Roughly 6 in 10 B2B demand gen marketers report currently having a lead qualifying team that screens leads and sets appointments for sales, according to the latest annual State of Demand Gen report [download page] from Activate, produced in partnership with Marketing Charts.
While this overall adoption rate hasn’t changed much from last year’s report, a significant shift has occurred. The survey reveals that a professional approach to lead follow-up and LQR teams is now mainstream at both larger and smaller companies: 61% of respondents from companies with at least 5,000 employees reported such a team, as did 59% of respondents from smaller companies.
In last year’s report, the split was very different, with larger companies much more likely than their smaller counterparts to have a lead qualifying team. Smaller companies in fact were as likely to say that leads went straight to sales as to say they had a team that screens leads and sets appointments for sales.
What hasn’t changed from last year is the link between BDR teams and KPI success. Among the 71% of respondents to this year’s study who met or exceeded their KPIs last year, fully 64% reported having a lead qualifying team. That compares with just half (50%) of respondents who did not meet their KPIs.
Last year’s report found a similar split in the likelihood of having a lead qualifying team between those who had met or exceeded their previous year KPIs (69%) and those who hadn’t met them (51%).
Asked which of various attributes a lead must display before being sent to a SDR/LQR, respondents this year pointed first to the provision of a valid email (60%), followed by the lead having the right job title/job function (49%) and working for a company with the right revenue/headcount (42%). Only 4% said that they have no mandatory attributes.
There’s broad agreement among the B2B demand gen and tech marketers surveyed that identifying the wider buying committee is critical to sales access, as 84% either strongly or somewhat agreed with this. Indeed, research released earlier this year declared that “buying has become a team sport,” with just 7% of B2B respondents to that survey describing the buying center or committee their sales team encounters for a typical buying journey as a single decision-maker.
While demand gen marketers agree that it’s critical to identify the buying committee, they’re less in concert about where to focus in the funnel. Whereas 55% either strongly (14%) or somewhat (41%) agree that capturing existing, deep-funnel demand is the most important thing they do, an almost-equal 51% strongly (12%) or somewhat (39%) agree that there’s excessive targeting on in-market and deep-funnel buyers.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 268 qualified B2B demand gen and tech marketers, 6 in 10 of whom work at companies with at least 500 employees and 93% of whom are based in the US or Canada.