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Lead Quality versus Quantity. The Engineering Marketers Dilemma.

On our tour of engineering marketers, Adrian and I are hearing different things about the number and quality of leads that our marketing customers want to generate.  Some want a huge pool of relatively unqualified contacts.  Others want just a few who are closer to a purchase decision.

That made us wonder why different teams have different goals.  Was it the size of the sales and marketing teams?  The maturity of the products that they are selling?  Or the maturity of the marketing team’s automation tools?


We found that size does not determine a marketing team’s requirements for quality over quantity of leads.  The marketing teams we spoke with range in size from one to hundreds of professionals. 

The maturity of a product has some impact on what type of leads marketers need most.  Products that have been in the market longer and have a more established brand need less exposure, so many marketing teams shift their focus towards sales-ready leads.  Contrast that to start-ups.  They need revenue right now and contacts to build their awareness.

You might expect that with marketing automation tools, many of our customers can now track their leads through to their sales pipelines.  They can theoretically nurture thousands of leads until they are sales-ready, so a large quantity of contacts should be valuable.  But that is proving to be only a theory in late 2013.  The inbound marketing and automation processes have yet to reach a stage of development where nurturing is well understood and practiced. 

Instead, marketers are still reviewing lists of contacts manually before forwarding them along to their sales teams.  And since they don’t want to pass unqualified leads, many marketers prefer shorter lists that turn into sales pipeline sooner rather than later. will soon be offering a nurturing service that allows us to touch a contact multiple times before passing more qualified leads to our customers.  If that is of interest to you, let me or Adrian know.


Image courtesy of Toa55/

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