Often there are many reasons for the sales team to criticize the quality of the leads generated by the website. If you're lucky, they may openly criticize the quality of the leads to management. On the other hand, they may do it covertly by not following up on the leads provided.
The attitude and reasons for criticism span from 100% legitimate to just plain old excuses. However, one of the most proactive ways to reduce the negative criticism of marketing generated leads is to put in a good lead scoring system that prevents leads that are "not ready for sales" from ever getting to the sales team.
This usually nips the problem in the bud.
So how do you create an effective lead scoring system for web leads? One of the first steps is to sit down with the sales manager and your top sales people and define the specific BANT criteria that define sales ready leads. Often this is a painful discussion, because sales will sometimes focus on the exception case (the 100K deal that didn't fill out the landing page form) and say they want all prospects to be contacted by sales. However, it is critical that sales become educated on the ROI of focusing their time and effort.
Sales is a number game and if you spend most of your time with the wrong prospects you won’t hit your numbers. Once you get buy in from sales, you can begin to build a lead scoring system and start to score your leads and prospects. It is important to take and iterative and data centric approach to your lead scoring system. For example, you should collect and analyze data over 30 to 90 days to validate your scoring system against leads that actually close. You will also need to tweak your system based on the empirical data you collect. If you are not finding a correlation between the criteria you have selected and lead close rates, you will need to adjust your scoring criteria and in some cases collect more data points as part of your scoring process.