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When Should Engineering Marketers Pass a Lead to Sales?

 Later this month we’ll be releasing an in-depth report based on a survey of 1,000 engineers.  I presented the results in a webinar yesterday, so you can watch the recording now to learn more.

One of the questions we asked engineers was when in the buying process they want to talk to a sales rep. 


Actually we asked,

“At what stage of your investigations into a new product or service do you prefer to engage with a vendor representative as opposed to conducting independent research?”Funnel2.jpg


The answers could be:


  1. At the beginning of the process to discover the potential solutions


  1. Later in the process when I need to dig deeper into a few possible solutions


  1. Near the end of the process, when I need pricing or delivery information


The answers to this question can help engineering marketers match their communications to the preference of their prospects. If they want to go directly to sales, great! But if they would rather be nurtured through several touch points, then marketers need a different approach.

Here are the results of the survey question:




20% of engineers want to be contacted at the start of their buying journey. For these engineers, you will need to have a form or fast-track that gets them to speak with your sales engineers early. These conversations can help the prospect decide whether your solution is right for their application.

What about the 80% of the engineers who don’t want to speak with sales right away. For those engineers, you’ll need to find another way to make sure that they have heard of your brand and will consider your solution. For most of you that may mean search marketing and lead nurturing. But it can also mean brand building through banners, emails, educational webinars, and sponsored stories in the right publications.

Similarly, a study by TREW marketing recently revealed that 70% of engineers have more than 3 interactions with vendor content before they initiate direct contact.  If ever there was a statistic that a marketer could take to her boss to win more budget for content marketing, this is it.

This preference is particularly strong among VP and C-Level engineers. 86% of survey respondents in that category preferred not to be contacted by sales at the beginning of their search for a solution.

There are tons more great insights from the survey research report, so I encourage you to sign up to get your copy.



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Research Report: How Engineers Find Information
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