Lead generation is more than just a numbers game. Driving sheer volume of leads, without an understanding of their qualities or how you are going to handle them will only result in a mess. Prioritising your generation methods and controlling the flow of leads are both crucial.
The volume of your leads should be scrutinised in the context of your team and ambitions - not just jammed into your sales funnel. Losing a lead can be more damaging than never finding it, so knowing your limits is crucial.
High Volume, Low MaintenanceKnow your limits. Rather than delivering overly ambitious generation campaigns, throttle your efforts and only target a manageable amount of people. Leads should be coming in at a steady level, not huge peaks and resulting dips. Waiting to build leads until you need the business isn't a viable option, but neither is constantly stretching your capacity. Focus is the answer.
Selling takes time. Give this to your salespeople by distributing leads evenly.While it's true that no dedicated salesperson would flinch at a constantly ringing phone, leads can bottleneck the sales process if not carefully measured. Organising meetings and preparing proposals take time and leads will only stay warm for so long. Knowing the dates of marketing campaigns will help a sales team to account for when leads may be coming in by themselves, giving them a chance to hold their own efforts back, at least initially.
Having identified a prospect, attempt to gain a sense about the time sensitivity of their individual case. Do they follow a competitor on social media? Have they displayed an interest in similar products or services? Communication with marketing should be embraced here. Establishing the quality of leads to be targeting is one thing, but the volume should also be set at a comfortable level.
If lead generation is a numbers game, it has more in common with Sudoku than seeing who can count highest. Analysis and calculations will enable you to put figures in the right places to make sure all your activities add up.
Quality by the QuantityWith all lead generation it is important to consider the quality of conversions alongside the volume. If a source, such as the telephone, produces high quality leads and conversions at a high or low volume, it's clearly worth focusing on. A high volume of lower quality leads is also worth dedicating further efforts to, as mediums like email and even simple brand presence can drive incoming inquiries. A low volume of low quality should be avoided.
Making your volume of leads manageable does not mean only targeting those with a quick turnaround though. It can take many impressions before a prospect turns to your brand, so patient, prolonged generation is also rewarding. The best source of lead generation for you will be closely tied to your resources and goal. The higher conversion rate from contacting 10 people via phone may fit your situation and objectives more than reaching 1,000 people with emails for a much lower percentage.
Maintaining a comfortable lead volume is best for your people, your business and your prospects.Consider the angles. Salespeople who get lots of fruitless leads will lose focus and look to other volume drivers. Simultaneously, if your prospects get lost in a buzz of leads, their interest and affinity to your brand will wane. Instead of blindly taking on leads, find out which sources produce the volume and quality you require then evaluate your process as well as the leads themselves to secure your long-term approach.
For any marketing and sales process, tracking is essential. You can only make important business decisions on lead generation if you know the conversion rates of sources. Whether using a sophisticated CRM or a simple excel spreadsheet, it is essential that leads are tracked through to the sale.
Efficient GenerationIf your lead numbers are left unchecked, they can actually hamper your efforts. To determine the correct volume of lead generation for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many is too many?Make sure you know your limits don't over-generate, otherwise prospects will be missed.
- Is volume bottle-necking your process?
Know when marketing are sending campaigns and understand when leads will be coming in. Let your sales people focus where they need to.
- Does your lead generation peak and trough?
If so, hold back some lead volume to ensure there are no major spikes and deal with leads in a timely manner.
- Are you getting the most out of your data?
Make sure that you know which source is driving the most leads and where your efforts aren't working. Use the data to find out why and find a solution.