Earlier this morning I read a white paper about marketing automation when this stat hit me — the average B2B company closes .28% of all inquiries.

I don’t know how accurate that number is or what definition of an inquiry was used, but here are the first thoughts that crossed my mind after reading that statistic and thinking about a .28% close ratio:

  • Wrong target
  • Wrong offer
  • This kills sales moral and wastes a lot of sales time
  • No volume of marketing automation is going to help

You have a serious problem if only .28% of all inquiries turn into customers. To have a close ratio that low, either the target audience is wrong or the offer is wrong. You could have a bad definition of inquiry, but it would have to be way off the chart wrong to produce that few number of closed sales — something like counting an inquiry for every business card tossed into a punchbowl at a tradeshow to win a golf club wrong.  Even that should produce greater than .28% response!

If your response rate is low, take a careful look at your target audience, offer, and call to action. If you attract the wrong person, make the wrong offer, or ask for the wrong action… that explains the .28% response. Your current plan needs to be rethought.

What say you?

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