Nearly a quarter (24%) of B2B organizations that currently do not have a marketing automation platform are planning to invest in one, according to new research released by Televerde, a provider of B2B sales pipeline development solutions.
The B2B Marketing Research Study features responses from more than 300 marketing and sales executives. The research, conducted online and at some of the industry events Televerde participates in, features metrics and other insight associated with more than 70 questions about lead generation, lead nurturing, lead conversion, marketing automation, and contact data practices and performance.
Some of the study’s marketing automation finding highlights include:
32% of respondents use their marketing automation platforms only occasionally;
Of those that say their organizations benefit from marketing automation, 58% cite better business intelligence and metrics as the primary benefits;
52% said marketing automation makes their lead management process more disciplined, and 43% say their organizations see improved conversion rates;
The conversion rate that benefits most from marketing automation is inquiry to marketing qualified lead (MQL);
67% of respondents cannot quantify the total cost of ownership of their marketing automation platforms;
57% say they encountered challenges deploying and managing their marketing automation platforms, with bandwidth (52%) and sub-optimization of features (45%) topping the list of challenges;
Respondents who are considering a marketing automation investment state that insufficient budgets (71%) and inadequate internal skill sets (50%) are holding them back.
According to the report, Eloqua and Marketo top the list of most commonly used and considered platforms.
The report also highlighted a variety of trends including lead generation and conversion, contact data and marketing lists, and lead nurturing, among others. Lead generation campaigns that employ outbound calling retained a strong “quantity to quality” performance ratio, with only a 4% disparity reported by respondents. A majority (68%) of those surveyed recognize lead leakage/loss as a significant challenge for their companies.
“While some of the findings of the research are not surprising based on our observations at times up close and first-hand with our clients and in other situations…there were some results that shook us a bit,” said Larry Fleischman, Director of Marketing at Televerde, in a company press release. “For example, 68% of the respondents are experiencing lead leakage/lead loss in their sales pipelines despite the availability of best practices, processes and systems that can significantly mitigate this issue. And 89% of respondents are experiencing contact data challenges.”
Although Televerde was aware that data accuracy is a common challenge, Fleischman said, the fact that nearly everyone who responded to the study categorizes it as a major hurdle was a bit surprising.
“Another ‘loop throwing’ finding for us was that more than one-third of the respondents are not nurturing sales-rejected leads and nearly half aren’t nurturing disengaged leads,” he said. “It’s a major missed opportunity for future revenue opportunities.”
Fleischman also noted that one organization’s challenge can be another’s opportunity (referring to respondents’ competitors). “For any of the respondents who reported issues with lead waste, poor quality contact data, sub-optimized lead nurturing practices, and low conversion rates compared to their peers, then our research should serve as a call to action to take steps to correct the situations that need attention.” He recommended optimizing demand creation programs to generate stronger sales revenue performance and to mitigate losses that are converting to gains for competitors who may be doing a better job than respondents in some or all of these areas.
To participate in Televerde’s ongoing B2B Marketing Research Study and download the latest edition of the comprehensive findings, visit this link.