As many as 82% of B2B companies still consider generating potential a challenge, and companies with more than 250 employees are more likely to describe it as a “big challenge” than SMEs.
This is according to a survey of senior marketing and sales professionals in the US and UK, commissioned by website tracking software firm, Leadfeeder.
Lead generation is often considered a key driver of B2B business growth and the first step in building a meaningful relationship with customers in any industry.
But getting the lead generation right is one of the biggest challenges that inbound marketing and sales teams continue to face. The survey also found that 65% of B2B companies want to invest more in customer intent data to overcome lead generation challenges.
Customer intent data is now a vital way for companies to increase their leads. Intent data consists of aggregated behavioral signals that indicate interest in a service or product, helping marketers and sales teams nurture and convert new customers.
According to the survey, more than three-quarters (76%) of businesses now use customer intent data to inform their marketing and sales strategy.
Of the internal teams using customer intent data, visit frequency was cited as the strongest indicator of sales potential, followed by time spent on site, requests for more information, contact form completions and asset pickups.
Furthermore, the top reported benefits of using buyer intent data were higher conversion rates (47%), larger deal sizes (43%) and more deals closed (38%). Only 1% of respondents reported no performance gain, highlighting its value when used properly.
B2B companies need a lead generation funnel for the simple reason that in most cases, a purchase takes a long time to develop. It’s a lengthy process, with 90 percent of B2B sales taking more than a month to close, while 10 percent take more than a year.
Although there are many differences in how individuals make purchases, there is still a process that leads to a buyer’s decision. And increasingly, B2B companies are tracking intent data signals to help them develop a smarter, more customer-focused marketing and sales strategy that’s designed around the modern buyer cycle.
But despite a growing appreciation of the value of customer intent data, a knowledge gap remains.
The study reveals that 87% of senior sales and marketing professionals still need to learn about this method. Most B2B companies are not fully leveraging the power of customer intent data and may need expert external support to unlock more value.
Of the B2B companies that do not use customer intent data, the main reasons cited are lack of internal knowledge and budget constraints.
Jaakko Paalanen, CRO at Leadfeeder, said: “Our survey provides valuable insight into the challenges B2B sales and marketing teams face when it comes to lead generation, but also highlights the benefits of a more data-driven approach.
“It’s clear that lead generation continues to be a B2B marketing priority and a major headache. But with the help of intent data, marketing teams can drive a more qualified process and sales teams can focus on the right prospects, creating a more efficient process that drives revenue.”
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