Small Business Pulse: 2013 Lead Generation Insights
Contents
Executive Summary - Pg.1
Methodology & Respondent Profile - Pg. 2
Peaking Interest with Purchase Timeline - Pg. 3
...
Timely data & analysis
for marketers looking
to reach & engage the
small to medium-sized
business market.
Executive Summary
Small and medium-sized business (SMB) buyers are one of the most
difficult, yet lucrative, audiences to r...
Methodology
This report summarizes the findings of a survey conducted by Business.com
in May, 2013 to over 500 of our activ...
The Purchase Timeline
Peaks Marketer Interest
Understanding the buyer process, and the way in which they move down
the mar...
The majority of companies (51.3%) cited purchasing time horizon as the
most valuable additional data element. The size of ...
Companies’ Interest Level In Receiving a Score with Each Lead
(based on intent to purchase)
Connecting with the
Right Cont...
Responsiveness is a major
factor in terms of lead quality.
A business-related email and
physical address provide
marketers...
Hot Transfer Leads
Are A Hot Topic
Real-time delivery of leads has been a hot topic of debate in 2013. "Hot
transfer" refe...
To dig into this further, we asked about the importance of delivery time to
survey participants. 39.6% of those who respon...
Content Marketing
Provides New Lead
Generation Opportunities
Content marketing has been a buzzword in both the B2B and B2C...
You, as the selling organization, have to
figure out how to get in front of them in their
research process, before they wi...
What Other Companies Are
Implementing Along with Purchasing Leads
Overcoming Obstacles
with Lead Nurturing
Lead generation...
Our Bottom Line
The continued year over year growth of lead generation programs
demonstrates that companies continue to se...
Business.com is dedicated
to helping people grow
their businesses.
This is why over 20 million buyers, from small to mediu...
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Business.com Small Business Pulse 2013 Lead Generation Insights

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Business.com conducted an extensive survey of over 500 B2B companies about their lead generation efforts. This report summarizes that data and provides analysis on how marketers are using lead generation, what fields and types of leads are most valuable, and how they are nurturing those leads after they receive.

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Business.com Small Business Pulse 2013 Lead Generation Insights

  1. 1. Small Business Pulse: 2013 Lead Generation Insights
  2. 2. Contents Executive Summary - Pg.1 Methodology & Respondent Profile - Pg. 2 Peaking Interest with Purchase Timeline - Pg. 3 Connecting with the Right Contact Information - Pg.5 Hot Transfer Leads Are A Hot Topic - Pg.7 Content Marketing Provides New Lead Generation Opportunities - Pg.9 Overcoming Obstacles with Lead Nurturing - Pg.11 Business.com’s Bottom Line - Pg.12 discover, compare, save
  3. 3. Timely data & analysis for marketers looking to reach & engage the small to medium-sized business market.
  4. 4. Executive Summary Small and medium-sized business (SMB) buyers are one of the most difficult, yet lucrative, audiences to reach. Recent studies show companies are increasingly turning to lead generation as a high volume and cost-effective channel for engaging these decision makers. of B2B (business-to-business) marketers participate in lead generation practices.1 of B2B marketers plan to increase their lead generation spending.2 of marketers cite finding new customers as their primary lead prospecting aim. 3 In this month’s Small Business Pulse report, we share highlights from a recent survey conducted by Business.com with our pay-per-lead advertisers on what marketers want most from running lead generation campaigns. Select highlights from this report include: In 2013, the majority of marketers (51.3%) cited purchasing time horizon as the most valuable additional data element followed by company size The focus for many is shifting to content marketing. of marketers are interested in leads generated through white paper downloads. of businesses are interested in webinars that feature their business, products, and/or services. Looking ahead, lead generation is on the path towards greater alignment with the shifting business-to-business (B2B) buyer purchase process. Buyers are becoming more informed about the businesses they are considering purchasing from and, more than ever, marketers want to become more informed about who their individual prospects are, where they are in the purchase process and ways they can reach them online. Lead generation success depends on a number of factors: the quality of the lead’s information, response rate, and how effective businesses’ scoring, nurturing and sales strategies are. This report will examine the needs of today's B2B marketers and will highlight what marketers are increasingly expecting from their lead generation campaigns. 74% 50% 50%+ 40% 41.5% 1 “Lead Generation: A Fundamental Flourishes in The Digital Age,” BtoBOnline and InterCall, 2013. 2 “B2B Lead Generation Trends 2013,” Holger Schulze, Feb. 2013. 3 “Annual Prospecting Survey,” Chief Marketer, 2013. Pg. 1 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 discover, compare, save
