Report: More Leads Now Coming from Sales Teams than Marketers

Although it is assumed that marketers are responsible for generating the most leads within a company, new research shows that they still lag behind sales teams.

CSO Insights recently published the “2019 Sales Performance Report” to measure the B2B sales cycle and hone in on lead generation within companies. Statistics showed that in 2018, approximately 52.6 percent of leads came from sales teams, while just 20.2 percent came from marketing teams. About 12.9 percent came from referrals.

In 2016, marketers were generating more leads than they were in 2018 (25.5 percent), but they still lagged behind sales teams (47.8 percent). Marketers also discovered slightly more leads (25.9 percent) in 2014 than they did in both 2016 and 2018. However, they once again fell behind sales (46.9 percent) in 2014.

sales, marketing, lead generation

“The usual assumption is that lead generation is first and foremost a marketing responsibility,” wrote the authors of the report. “However, looking at our long-term research, the data tells a different story. Sales, marketing, and to a lesser degree, service and referrals, are the most common lead sources, with sales leading the way.”

Sales and Marketing Continue to Close the Gap

Despite the differences in lead generation between sales and marketing, previous research suggests that the gap between these two teams is continuing to diminish.

LinkedIn published its “State of Sales” ebook and statistics showed that sales and marketing are starting to work more closely together. In turn, both sales and decision-makers alike are benefiting.

In total, the number of salespeople who say they work “very closely” or “closely” with marketing has grown 35 percent since 2016. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the largest), top sales performers rate marketing’s importance in closing deals at an eight or above.

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