The industries that yielded the most prospects was the computer games sector (with a lead rate of 5.73%)
And the toughest to gain leads from was computer networking (with a lead rate of 0.72%)
That’s a difference of 800%
And here’s the summary data, ranked into bands starting at 0.5-2% and then rising by half a percent for each band (i.e. 2-2.5%, 2.5-3% and so on).
We’ll return to some of these results but let’s get to the meat of this particular sandwich.
Regardless of who they are prospecting to – which industry gets an easy ride and whose mails go missing in action?
The toughest B2B sectors to prospect from
We categorised our data slightly differently this time: from the original 56 industries we created 11 groups.
(For the completists out there, you can see how we made our groupings here.)
Here are the results:
The average across all industries was 3.75%. (Not bad, huh).
But the variances were pretty wild:
Those in dark green have a high lead rate (5.48% – 7.43%) Facilities Leisure & Tourism Engineering/Industrial Charity Transport
Those in lighter green have – pretty much – an average lead rate (3.73% to 3.97%) Training & HR Creative Services Supply Chain Financial Medical & Health
Those in the palest of pale green have a low lead rate – but still fairly respectable (2.61% to 2.74%) Telecommunications IT
Between the highest lead rate of 7.43% (Facilities) and the lowest 2.61% (IT) there’s a difference of 184%.
Let’s take a bit of a closer look.
Why are IT and Telecoms so tough to generate leads for?
Here’s a breakdown of the industries we included in this sector:
Lead Rate: 2.61%
Computer & Network security
Information Technology & services
Lead Rate: 2.74%
By far the toughest industry is networking and wireless providers – but all fall below the average lead rate.
A few quick observations:
In both sectors, perhaps more than others, the only real constant is change. New challenges and solutions arise regularly both within organisations and in the global industry and market. This can make messaging tricky – needing to understand which businesses are most affected, how to adapt products and services – and emphasise their strongest propositions – to extract value from ongoing changes.
Related to this is the need to both explain innovation and services without losing your prospect’s attention through too many technical details. Or, in old-fashioned marketing terms, a struggle to sell the sizzle not the sausage.
A further related challenge is to choose the right sizzle! The number of stakeholders involved in decision making that are involved can be immense – and each has different requirements. Here’s Rosa Lear, Director of Marketing at VeloCloud (part of VMWare): ‘An ongoing marketing challenge is finding the right message for the right audiences. Messages must be targeted: it’s not effective to only send one message to every type of persona. Jobs these days are more focused, so you need to personalize your messages to individual interests. You must focus on three main things: the right message for the right market that’s written for the right audience.’ (Source)
While it’s true that many of these factors affect most sectors – it appears that IT and Telecoms face a stronger challenge from these prospecting hurdles.
Both sides of the prospecting coin
We opened by looking at which industry provides the most prospects regardless of who is contacting them.
Without drawing any firm conclusions it’s interesting to note that:
Computer games are happy to chat and easy to convert with a lead rate (LR) of 5.7% … but computer software finds it hard to strike a conversation with others (LR 2.3%).
Charities (LR 4.8%), Leisure & Tourism (LR 4.27%) and Education(LR 4.56%) are all willing to find out more … and also can prospect effectively to others (LR 5.8%, 5.9% and 6.4% respectively).
Engineering (LR 5.9%) is the third most successful sector in gaining prospects – but one of the hardest to squeeze a lead out of (LR 2.2%).
IT (LR 2.6%) and Telecoms (LR 2.7%) find it tough to get leads … but it’s just as tough to get a lead from them (LR 2.1% and 2.3% respectively).
And let’s not forget poor old Computer networking from the IT sector – no one wants to speak to these guys and gals (the lowest LR of 0.8%) … but, just maybe, that’s because they don’t really want to accept any party invites (the lowest LR of 0.7%).
But nothing is ever set in stone
This is historical data – a snapshot of what has been.
For the last five years, we’ve been honing our social prospecting to a fine art (with plenty of tech thrown in for good measure).
With harnessing social networks to get you the perfect prospects, deliverability at 98% and a team of creatives to get your pitch perfect, whichever industry you are in we can help you flood your inbox with leads.
And there are some ways you can help yourself by maximising your prospecting success.