While the fundamentals of lead generation remain the same, its execution and analysis has changed in recent years. By analysing the accessible supporting data, it is possible to identify the quality of a source and improve your methods.
Understanding the merits of different lead sources, thorough analysis and recognising the areas that work for you are crucial to achieving consistent results.
Understanding LeadsThe speed, scale and convenience offered by email or social media make it a valuable tool, but a phone conversation or meeting ensures a personal connection often essential to encouraging buy in. The best lead generation source will depend on your volume, requirements and situation but you can find out where you are performing by looking at your data.
To improve the quality of the leads you generate, it's important to use the information available to you and answer questions about your existing generation. Do you know which leads convert quickest? What sources usually have the biggest pay off? Answering these questions and factoring in additional details, such as the likelihood of repeat business, makes it possible to determine an estimate ROI.
Big deals are worth focusing on, but not at the expense of other revenue. Quick conversions are ideal, but ignoring leads outside of this is wasting potential opportunities.
It's important to establish a percentage on stages such as email open and click rates as well as a breakdown of phone usage and other sources. Performance metrics like these can be used to calculate targets, but they should be formed with an understanding of past results, expected performance and required ROI. Knowing the conversion rate at each stage of your own process is vital to setting realistic goals.
At Pareto, we set a target of getting through to decision makers with 10% of calls and usually get a meeting from 25% of these conversations. In line with these figures, if a salesperson is targeted to book at least 12 meetings they will need to speak to about 50 decision makers and make roughly 500 calls a month. Support from marketing and hot prospecting via social channels can enhance these results, but establishing a foundation is crucial.
Refine & ReviewOnce you've calculated your current performance, you can form a strategy designed to provide more leads. This could consist of tweaking existing sources, turning to blogging and social content or even holding an event. Whatever approach you take to lead generation, being aware of the difference between types of leads is important.
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a person who has shown interest in your service or product but you may not be sure if they are qualified to purchase. Until they are determined as qualified, a MQL is not a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and should not be treated like one. A SQL is a person who has a need for your service or product and can make the decision to purchase it.
An effective strategy cannot be formed before an understanding is established - data is essential to this.
Contacting MQLs and SQLs via appropriate channels will improve the efficiency and output of your team. Integration with marketing can be challenging, but lead generation cannot be reduced to those who convert at first contact. It can take up to an estimated 12 attempts to make contact with a lead, so marketing campaigns based on their profile can have real results if delivered in tandem with sales activities.
Lead generation is an ongoing process, so continual analysis of processes and results will pinpoint any pitfalls or highlights. The measurable nature allows patterns to be spotted, allowing adjustments to be made with ease. The quality of a source will depend not only on your execution, but how you utilise data and respond to what you find.
Making Your Investment WorthwhileTo create genuine connections with potential customers, it's important to not only tailor your message, but to carefully time it and select the platform you deliver it on. Knowing the average performance of your salespeople and tailoring targets around this ensures that your lead generation meets the needs of your business as well as your prospects.
To extract the highest quality out of lead generation, sales teams should embrace:
- Data - Understanding which source is the best converting, quickest and best ROI allows you to focus sales effort in the best and most profitable areas.
- Conversion rates - Determining the average numbers to progress from being a prospect to MQL, MQL to SQL, SQL to meeting and meeting to sale allows you to set meaningful targets.
- Marketing - Sales professionals need to tell marketing departments when lead sources are good or bad and listen to their findings too.
- Hot prospecting - Align sales and marketing to target high quality leads. Don't go in blind and move past cold calling.