What Are the Most Popular Lead Stages Used by B2B Enterprise Marketers?

November 15, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | B2B | Digital | Lead Generation & Management

annuitas-lead-stage-used-by-b2b-enterprise-marketers-nov2016Two-thirds of B2B marketers at enterprise organizations (at least $250 million in revenues) have defined lead stages, lead qualification stages and definitions that both marketing and sales agree on, per results from the 2016 B2B Enterprise Demand Generation Survey [download page] from ANNUITAS. The report offers insights into lead scoring criteria and lead stages used by these marketers.

The most common lead stages used are MQLs (marketing qualified leads) and SQLs (sales qualified leads), employed by 83% and 81% of respondents, respectively. A strong majority are also using closed (won/lost – 73%) and inquiry/contact (68%) stages, but fewer have SALs (sales accepted leads) as a defined stage, which the analysts suggest “indicate that a good number of marketers have loosely defined criteria and that their lead qualification model does not take into account the end-to-end buyers journey.”

Overall, close to 9 in 10 respondents score leads, with the most popular criteria being behavioral activity (59.3%) and calls-to-action, such as white paper downloads and email clicks (56.5%). Close to half the respondents reported scoring on demographics (48.7%), up from last year and expected to continue as a key criterion given the increased focus on account-based marketing (ABM).

In other results from the report:

  • Marketing most often passes leads to sales once they’re qualified by the inside/outsourced lead development team (42.5%) and once they’ve reached a certain lead scoring threshold after multiple touch points (31.9%);
  • More than 3 in 4 marketers said that their organization has specific lead routing rules that govern how qualified leads will be sent to sales; and
  • A slim majority (56%) have defined agreements (SLAs) between marketing and sales defining times for lead routing, lead response and lead disposition.

For more on B2B lead generation, see MarketingCharts’ comprehensive B2B Digital Marketing Insights Report.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 120 B2B marketers working in organizations with revenues of $250 million and above, two-thirds of whom are from companies with at least $1B in revenues. The technology/high tech/software industry was the most heavily represented (57.5%).

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