eMarketer: Company Websites Top Source of B2B Leads

Better tracking is still needed to determine quality

OCTOBER 10, 2011 – More than any other marketing format, the company website is an all-encompassing resource where potential buyers can learn about, find and buy the products and services they need to run their business.

Corporate websites may be valuable for buyers; they�re also valuable for business-to-business (B2B) lead gen marketers. According to research from Demandbase, in conjunction with Focus Research, the corporate website was a top source of leads for B2B marketers, second only to personal connections and referrals.

Though websites are a positive lead source, marketers expect more: 84% of US B2B marketers felt their ability to generate new sales leads using their website needed moderate to strong improvement.

Other top areas of improvement for company websites included tracking and reporting on unregistered and anonymous users-a must for marketers looking to convert web visitors into prospects.

Obtaining contact information from web visitors helps companies with more than lead generation. By gathering information like title and company name, marketers can begin to gauge lead quality and score and segment leads for nurture programs.

Though seeing improvement to the number of leads generated from their company website is important to B2B marketers, the most important benchmark for gauging overall website effectiveness is quality-not quantity.

Unfortunately, less than half of marketers tracked metrics that shed light on lead quality. Only 20% tracked user companies, and 49% tracked post-registration user activity-often a significant indicator of where a prospect is in their purchase process.

Marketers that are able to capitalize on the opportunity to more effectively convert website visitors into prospects will undoubtedly boost their lead generation programs. Offering compelling, free content in the form of white papers, collateral and enewsletters-in exchange for user registration-is one way to boost lead count. However, marketers must be able to go from tracking the number of visits to tracking the actual content of visits if they hope to better establish lead quality.

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