Unexpected B2B Sales Survey Results [Infographic]

Original article: Gilad Raichshtain -
B2B the Sales the Benchmark Research Finds Some Pipeline Surprises [Infographic]

Company Implisit analyzed the "sales funnel" of hundreds of companies to find the channels that have the highest conversion rate (rate of transition from one sales stage to the next, in which the probability of conclusion of the transaction is increasing). What channels do you prefer? How justified is your choice?


The sales process in B2B (business to business) is quite confusing, with a huge number of stakeholders and a lengthy decision-making process. Therefore, it is very difficult to estimate without a hint what exactly gives the result and what does not. Fortunately, we have Salesforce, where we can fully track the sale from the manifestation of interest and the source of this interest (lead source) to the signing of the transaction.

Implisit analyzed anonymous lead data (lead is a “very” potential customer) collected from hundreds of companies to see what works and what doesn't work. The results were unexpected: some channels turned out to be more effective in creating opportunities (opportunity is the sale stage when the client showed interest), however, these opportunities less often led to deals; in other channels it was more difficult to get the opportunity, but if the opportunity was obtained, then the probability of bringing it to the deal was high.

Conversion rate

Interest in opportunity - 13%; Opportunity per transaction - 6%

On average, according to the results of the analysis, 13% of interest leads turn into an opportunity with an average transition time from one stage to another equal to 84 days. The percentage of opportunities that end in a deal is even lower. It is 6%, but on average it takes only 18 days.

The most important metric, the transition from interest to a deal, revealed one unconditional winner. 3.6% of potential clients recommended by an employee or client go into a deal - this is the best indicator among all channels. The next most effective are the company’s website and social networks. Among the channels with the worst efficiency are lists of leads (the so-called “cold database” of contacts), various kinds of events and email campaigns with a probability of moving into a deal below 0.1%.

Another curious fact is that the recommendations of employees and customers, the website of the company and social. Networks generate the opportunities that most quickly translate into transactions. For example, the transition from interest from social. Networks per transaction takes an average of 40 days. The interests that came from the company’s website after an average of 75 days become transactions, and the recommendations of customers and employees - 97 days. Calling customers on a “cold base”, mass mailing of emails, exhibitions and webinars give interests with the smallest probability of closing a deal, but if a deal nevertheless occurs, then the average time it will take will be the highest in comparison with other channels.

Webinars: only 2.5% of potential opportunities become deals

When we broke the conversion rate into 2 parts - leads in opportunities and opportunities in transactions - something surprised us. Webinars, for example, took third place in the nomination “transition from interest to opportunity” (17.8%); however, they are the least likely to move from opportunity to deal (only 2.5%). The company's website has the best result when moving from a lead to an opportunity (31.3%). Perhaps that is why sellers are so happy when an application appears from the company's website. However, only 5% of the opportunities from the website reach a victorious closure (conclusion of a transaction).

Activities: the most lost opportunities

Another interesting pattern is the ratio of successfully closed and lost opportunities. Apparently, some channels give opportunities that are almost guaranteed to lead to failure - loss of opportunity. Less than 20% of all opportunities that come through such channels as company events, a cold lead database, and a lead database from partners are successful. This is especially unexpected - sellers open the opportunity only after they have evaluated the viability of the lead. Even after filtering out the leads, it is very likely that these channels are unlikely to produce opportunities with a high probability of closure.


In the confusing process of selling to business customers, some channels deliver predictably better results than others. The leaders among the channels are recommendations from employees and customers, the company's website, and social networks. Outbound channels lead list (cold base), events and exhibitions, mass emails tend to show poor performance. It seems that the probability of closing a deal depends more on where the lead came from than on the ability to sell.


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