Ascend2, a leading market research firm, in partnership with Verse, unveiled a new survey of more than 250 marketing and sales professionals, The State of Lead Conversion in Marketing and Sales. The report brings new insights to the challenges and opportunities that organizations face in today’s modern communications landscape, as well as the technologies that they currently use in order to optimize their sales operations.
“Today’s digital marketers continue to innovate in lead generation, with many adopting marketing automation software, conversational marketing apps, and other methods to improve targeting, engagement, and click-through rates, said Todd Lebo, CEO and Executive Partner at Ascend2. “Yet, only 12% are currently very satisfied with their lead conversion abilities.”
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According to the new survey, companies continue to struggle with establishing contact, qualifying and effectively following up with the leads they spend so much time and money to generate. Lead conversion is challenging, but the inability to improve lead conversion rates has a number of significant, negative downstream impacts: wasted marketing budget, wasted sales team time, and significant lost revenue opportunity.
“Verse calls this the Lead Conversion Gap, and we believe closing it is the next frontier for marketing and sales,” said David Tal, Verse co-founder, and co-CEO. “By outsourcing their lead management operations to Verse, companies can be assured that 100% of their leads are being engaged, nurtured and converted according to cutting edge best practices and their own customer experience and brand standards.”
The State of Lead Conversion Study also found that many organizations are not communicating with prospects in the way they would like. While 89% of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses by text/SMS, only 6% of survey respondents said that text is one of their most-used channels for follow-up with leads. And the most common follow-up sequence is phone call, email, phone call.
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Here are four key takeaways from the report:
- Companies need more lead qualification data. The ability to collect enough qualifying data on leads is ranked a top challenge for successful lead conversion. Only 39% of businesses are using lead qualification criteria in their lead generation process.
- Companies struggle to establish fast initial contact with leads. Research shows that 24/7 speed of response to a lead inquiry is critical for improved conversion. 41% of companies feel following up with leads quickly is a challenge, especially given that a significant number of leads come in after regular business hours.
- Communication capabilities matter. Email and phone calls account for the majority of most companies’ follow-up communications with leads. Recent studies show a growing consumer preference for live 2-way text to start conversations with companies.
- Companies are challenged to conduct effective follow up. 44% of respondents say sales staff is too busy to follow up, yet only 25% of businesses report using a lead conversion solution.
Verse is a next-generation lead conversion platform and managed service 100% focused on establishing contact, nurturing and converting leads. The Verse Conversion Cloud combines patent-pending, AI-driven cloud technology, omnichannel communications capabilities led by 2-way text, and highly trained reps who provide the human touch at precisely the right time. Verse typically generates up to 90% improvements in conversion rates for their customers.
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