  5. 5. Methodology This report summarizes the findings of a survey conducted by Business.com in May, 2013 to over 500 of our active pay-per-lead advertisers, across ten product and service verticals (e.g. Telecom, Marketing, Financial Services, Software, etc.). Many of the respondents are in management positions, ranging from CEO and owner to marketing and sales managers. 58% of the respondents are also in companies with less than 50 employees. To gather feedback regarding enhancements to our suite of advertising products, we asked about expanding our qualifying question set, lead scoring lead time delivery, and what insights from leads would be of most interest to advertisers for outreach and follow-up purposes. This report features a methodology that analyzes the pay-per-lead insights B2B marketers seek. It includes actionable advice on using this research to make lead generation campaigns more successful through sales funnel evaluation, company size and location based lead nurturing and bottom of the funnel content marketing initiatives. Throughout this report, we’ll feature internal insights and tips as well as expert insights from third-parties, including Phil Branon. Branon is a digital media consultant, a former VP of Online Media at QuinStreet, and held the role of President at IT Business Edge, a company he co-founded. Respondent Profile This research report has been provided for your use. The charts and graphics may be copied to your own strategy planning and presentation materials, blog content and social media posts; credited as published. Pg. 2 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 Respondent Title Respondent Industry Company Size Executive Level 20.24% Owner / Founder 23.81% Director Level 5.95% Manager Level 14.29% Other 8.33% Not Provided 25% 1 - 10 34.52% 11 - 50 23.80% 51 - 200 13.10% 201+ 9.53% N/A 16.67% Telecommunications Credit Card Processing Marketing Call Center GPS Software Financial Services 25% 3.57% 8.33% 5.95% 3.57% 8.33% POS Systems Web Design Human Resources IT Services Other 11.90% 11.90% 4.75% 4.76% 11.94% discover, compare, save
  6. 6. The Purchase Timeline Peaks Marketer Interest Understanding the buyer process, and the way in which they move down the marketing and sales funnels, is more important than ever. Delivering timely, relevant content is at the forefront for most B2B companies. According to reports from global research firm IDC, the average purchase timeline for B2B buyers has increased from 4.5 months in 2009 to 5.4 months in 2012.4 Not only has the buyer’s purchase timeline lengthened, buyers are doing their own research – and lots of it. A CEB study of more than 1,400 B2B customers revealed that 57% of purchase decisions are made before buyers even talk to a company. This year, companies indicate a clear interest in more qualifying questions The top qualifying questions companies want added to registration or lead generation forms: purchase timeline. Some even indicated they would pay more for this additional information. Pg. 3 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 56.1% 23.2% 9.8% 3.7% 7.3% Response % An Expanded Set of Qualifying Questions Peaks Companies’ Interest (Currently Collect Name, Company, Phone, Email, Zip) 4 “2012 EAG Buyer Experience Survey,” October 2012, IDC. Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All discover, compare, save
  7. 7. The majority of companies (51.3%) cited purchasing time horizon as the most valuable additional data element. The size of the business, as measured by employee base, is cited as the second most valuable additional data point followed closely by type of industry. The number of employees is important because it can determine the packages, offers, features, and price points that sales and marketing teams can offer the prospective company. Additional Data Fields Companies Want The process isn't that someone is going to make a decision right then. There may be two or three or more people involved in the purchase decision, so you can't narrow it down to that one individual in the first few minutes after they express an interest in a topic. - Phil Branon 51.3% of marketers believe purchasing time horizon is the most valuable additional lead data point. Company size, in terms of employees, is the second most valuable additional data point for marketers. Pg. 4 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 Job title 1.3%20.3% 27.8% 29.1% 8.9% 12.7% Job function 2.5%17.3% 25.9% 34.6% 7.4% 12.3% Industry 0.0%29.1% 22.8% 22.8% 15.2% 10.1% Size of company (employees) 0.0%30.5% 20.7% 30.5% 9.8% 8.5% Size of company (revenue) 3.8%18.8% 22.5% 27.5% 11.3% 16.3% Purchasing time horizon 0.0%51.3% 31.3% 10.0% 2.5% 5.0% N/A Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All discover, compare, save
