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James Vander Putten

Senior Director, Channel Optimization

James's Articles, Blog Posts, Webinars and More

How Big Data Can Improve B2B Lead Gen

In the world of B2B lead gen, the bickering between enterprise B2B marketing and sales organizations rarely ends. Each points the finger at the other’s shortfalls: Sales complains that “these leads are not what I need; I need buyers with intent,” and marketing responds “Why can’t you just do a better job at closing the leads we send you?”

The reality, of courses, is that both are somewhat off-base in their accusations. Despite their complaints about value, sales is actually receiving high quality leads and is doing a good job closing them. The real problem is the volume of qualified leads. Even for best-in-class companies, according to SiriusDecisions’ statistics, only 10% of all inquiries become marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and if yours is an average performing company, a little under four percent of your demand generation activities deliver as promised.

Customer Loyalty: That’s Where the Money Is

When Willie Sutton, a highly successful bank robber in the 1940s, was asked about why he robbed banks, he responded – “because that’s where the money is.” When data-driven marketing analytics was coming of age in the late 1990s, consultants of all stripes echoed Willie’s comments in their defense of a marketing mix that favored customer retention over customer acquisition. The rationale to support retention over acquisition has been articulated and proven by many, but two of the most resounding reasons are:

  • Increasing customer retention rates by five percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent. (Harvard Business Review 2014);
  • It is five to 25 times less expensive to keep a good customer than to acquire one (B-to-B Customer Experience, Forrester 2008).