By Terri Maxwell
Many senior executives find themselves wondering why their organization’s lead generation program is coming up short. It’s perplexing, because they’ve been told the program is generating tons of leads, yet the company’s sales remain flat.
Perhaps it’s unclear how many website visitors are converting to leads, or the most engaged leads are suddenly going silent. Or maybe the sales and marketing teams are blaming each other for the low percentage of deals closed. Whatever the issue, something isn’t working.
If any of this sounds familiar, maybe it’s time to do something different. Here are three strategies to fix a broken demand generation program.
Track The Right Metrics
The new update on the lead generation program has just arrived. The report is filled with traffic stats like website hits, time on page, bounce rate, Facebook likes, Twitter retweets and the like.
Yet little to no mention is made of the number of leads produced, sales closed and most important – revenue generated. If your team (or lead generation vendor) is more focused on traffic stats than revenue results, it’s little wonder the program isn’t working. These metrics are fun to talk about, especially in months when they’re sky high. But there’s a reason they’re known as “vanity metrics.”
A company that’s seeing millions of website visitors but no conversions isn’t attracting the right visitors. Start studying the number of leads produced and amount of revenue generated. Even when website hits are high, if the leads and revenue generated are low, it’s time to make a change.
Keep Nurturing Leads
It’s easy to talk about the sales funnel, or leads going into the sales funnel, but what happens to those leads? Most lead generation programs fail because there is no methodology to move those valuable leads from awareness to motivated to buy and then to sale closed.
Think about the last time you purchased a new car. You were excited about Brand X, drove down to the dealership and even took a test drive. Then your life got busy, a few months passed, and you never heard a peep from the dealership to follow up on your interest. Now, Brand Y just released a new model, your interest in Brand X is gone, and the Brand Y dealership sells you a car.
Brand X didn’t keep you engaged through the sales cycle, so they lost the business. A successful lead generation strategy includes the practice of continually dripping authentic content until the prospect is motivated to take action — or at least values the interest in them and the information.
A strong relationship-building component is critical to supporting lead generation. Just like dating, leads will need to be courted before they’re ready to commit.
Align Lead Generation Goals With Sales Goals
The sales team complains about the quality of leads, and the marketing team complains that the sales team isn’t following up on leads. Sound familiar?
One key component of a successful lead generation program is a well-defined process that targets and nurtures qualified leads. However, the most important metric shouldn’t be the number of leads generated.
The metric that really matters is the amount of revenue generated.
To increase revenue, it’s critical to ensure the lead generation teams are targeting the kinds of leads the sales team knows will have a good chance of closing. Sit down with both teams and work together to define an ideal customer profile — What is their job title? How big is their company? What are their key challenges?
Once the lead generation team knows whom to target, they can focus on bringing in those high-ROI leads and devise a strategy to meet or exceed revenue goals.
Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
A broken lead generation system may seem like an insurmountable problem. But the good news is, it’s a problem that’s relatively easy to solve simply by shifting the team’s focus to the right metrics.
Focusing on clicks, likes and even leads won’t deliver the ROI needed to maintain a competitive edge. A more effective model is a shared performance model, where sales, marketing and the lead generation team are all focused on the ultimate goal – driving revenue.
Terri Maxwell is CEO of Share On Purpose, a Dallas-based incubator and investment company that has created dozens of brands. In a 25-year career, Terri has launched, owned, sold, or turned-around more than 40 firms and now serves as a consultant to companies competing in the new world of work.
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