Though 88% of B2B companies say they understand their target audiences at least moderately well, they still struggle to translate that understanding into new business leads via their corporate websitesaccording to a new study by Demandbase and Focus.

Corporate websites are a critical channel for B2B companies. After personal connections and referrals (41%), websites are the leading source of leads (23%) among surveyed B2B professionals, outpacing email (14%), online advertising (7%), and social media (3%).

Below, additional findings from the 2011 National Marketing and Sales Study, by Demandbase and Focus, which surveyed a cross section of sales, marketing,  and engineering executives from small, midsize and enterprise companies.

Despite such apparent importance, 80% of B2B professionals say their company website is not performing to its maximum lead-generation potential.

Interestingly, IT execs surveyed are more positive: Only 52% say their website is not living up to its potential, compared with 90% of non-IT professionals. 

How Sites Underperform

Asked to identify which aspects of their website need some level of improvement, lead generation and Web-analytics capabilities top the list among B2B professionals:

  • 94% cite lead generation with 14% reporting strong improvements needed in that area.
  • 87% cite tracking and reporting of unregistered site users with 18% reporting strong improvements needed.
  • 81% cite tracking and reporting around registered website visitors with 11% reporting strong improvements needed.

Website Abandonment

Nearly one-half of B2B professionals (45%) say they do not know where (Web page or section) their users are most likely to abandon their website; 17% say visitors are most likely to leave while visiting resources pages (blogs, collateral, whitepapers) and 15% leave sites while visiting registration pages.

Some 13% of B2B professional say website visitors are most likely to leave their site at the homepage.

Leads: Quality vs. Quantity

More than one-third (34%) of B2B professionals cite lead quality as the most important key performance indicator for measuring Web effectiveness, compared with 9% who cite the quantity of leads.

Enterprise businesses (those with 1,000 or more employees) emphasize the importance of measuring volume (44%), whereas small businesses (1-49 employees) emphasize quality of leads (40%).

The most common metrics tracked on websites are numbers of visits per visitor (65%), followed by activities of registered users (49%), location of visitors (41%), and inbound sources of visitors (41%).

About the data: The 2011 Demandbase National Marketing and Sales Study was conducted among the Focus Expert Network, a nationwide cross section of 100 sales, marketing and engineering executives from small, midsize and enterprise companies, May 18-25, 2011. 

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Websites Top Online Source of B2B Leads, but Still Underperforming

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