If the purpose of marketing, to misquote Peter Drucker, is to “create a customer,” then all B2B marketers need to know how well they contribute to customer acquisition. The answer varies, according to Gartner’s demand generation survey. Conducted with 230 demand generation program leaders and other B2B marketing executives, the survey identifies ways to improve pipeline productivity.
It found that the average company sources 43% of customer leads through marketing. Companies in the top 75th percentile source 60% of their leads through marketing, but those in the bottom 25th percentile source only 20%. High performing marketers likewise achieve a 10% or higher conversion rate.
What separates the highest performers from everyone else? High performers use different criteria to qualify the leads they pass on to sales.
Though both high performing marketers and low performing marketers use four main criteria to qualify leads, high performers emphasize the willingness of individual contacts to advocate for a purchase, the buyer’s engagement with content correlated with conversion, and the buyer’s authority in their organization. In contrast, low-performing marketers tend to focus on traditional BANT criteria (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing).
The lesson for B2B marketers looking to create more customers? Look beyond BANT when qualifying prospects for sales. High-performing marketers look for actions from prospective buyers that indicate interest. Did they read the contract? Did they share it with a colleague? When a potential buyer advocates for your company in this way, it drives success more than other qualifying factors.