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Study Shows Nurtured Sales Leads 9 Times More Likely To Convert To Appointments

Nurtured BtoB sales leads are nearly nine times more likely to result in sales appointments than cold calls, according to a recent internal study conducted by Sales Engine International, a BtoB integrated marketing and sales acceleration firm.

For the study, Sales Engine International tapped into the same BtoB marketing sales “road map” that it implements for clients. The company used itself as an example to analyze how marketing can be leveraged to drive sales appointments. Paul Rafferty, Founder and CEO of Sales Engine, noted that that the company’s predictions of the number of nurtured leads to sales was more pronounced than expected.

“This study clearly ties the success of integrating marketing efforts to closed sales deals,” Rafferty said.  “It shows not only that by measuring and scoring activity, and warming your lead database over time, you can get to tangible metrics that help to identify prospects who have ‘raised their hand’ digitally, but also that following up with those prospects in particular will lead to higher conversion rates, more sales opportunities and more closed deals. Ultimately, you can demonstrate ROI and measure the value of your efforts.”

The study was based on Sale Engine International’s integrated nurture marketing efforts conducted during April and May 2011. The organization sent e-newsletters to 18,000 prospects and handed more than 1,200 leads over to its phone nurture resource, ebQuickstart, to have its inside sales representatives make appropriate follow-up phone calls to those leads immediately after e-newsletters were sent.

Next, leads were organized into four key categories based on the lead activity history and included a cold call “control group.” Results revealed that the likelihood of an appointment being set increased as prospects were more active via click throughs, downloads and other digital interactions. The most highly scored leads that opened and clicked through on email campaigns over a period of several months were 878% more likely to result in an appointment than the cold call group.