Bring On The Leads: Salespeople Welcome Those Qualified By Marketing

Here’s one piece of good news for email marketers at B2B companies: The leads they are sending over are largely accepted by salespeople.  

Yes, marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are alive and well — despite claims to the contrary, according to Bad MQLs Were Always Dead: What Revenue Teams Really Want, a study by RollWorks. 

Of the marketers polled, 56% believe leads aren’t dead (just bad ones are), versus 17% who say they are.  

Sales teams are even more believing — 63% of sellers say leads are not dead, and 62% say they will never be obsolete.  

But there are some qualifications to that. Here are some reasons for sales teams (along with their scores): 

  • Wrong account (industry, company size, revenue) — 1,916 
  • Wrong person (role, seniority) — 1,690 
  • No content form fill — 1,515 
  • No offsite intent — 1,408
  • Wrong tech stack — 1,376 



Email ranks only fourth in terms of generating leads that make the sales team happy. The most valuable signals (and their scores) are:

  • Form fill — 1,702 
  • Site visit — 1,646 
  • Pricing page view — 1,636
  • Open or clicking an email — 1,556 
  • Ad click — 1,425
  • Competitor research — 1,381
  • Consumer third-party content — 1,273
  • Any/all — 1,005

Despite this, sales teams would accept these signals from marketing, assuming the lead was from a “high-fit” account: 

  • Site visit — 60.3%
  • Content form fill — 59%
  • Competitor research — 50.1%
  • Pricing page view — 48.6%
  • Open or licking an email — 42.5% 
  • Ad click — 32.4% 
  • Consuming third-party content—32.3%

There are limitations even at the top end of this list. For instance, 64% don’t expect C-suite leaders to fill out forms. 

But 81% of salespeople would pass on a high-fit site visitor/ad clicker without a traditional form fill. And form fills also top the list of accepted signals from high-fit accounts:

  • Content form fill — 60.3% 
  • Competitor research — 59%
  • Pricing page view — 48.6% 
  • Ad click — 32.4%
  • Consuming third-party content — 32.3%
  • Open or clicking an email — 42.5%

“Look, at the end of the day, form fills represent only one signal,” says Danilo Nikolich, vice president of sales at RollWorks. “Leads come in a variety of ways, whether that is an account showing intent, someone poking around our website, a prospect opening a HubSpot nurture email, or clicking on a personalized ad.” 

Nikolich adds: “It’s the aggregate of those leads/signals that will help my team view the account in a more holistic way and pave the way for us to drive an informed and multi-threaded sales cycle.”

RollWorks surveyed 850 revenue generators (marketers and sellers).



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