report.) Company Business Performance and Ability to Generate Leads % of Respondents (N=721) 18.4% 66.6% Below Average Performers 15.0% Average Performers Source: ITSMA and RainToday.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline, November 2010 High Performers SV4579AS 6

7 #1: High performers segment based on deep knowledge of their target markets SV4579AS 7

8 #2: High performers conduct formal research, in addition to other tactics, to gain a deep understanding of their target markets needs SV4579AS 8

9 #3: High performers proactively tap their network and current clients to create referrals SV4579AS 9

10 #4: High performers use content that is relevant, provide proof points, and build credibility SV4579AS 10

11 #5: High performers use offers and live experiences to generate leads SV4579AS 11

12 #6: High performers use two of the most effective tactics presenting at events and making warm phone calls SV4579AS 12

13 #7: High performers employ dedicated salespeople, in addition to seller-doers, to sell their company s services and solutions SV4579AS 13

14 #8: High performers measure their progress at each stage of the pipeline, in addition to the number of leads generated, closed deals, and revenue SV4579AS 14

15 AND 2010 ITSMA and RainToday.com Lead Generation Online Survey Table of Contents for Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline Foreword 1 How to Use This Report 1 Definition of Lead Generation 1 Executive Summary 2 Chapter 1. Meeting the Lead Generation Challenge 13 Chapter 2. First Step: Segmentation and Targeting 23 Chapter 3. Using Referrals to Generate Leads 31 Chapter 4. Most Effective Types of Content and Offers 35 Chapter 5. Most Popular and Effective Lead Generation Tactics 43 Chapter 6. Staffing for Lead Generation 53 Chapter 7. Lead Generation Measurement 56 Appendix A. Additional Top-Line Results 59 Appendix B. Methodology and Respondent Demographics 85 Appendix C. Company Performance Index 92 Appendix D vs Respondent Demographics 98 Appendix E. Crosstabs by Company Size 102 Appendix F. Crosstabs by Industry 134 Appendix G. Crosstabs by Company Performance 206 Appendix H. Definitions and Full Descriptions 244 Want to learn more? Here s what s included in the full study For More Information Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President Research and Thought Leadership ITSMA Phone: , Ext. 112 Purchase our report Member $357 Non-member $447 SV4579AS 15

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