Since 2007, we at XANT have published research on the best practices around how and when to respond to marketing-generated leads.  In October 2007, we presented early findings at both the Boston and San Francisco Marketing Sherpa B2B Demand Generation Summits.  Since then, we have published our landmark Harvard Business Review article, “The Short Life on Online…

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On a recent guest post at the Bridge Group’s blog, author Henry Bruce brings up some research by Marketing Sherpa that states that 75% of all sales leads generated are going to buy at some point in the next 18-24 months.

Think about that for a minute.

A. Only 1 in 4 leads is ever totally non-productive. They may not convert now, or in the time frame the rep wants, but contrary to popular belief, it’s relatively rare for a sales lead to be total garbage. 75% of the active leads in our CRM systems RIGHT NOW are going to buy a product or service in our sector from somebody, somewhere in the next two years. So why not from you/me/us, if we’re the right fit?

B. It also seems to indicate that the need to intelligently score leads is now more critical than ever to prevent waste. 18-24 months is a long time, and no sales rep in their right mind is going to try and keep a prospect “on the hook” for a year-and-a-half. If they’re not buying now, stop wasting effort, the thought process goes, and use a long-term lead nurturing strategy . . . .

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