It’s important to think of lead generation as a process, rather than an isolated event, or a series of campaigns. A process can be continually improved through ongoing testing and refinement and will generate higher quality results more cost effectively (i.e. reduce expense-to-revenue ratio) and improve overall ROI.
Think about your lead generation process as being controlled on a mixing board. Let’s start with 5 of the biggest dials on the board so that we can start to tune in and turn up our lead generation ROI:
Dial 1 – “Turn up” lead quantity. Increase your program response rates across multiple lead generation channels to drive more inquires. Get more of the right people in the right companies to respond across multiple tactics through testing.
Dial 2 – “Turn up” lead quality. Improve your lead qualification process to increase “sales ready” lead conversion rates. Delivering leads that your sales team really wants based on your universal lead definition.
Dial 3 – “Turn up” sales team pursuit and feedback. Create joint service level agreement between sales and marketing to reduce time-to-sales follow-up. Ensure that “sales ready” leads are being fully engaged by sales.
Dial 4 – “Turn up” the number of certified opportunities in pipeline. Focus on improving your lead management and lead nurturing process. Build your marketing pipeline to increase your sales pipeline.
Dial 5 – “Turn up” closed sales. Focus on developing pipeline acceleration programs to shorten your time-to-revenue. This requires marketing to go beyond demand generation to help sales reduce friction in order to close more sales.
The mixing board analogy seems even more appropriate as you think about continuous process improvement. As the process develops you will need to consistently make adjustments to the dials as you respond to feedback and spikes in the flow. This is not a “set it and forget it” endeavor.
I hope this gets you thinking about making beautiful music.