Lead Conversion Rates Demystified… Not!

MarketingSherpa recently published a nice chart about lead conversion rates (Note: they give open access to the full article only until Feb 19th). According to their research (147 responses) you need about 10 qualified leads to close one sale.

Lead Conversion Rates

When sharing the chart with my co-workers the responses were varied, from “Great! Now we have the baseline we needed to set our goals!” to “Gee, I guess we should change our lead generation plans” and even “What exactly does this mean?”.

All valid points, for sure, and before trying to interpret the chart how about asking:

  • What industries are represented?
  • Is it B2B or B2C?
  • What are the sales cycle of the respondents?

Those are just the 3 first questions I would ask, followed by a handful more. I did send MarketingSherpa questions trying to get more information and haven’t gotten any response yet.

And how about all the other metrics we see out there (a nice post from Market2Lead about Sirius Decisions Lead Waterfall comes to mind)? Should you take MarketingSherpa’s metrics as the de facto guide or combine them with some others?

The lesson here is to be very, very careful with data presented to you without any substantiating information. Nice charts abound on the Internet and you can find one to back any story you wish. So before you go start changing your marketing plans, calculating how you compare against the “industry average”, and spend countless hours pondering over the meaning of the data, remember that sometimes it just doesn’t matter.

If you can’t compare apples to apples, you might as well just eat the fruit and forget about it! 😉

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