Why B2B Sales Leads Get Lost in Translation and What to Do About It

Sales and Marketing Meeting

Effectively transferring leads from marketing to sales is a non-negotiable element for B2B businesses seeking successful conversions. If the handoff isn’t managed well, businesses risk losing out on potential sales. It’s a challenge for many reasons but companies have to be proactive about those challenges to meet their sales goals and revenue projections. 

The following strategies help ensure a more seamless transition, optimize the sales funnel and boost conversion rates. 

Prioritize a Sales-Marketing Symbiosis

Sales and Marketing alignment under a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is a popular concept right now in the middle-market and with good reason. Working from the same playbook with the same end goal is a must, and the CRO must make it happen.

However, in the absence of a CRO or when Sales and Marketing operate on different floors, buildings, or in remote setups, companies still need to have a cohesive unit. Regular and purposeful communication is what helps move leads to a sale. The structural shift that joins marketing and sales, however it happens, not only aligns the teams but unlocks the collaborative nature that leads to overall success.

Collaborate Strategically at (Weekly) Meetings

Sales and Marketing need to meet often, and the meetings should be an ongoing conversation about exactly what’s working and what isn’t. This starts with team leaders meticulously going through the details of each lead and analyzing important information related to prospects. This scrutiny extends to a quality assessment of each lead. Is it likely to move down the sales funnel with a more targeted approach?

Now sales and marketing can focus on strategy. The team might opt for a continued application of existing tactics, or they could engage in a brainstorming session to explore another approach.

Since this happens in person, or in a virtual room, meetings become a crucial avenue for understanding each team’s challenges, and most importantly, working together to overcome them.

Effectively Classify B2B Sales Leads

There are a host of things that can go wrong when leads are not classified correctly. One is wasted resources. If leads are misclassified, marketing teams might invest resources in leads that aren’t ready for sales engagement (MQLs treated as SQLs). On the flip side, if potentially valuable leads are labeled inaccurately as MQLs and not passed to the sales team, it leads to missed opportunities. 

Prematurely pushing B2B leads into the sales pipeline (e.g., an MQL treated as an SQL) negatively impacts the customer experience, alienating prospects instead of nurturing them through the pipeline.

When communication strategies between marketing and sales get out of sync, it creates a disconnect that can potentially erode the sales team’s trust in the quality of leads. The distortion of analytics and reporting adds to the problem by making it difficult to accurately measure the effectiveness of marketing and sales.

Ultimately, misclassifying leads results in lower conversion rates. Establishing clear criteria for lead classification avoids all these pitfalls.

Keep the Conversation Going About the Ideal Client

Who a company’s ideal customer is may change over time. Market trends, shifts in consumer behavior, advancements in technology, or even changes in the company’s products or services are all reasons this might be the case.

Sales and marketing need to maintain an ongoing dialogue about the ideal client profile. It is not as important if there is 100 percent agreement about the ideal client all the time, but a robust discussion sharpens the picture and helps refine B2B content marketing strategies. 

At the core, this conversation helps both sales and marketing stay flexible and responsive to what customers want and how the market might be changing. A better grasp of the audience allows the team to adjust strategies over time for long-term success.


Beyond tackling immediate challenges, these strategies set the stage for an ongoing, adaptable, and collaborative approach—an essential asset in today’s competitive marketplace. Once a company masters the optimal handoff of leads between sales and marketing, it is poised to maximize conversion opportunities and ramp up growth. Translation? Increased revenue and overall profitability.

Chris d’Eon is a Go-To-Market Principal at Craig Group.

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