Sales Professionals Report Using a Mix of Traditional and Social Media Information Sources for Prospecting and Lead Qualification
(OMAHA, NE) — B2B sales professionals see a brighter future for 2010, but closing deals remains a major challenge and sales professionals see a mix of traditional and Sales 2.0 prospecting approaches as the best strategy for accelerating sales cycles. These are the top level findings of a recent survey of B2B sales professionals conducted by OneSource, an Infogroup company (NASDAQ: IUSA), and the pioneer in delivering business information solutions for sales and marketing professionals.
Pipeline Growth and Sales Cycles
According to OneSource’s B2B SalesPulse Survey, approximately 50 percent of respondents reported current sales pipelines as better than last year, with 11 percent reporting no change. While pipeline health shows modest improvement, sales cycles are getting longer, making it harder for sales professionals to close deals. Fifty-nine percent surveyed said that current sales cycles were longer than last year. Only 16 percent reported shorter sales cycles.
Best Sources of Qualified Opportunities
When asked to rate various lead sources, sales professionals overwhelmingly rated “Outbound Prospecting” as the best source of qualified opportunities, followed by the corporate “Website.” “Inbound Calls,” “Email Marketing,” and “Events and Trade Shows” came next, followed closely by “Social Networking & Media” sites. Sales professionals surveyed placed the least importance on “Direct Mail” and “Webinars” as sources for qualified leads.
Survey respondents also shared their views about the value of social networking and media sites for sales prospecting and research. LinkedIn rated the highest by a wide margin. Following LinkedIn were Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. YouTube came in last and was rated significantly lower than the rest.
LinkedIn also showed the most growth with nearly half of all respondents saying that they are using LinkedIn more now than a year ago. Even though LinkedIn showed the most growth, nearly a third of respondents said they are still not using LinkedIn.
Most Valuable for Initial Lead Qualification
When B2B sales professionals were asked to rate what company information they find most valuable to qualify inbound leads, the number one answer was “Location/Geography,” followed closely by “Size by Revenue” and “Size by Employees.” “Company News” and “Industry-SIC Codes,” tied for third. “Executive Profiles” and “Assets” were rated among the least important types of company information for qualifying leads.
“Despite healthier pipelines reported by sales professionals taking our survey, the majority are still facing longer sales cycles, which makes having the right information to identify hot prospects and accelerate them through the pipeline more important than ever before,” said Sham Sao, chief marketing officer of OneSource. “Use of information from social media sources and web mining is growing as sales professionals are looking to leverage every piece of intelligence they can find to help progress deals.”
About the B2B SalesPulse Survey – Additional Results and Data
OneSource’s B2B SalesPulse Survey was concluded in Q1 of 2010, gathering responses from B2B sales professionals.
Press and Analysts can obtain additional survey information including raw survey results by contacting Kelly Loontjer at 402-596-7574 or firstname.lastname@example.org via email.
About OneSource Information Services, Inc.
OneSource, an Infogroup company, delivers business and sales intelligence on millions of companies and executives worldwide – optimizing clients’ sales and marketing efforts and assisting with business-to-business research activities. The OneSource LiveContent™ platform combines content from over 50 world-class suppliers and thousands of information sources, providing unparalleled data accuracy and depth, delivered through the Web, CRM integrations, and information portals. OneSource has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.onesource.com.
Infogroup (NASDAQ: IUSA) is the leading provider of data and interactive resources that enables targeted sales, effective marketing and insightful research solutions. Our information powers innovative tools and insight for businesses to efficiently reach current and future customers through multiple channels, including the world’s most dominant and powerful Internet search engines and GPS navigation systems. Infogroup’s headquarters are located at 5711 South 86th Circle, Omaha, NE 68127. For more information, call (402) 593-4500 or visit www.infogroup.com.
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, recent changes in senior management, the successful integration of recent and future acquisitions, fluctuations in operating results, failure to successfully carry out our Internet strategy or to grow our Internet revenue, effects of leverage, changes in technology and increased competition. More information about potential factors that could affect the company’s business and financial results is included in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.