Lead sources are usually measured by ROI, that’s the way it’s always been. While it is a key metric of course, it shouldn’t be the only one. Let’s take a look at a few other factors.
A Few Considerations
Examine the sales process. How quickly are the leads not only being divvied up, but actually contacted? How often are contact attempts being made? Marketing and sales are partners, but the marketing department DOESN’T close sales.
How complete is the lead data? Are you purchasing leads with all the pertinent information your sales people need? Why are these leads appropriate for your business? Ask your provider, or confirm internally if you’re generating your own leads, the source of the data. Is it a simple opt-in or are the leads generated from detailed quote forms?
Are incentives being used? We all love incentives, but they can impact quality. As you monitor results and incorporate feedback from the sales team you may find the quality of incentivized leads will suffer. Giving away a new iPod for completing an online quote form doesn’t translate to quality, just quantity.
If you’re using or intend to use a third-party lead provider confirm that they verify their leads for accuracy. Determine if they are using internal or external verification processes, and which ones?
Expand results tracking to go beyond closed sales. Tracking the number of contact attempts and times, contacts made, prospect interest and similar traits will allow you to zero in on areas of improvement. And not just for the leads, but the entire marketing and sales process.
Leads are the lifeblood of a business. Taking time to ensure yours are the highest quality, and most appropriate for you and your team, will improve results no matter how you measure success.
Change isn’t necessarily easy. And for some, it can be downright hard. But a shift in mindset is in order. It’s simply not cost effective to approach marketing in the traditional manner anymore. Average response rates of 1% to 2% shouldn’t be acceptable, nor do they have to be.
You probably have multiple sources of information – Customers, prospects, other departments, third party data providers – you name it. First, integrate this disparate data into a cohesive, usable format. Information should be the basis of your marketing efforts, but it’s got to be easily accessible to be effective.
Now, segment the data into groups with similar characteristics and behaviors. Some detailed analysis will provide commonalities amongst your best (and worst) customers. Commonalities you can then use in your marketing efforts.
What’s In It for Me?
Using data to drive marketing will lead to response rates 3, 4 and even 5 times that of traditional campaigns because you’ll know who to target and what they really want. That translates to better ROI, a more efficient process and easier measurement of results.
Each successive targeted campaign will provide you with even more information for future efforts. What worked? What didn’t? What can be improved and what did you learn? Before long your data will be useful to the whole company, not just marketing.
Improve your retention rates, particularly for your most important customers. Your best customers share certain traits – maybe buying preferences, demographic or social behaviors. Knowing this will allow you to better serve this important group, and find others just like them.
Making the shift to a data-driven culture will take some work – most good things do. But the results will make you wonder why you didn’t do it years ago. Good question.