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Why Do So Many Companies Struggle to Track ROI and Qualify Leads?

Will Davis | June 4, 2009

While the headline of this recent B to B Magazine article didn’t surprise me, the candidness behind the underlying metrics did:

Study: Small companies can’t track campaign ROI, fail to qualify leads

While I won’t reprint the full article, here two key pieces struck me:

Nearly 63% of small-business marketers say they can’t track the return on investment of their marketing programs and point to poor feedback from sales regarding the status of leads as a prime culprit, according to a new study by the Sales Lead Management Association.

The study was based on an online survey that polled 140 marketers primarily from small companies—77% of the companies had 24 or fewer employees, and none had more than 250. It concluded that too many of these types of organizations operate within isolated silos, and have not found a way to align the objectives of sales and marketing.

So, it’s certainly not news that sales and marketing could be better aligned in many companies.  And even the numbers didn’t shock me when I thought about it.  What really surprised me was how candid the respondents were in acknowledging their failures.

The part I really want to know about is the next step – how many of these respondents, having acknowledged the problem, are going to find a way to change this?

In my experience, many of these same folks will run out, implement a tool and expect it to serve as a magic bullet to solve these problems.  Don’t get me wrong — I am a huge advocate of tools and having tracking and analytics in place are critical to most everything we do.  However, in this case the problem usually isn’t just about implementing a tool, it’s also about ensuring that sales and marketing are on the same page and have the strategies right – the people, policies, procedures and accountability in place to make these tools work.  Otherwise, you just have another tool you aren’t using right.

If your company isn’t doing this right, what is it costing you?  I wonder how many of those 63% will change?  I wonder how many of those 63% will be around in 3 years?

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