It seems pretty rational, if something isn’t working then stop investing in it. After all, why throw good money after bad? That’s what most firms are doing when a particular lead source can’t be tracked directly to revenue. And, while this may seem logical at first glance, you are getting an incomplete picture if you’re keying on lead source alone.
According to the CSO Insights 2013 Lead Management Optimization Study published a year ago this month, 86% of firms measured their lead generation success based on the revenue eventually generated from a lead source. If a given lead source isn’t producing revenue, it gets cut. This is up from 66% in 2008 when lead and/or meeting count was the metric.
An annual effort, the CSO Insights study polled over 600 ‘Chief Sales Officers’ from around the globe on 100 data points to develop a picture of what the best-in-class lead generators have been doing to build on their success. It also provides a detailed Lead Management Optimization Life Cycle™ that allows you to assess your organization’s performance in each of ten important areas. These insights allow you to conduct a self-exploration that can help you see where attention and resources need to be focused within your company to optimize lead generation efforts. It’s probably your best value for designing or fixing lead generation programs.
Examining Lead Source Alone Could Miss What’s Influencing the Loss of a Sale
Many factors influence the closing of a sale and you should consider those before stopping an entire program. This also goes for keeping lead sources that appear to be a good place to start. Lead
Psychology plays a big role in whether and the degree to which a rep pursues a lead and this should be examined first. Take a program that starts off providing low quality leads. AE’s who learn that the leads from this source require more work or have a lower probability of closing will shy away from them or reject them altogether. Even if the program is overhauled and becomes effective, your reps are likely to avoid leads from this source or, worse, work them such that they don’t close, which makes you conclude that it’s the lead source. Ensuring that your reps’ heads’ are on right can sometimes be the fastest and cheapest way to improving lead to close.
The CSO Insights report highlights the fact that now there are over four influencers involved in the average deal. The study outlines how successful marketers are responding and the basic strategies that they use to ensure that all direct stakeholders are being influenced simultaneously. But the basic question to ask is, “Is my lead source bringing in the right person within this group initially?” Generating leads at the wrong end of the totem pole or at only one end could be the issue. If the lead source is a trade show, perhaps the higher end decision maker doesn’t attend and that’s who you need to influence first. It certainly doesn’t mean that the trade show is a bad source of leads – lower level managers are often the most vocal about pains and needs. Perhaps this lower level lead source could have been used to find pain and the approach could have then been to the top.