Build your lead generation strategy from the bottom up.
Why from the bottom up? Because the top down no longer works. As marketing leaders, we are no longer just in the business of getting leads, but instead we are getting revenue. If we are not adding to the bottom line, we are just taking from the bottom line. This is not a position you want to be in.
Marketing leaders who are charged with developing demand, need to first be concerned about what their sales teams have done with past demand. This means you need a whole new set of intelligence that gives you the insight you need to change your investment mix. Why? Because if sales is not properly executing against your investments, little that you do for them will make an impact.
If you are among a large majority of marketing leaders who have no insight into what is happening to your qualified opportunities once they enter your sales process, you no longer need to be. It’s time for you to break open the intelligence void located in your sales process.
Yes, you might be able to see what closes in revenue, but what about everything else in between? Here is a list of KPI that you need to get a handle on:
1. Volume and velocity of your marketing sourced opportunities by stage. What moves from stage to stage and how long does it take? This will uncover key leakage and sticking points that you need to focus on. It will also uncover key sales behaviors that drive down your ROI.
2. Uncover the key sales behaviors. These would include deal pushing (reps holding on to opportunities too long), no or low activity (reps not following up enough), stage jumping (reps not following the sales process), quick dismissal (reps quickly discontinuing an opportunity).
3. Get volume, velocity and behaviors by campaign and by lead source. Don’t worry about lead attribution for multi-touch for right now. Start basic and pick a first or last touch methodology to get going.
Once you have this information, review the campaigns and sources that had an above average deal flow (number of opportunities that went to the pipeline) and rank them by conversion rate by stage and age. Next, look for the campaigns and sources that converted the best to both the proposal stage of your sales process and your closed/won stage. Why the proposal stage? By the time marketing sourced opportunities make it to that stage, they should have similar performance behavior as sales sourced opportunities.
The key things you are looking for are the sources and types of campaigns that your sales team want to manage and can manage to the middle and bottom of your sales process. These are the types of investments that you should be focusing on. Sales people are finicky. They remember what wasted their time and what is worth their time. So if you are spending money on webinars or tradeshows and the qualified leads are deemed a waste of time by the sales team, it does not make sense for you to continue to invest in those sources.
Understanding sales rep behavior and motivation will go a long way in helping you to improve your investment mix, lead generation strategy and overall marketing ROI.