B2B Marketers Report Good Lead Gen Results From Live Demos, Free Trials

December 4, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Agency Business | B2B | Digital | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op

There are numerous content or offer types that B2B marketers can use to generate leads, but some stand out as having better results than others, finds Software Advice in a survey conducted in partnership with Eloqua and CMO.com. In particular, free trials and live demonstrations with a sales representative appear to get high quality and quantity ratings from marketers using these demand generation tools.

An impressive 80% rated live demos with a sales representative as delivering high quality leads, putting this source far ahead of all the other content and offer types identified. Next on the list, “get pricing/price quote” was rated as generating high-quality leads by 46%, with free trials (37%) following. Towards the bottom of the list, few rated e-books (9%), toolkits (14%), and surveys (16%) as generating high-quality leads.

When it came to quantity of leads produced, respondents looked most favorably on free trials. 50% rated the quantity of leads generated by free trials as high, while about one-third said the same about live demos with a sales representative and white papers.

It’s interesting to see white papers rated highly for their quantity of leads produced, but not as much so for the quality of the leads. In October, survey results from Optify found B2B marketers rating white papers as their second-most effective content marketing tactic.

When combining the lead quality and quantity ratings in the Software Advice survey, live demos and free trials stand out as leaders. Live demos ranked first in respondents’ ranking of high-quality sources and second in their ranking of high-quantity sources among the 12 types identified. Free trials ranked first in quantity and second in quality, among those using these sources.

Also emerging as a good source of leads were webinars, which ranked 4th in quality and quantity. A separate study released in October by the Content MArketing Institute and MarketingProfs showed that B2B marketers find webinars and webcasts to be among their most effective content marketing tactics.

Marketers Not Fully Exploiting Potential of Free Trials

Despite generating good results for the marketers who use them, free trials are fairly low on the totem pole when it comes to the various content and offer types leveraged by B2B marketers, as the “B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey” reveals. Among the 12 identified, free trials came in 10th in adoption rate, with 61% reporting use. The most popular types? “Learn more or contact us,” used by virtually all of the respondents, videos (91%), and white papers (84%). There’s also some room for growth in the use of live demos with sales representatives, and webinars, each currently employed by about 8 in 10 respondents.

About the Data: The survey was conducted from September 25 to November 8, with a sample size of 155. 48% of respondents have annual marketing budgets of less than $250k, while 31% have budgets of $1 million or larger. In terms of staff size, 60% of respondents are from companies with 1-99 employees, with another 19% hailing from companies with 100-499 employees.


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