  8. 8. Companies’ Interest Level In Receiving a Score with Each Lead (based on intent to purchase) Connecting with the Right Contact Information When it comes to contact information, B2B companies seek the physical addresses and business emails of leads. Of the qualitative feedback we collected, 10% of respondents indicated they would like physical addresses for leads and another 5% expressed interest in receiving only leads that were connected with a business email address. Some may be willing to pay more for this information as a filter. Since marketing materials can be delivered in a number of ways, including direct mail, companies who have strong direct marketing campaigns perceive physical addresses as a competitive advantage in closing leads and generating sales. Adding another layer that helps you further refine the leads that you're collecting. You're able then to buy higher quality leads, acquire higher quality leads and have a better chance of converting those leads to actual sales in your organization. - Phil Branon 10% of companies want a lead’s physical address. 5% of survey respondents only want leads that provide a business email address. 50.0% 18.3% 17.1% 7.3% 7.3% Response % Pg. 5 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All discover, compare, save
  9. 9. Responsiveness is a major factor in terms of lead quality. A business-related email and physical address provide marketers with a greater opportunity to connect with the prospect. Pg. 6 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 60%of those polled responded that they would be very interested in a score attached to leads based on the likelihood of their business receiving a response. discover, compare, save
  10. 10. Hot Transfer Leads Are A Hot Topic Real-time delivery of leads has been a hot topic of debate in 2013. "Hot transfer" refers to connecting companies directly with leads as they come in. The lead fee is charged once a conversation between the lead and the company is initiated. Spending on hot transfer leads is expected to increase. 41.8% of companies expressed strong interest in hot transfers and would pay more for this option. It’s clear that responsiveness from the buyer is a major factor for companies when it comes to their lead generation spending and what they deem a high-quality lead. With hot transfer leads, companies ensure a 100% contact rate. Pg. 7 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 Companies’ Interest in Hot Transfer Leads 41.8% 22.8% 11.4% 11.4% 12.7% Response % Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All discover, compare, save
  11. 11. To dig into this further, we asked about the importance of delivery time to survey participants. 39.6% of those who responded indicated that receiving leads in less than five minutes is of high importance. Another critical component for those in a shared lead program is receiving the lead at the same time as competitors. The early days of lead gen was the classic buyer-seller relationship, but various tools are coming in to the process that could take it more toward an exchange or real-time bidding model. It makes it a little quicker and easier to do business that way. - Phil Branon 41.8% of marketers are interested in hot transfer lead programs and would pay more for this option. 39.6% of participants in lead generation programs cite delivery of leads in less than 5 minutes as highly important. Pg. 8 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 Companies’ Interest in Faster Faster Lead Turn Around (leads sent in less than 5 minutes) 39.5% 19.8% 27.2% 7.4% 6.2% Response % Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All discover, compare, save
  12. 12. Content Marketing Provides New Lead Generation Opportunities Content marketing has been a buzzword in both the B2B and B2C marketing landscapes and continues to grow in terms of popularity with each passing month. Recent numbers show that content marketing spend rose to over $40 billion in 2013.6 As a further indicator that content is sought after by buyers, consider the results from a recent CMO Council and NetLine study. The study found that 87% of buyers say online content has a major or moderate influence when selecting a company.7 Content lead generation exists in many forms: infographics, whitepapers, case studies, videos, webinars, and more. This type of information, ranging from educational, introductory pieces to detailed research studies, is not only soughtafter by prospective buyers, but is becoming a favored tactic for marketers. As with many marketing trends, this inbound marketing tactic has migrated from business-to-consumer companies into the B2B lead generation space. Buyers (35%) believe that online content helps them to identify companies that best meet and understand their needs. Companies are taking note. Our survey found significant interest in leads generated through content marketing campaigns. Over 50% of companies are interested in whitepaper leads and nearly 40% are interested in hosted webinars that feature their company or products. 6 Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume & Type of Content Marketing in America for 2013 Custom Content Council and ContentWise, 2013 7 Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field,” CMO Council and NetLine, June 2013 Companies Show Strong Interest in Whitepaper Leads 25.3% 25.3% 10.1% 20.3% 19.0% Response % Pg. 9 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All Webinars Drive Interest in Content Marketing Leads 17.7% 16.5% 26.6% 15.2% 24.1% Response % Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All discover, compare, save
