Looking for more sales leads? Try the power of partnership

Sales leads are the lifeblood of any growing business. In fact, without enough leads, there may not be any growth at all.

But simply generating a large quantity of leads isn’t the complete solution. Quality matters, too. In fact, about 80 percent of all qualified leads generated by marketing departments are ultimately rejected by sales. That’s according to a survey of more than 320 B2B marketing professionals, conducted last year by 6sense, a supplier of marketing software.

No surprise, then, that B2B marketers say generating high-quality leads is their top challenge. That’s according to another survey, this one reaching 845 software B2B marketers and conducted by IDG Enterprise. Generating good leads was cited as the No 1 challenge by more than 60 percent of the respondents. No other challenge came even close.

Partner Leads

Okay, so getting high-quality leads is important. But how does a cloud service provider go about getting them?

For Chris Oakman, the answer is partnership.

Oakman is VP and chief infrastructure officer at Eastridge Technology, a U.S.-based provider of cloud services for SMBs, CRM, advanced infrastructure and application development.

Eastridge is also a Microsoft partner, and Oakman (pictured below) says that has made all the difference. “One of the big things that we gain from our tight partnership with Microsoft,” he says, “is leads.”

More specifically, Oakman says, his company receives anywhere from one to five leads a week directly from Microsoft. “And these are good, qualified leads for us to follow up on,” he adds. “These are people, or companies, that have called Microsoft directly. They’ve maybe done a chat online, maybe on the Office 365 page, trying to get some more information. And they’re qualified leads that Microsoft is directly handing to us.”

To be sure, this partnership is not Eastridge’s only source for leads. The company also maintains a frequently updated blog that Oakman calls “tremendous.” Eastridge has also experimented with other lead-gen approaches, including website pay-for-click ads. But the Microsoft connection remains the company’s most important lead-generator.

How about you? Looking to grow with high-quality sales leads? Then consider following the example of Eastridge: Look to your partners.

Watch Chris Oakman of Eastridge Technology in a partner video,Generating Leads for Cloud Services. And browse other new partner videos in the Cloud Business Transformation Center’s Video Vault.