Surveys like this are supposed to shed some light on an existing issue. The title "B2B Marketers Feel More Pressure to Generate Quality Leads" is definitely true of the challenge a high percentage of B2B marketers are facing. The question in the survey that was asked in order to reach this headline..."To what extent is the marketing department under pressure from executive management to produce a greater quantity of leads?".
The content of the article is mostly accurate. In many cases there is a breakdown in understanding between sales and marketing of what is a 'lead' and the follow-up process is becoming increasingly fragmented making it difficult to progress leads through the buying stages. If we agree that there is a breakdown in this understanding of what a 'lead' is, is it fair to say that this question doesn't accurately state anything about quality? That makes this survey misleading.
To increase the quality we must first understand the needs of the sales team. Then we need to manage the expectations of those needs as, in most cases, a 'lead' is not a lead in their definition...it's a registration...not sales ready. Marketing dollars are affected by sales ability to close deals for the registrations that they supply. It's not about increasing quantity, it's about ensuring that the ones that are coming through the door are worth putting into your sales automation tools and worth sales following up on. If the focus is on higher volumes, the quality will dip and the barriers will remain. Oh and the dollars decrease.
There is still confusion surrounding lead generation and the ROI of new leads. About 24 percent said that sales and marketing do not have a shared definition of a “lead.” A quarter of respondents stated that they are “quite unconfident” or “very unconfident” in tracking leads from cold to close.