  13. 13. You, as the selling organization, have to figure out how to get in front of them in their research process, before they will engage with a live human being. - Phil Branon Over 50% of marketers are interested in whitepaper leads. Nearly 40% of those participating in lead generation programs are interested in hosted webinar leads. Aside from white paper and webinar leads, there is strong interest in sponsored email (38.2%), video (34.6%), and case study leads (38.2%). Some companies expressed concern with content creation while others indicated that these leads may deliver buyers that are too early in the purchase process. Lead nurturing campaigns can address this concern, however, assuming companies have them in place (see next section). White paper and webinar content, depending on the title and copy, can reach buyers mid-funnel, as they focus on education and research. Lead nurturing campaigns act as supplemental education to shepherd leads through the sales funnel and ultimately close a sale. Pg. 10 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 Videos Sponsored emails Case studies Product feature guides Interactive product demos 14.1% 14.5% 15.6% 14.3% 15.6% 20.5% 23.7% 18.2% 20.8% 15.6% 21.8% 26.3% 32.5% 27.3% 27.3% 20.5% 14.5% 16.9% 15.6% 18.2% 17.9% 18.4% 15.6% 19.5% 19.5% 5.1% 2.6% 1.3% 2.6% 3.9% Content Marketing Opportunities and Interests discover, compare, save N/A Extremely Valuable Valuable Somewhat Valuable Least Valuable Not Valuable At All
  14. 14. What Other Companies Are Implementing Along with Purchasing Leads Overcoming Obstacles with Lead Nurturing Lead generation isn’t a one or two step process. Companies must acquire the lead’s information, make contact and then help move the lead down the conversion funnel. Our study indicates an opportunity for companies to improve their nurturing efforts for the leads they receive. Nearly 80% of respondents do not use third-party tools or services with lead nurturing, scoring, data appending or appointment setting. Similar studies conducted by BtoB Online show the same results. They found that 74% of highly-effective companies use lead nurturing, compared with just 26% of low-effectiveness marketers1 . Note to marketers: Implementing a lead scoring system can increase lead conversion by 79%. One company found that revenue from reengaged leads increased by 21% with a lead scoring system in place8 . If you try to shorten a sale from a lead, where they’re just showing some interest to they’re going to buy that same day, that’s not likely. It shouldn’t be expected; that’s not the way the world works in B2B. You are a facilitator in the process, as much as a seller. - Phil Branon Nearly 80% of lead generation participants do not use third-party tools or services to nurture leads. Implementing a lead scoring system can increase converted leads by 79%. 13.3%Lead Nurturing 9.3%Lead Scoring 10.7%Data Appending 10.7%Appointment Setting 76.0%We Just Buy & Process Internally Response % Pg. 11 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 discover, compare, save
  15. 15. Our Bottom Line The continued year over year growth of lead generation programs demonstrates that companies continue to seek new tactics for reaching and connecting with potential buyers. The bottom line is that even with additional buyer information or score cards for leads purchased, companies' top opportunity is to more effectively nurture prospects through the conversion funnel. This is best accomplished by evaluating sales funnels and using CRM (customer relationship management) software to understand average purchase timeline from lead generation to purchase campaign leads. The timeline of a lead generated through a third party may differ from the purchase timeline of other lead sources. More insight can lead to more opportunities for successful nurturing and content driven campaigns for marketers. If you’re interested in finding out more about lead generation campaigns or want to get started with your own today, visit: business.com/info/advertise Pg. 12 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466 discover, compare, save
  16. 16. Business.com is dedicated to helping people grow their businesses. This is why over 20 million buyers, from small to medium-sized businesses turn to Business.com to discover, compare, and purchase the products and services they need to run and grow their businesses. It’s also why over 10,000 advertisers use Business.com to reach these valuable buyers, generating well over $1 billion in incremental annual revenues. To assist with lead nurturing, Business.com provides benchmark reports to our advertisers allowing them to see how their follow up process compares to like competitors. The Business.com Small Business Pulse delivers timely data & analysis for marketers looking to reach the small to medium-sized business market. discover, compare, savePg. 13 - © Business.com Media, Inc. All rights reserved. | 888.441.4466

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