The buying process has changed, and marketers need to find new ways to reach buyers and get heard through the noise. Instead of finding customers with mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must now focus on being found and learn to build continuous relationships with buyers.
What is lead generation?
When it comes to generating sales leads, you can make a habit of some best practices. You can exchange business cards at networking events, speak at professional meetings and keep a 30-second elevator pitch handy at all times. You can use LinkedIn to answer questions, search for decision-makers in target companies and join discussions in your customers' groups. You can listen and respond to people on Twitter and Facebook and gain prospects from contacts sent through your main website, particularly those arriving through keyword-targeted Google AdWords. If you’re gentle about it, you can even ask your best customers for referrals -- always wishing you could clone them.
With the growth of the internet, the world has changed from one of information scarcity to one of information abundance. In fact, according to Google chairman Eric Schmidt, “There were 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization and 2003, but that much information is now created every two days and the pace is rapidly increasing”.
The problem is that information abundance equals attention scarcity. This is known as attention economics. Social scientist, Herbert Simon, was the first person to discuss this concept when he wrote, “In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.”
This has transformed the buying process. Buyers are overwhelmed with all the noise and they are getting better and better at ignoring the messages they don’t want to hear and researching what they do want to learn about on their own.
Many marketing departments are allocating more budget to lead generation tactics. Inbound Marketing spend in particular has been growing as companies need to find more creative ways to get in front of the customer and break through the noise.
The best marketing programs have intentional measurement strategies planned in advance. So as part of the planning process ask yourself these questions:
1) What will you measure?
2) When will you measure?
3) How will you measure?
Here are some basic lead generation metrics that many companies track as part of their lead generation efforts :
- Marketing % of contribution to sales pipeline
The % of revenue in the sales pipeline (opportunities) that originated from marketing efforts
- Marketing % of contribution to closed revenue
The % of revenue in closed won deals that originated from marketing efforts
- Quantity of Sales Qualified Leads
The amount of SQLs sent over to your sales teams
- Quality of SQLs
The % of SQLs not rejected by sales
- Cost per inquiry
Total lead acquisition cost/ the total number of inquiries
- Cost per lead
Total campaign costs/quantity of leads
- Inquiry to Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Conversion of initial inquiry to Marketing Qualified Lead
- MQL to Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)
Conversion from MQL to Sales Accepted Lead
- SAL to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Conversion from SAL to Sales Qualified Lead
- SQL to Opportunity
Conversion from SQL to Opportunity