Successful lead generation isn’t just about getting a high volume of prospects into your sales pipeline; you also have to consider the efficiency with which you do so.
As with other primary business activities, a healthy return on investment is the real signal of lead generation strategies that work.
The question is, what is it that you can do to help you achieve the best ROI possible from your lead generation efforts?
Your Data Needs To Be Accurate
To evaluate and continuously improve your lead generation efficiency, you have to consider your database. It is the first port of call for your sales & marketing teams.
Track the success of your efforts at getting people into your pipeline with accurate contact details.
You might find that your database is getting flooded with low-value opportunities that cause reps to waste a lot of time.
Your sales & marketing team should be creating leads that have detailed data collection, including all necessary contact information, along with demographics, firmographics and geographics.
If you start this practice early, you will find it easier to manipulate your data sets later on when you are nurturing leads through your pipeline.
If you identify gaps in your approach, perform coaching and training to help your team execute better with its lead generation strategies.
Performance Contact Analysis
One of the best ways to attract the right types of prospects is to evaluate your contact details on a continuous basis.
Analytics help you identify common profile traits of your most profitable customers for a given solution.
As the adage suggests, “The best predictor of future success is past performance.”
In this vein, the best prospects for your company’s solutions are people whose traits and behaviours closely align with those of your top current customers.
Customer habits evolve over time, though.
You can’t assume that the motivators that cause some personas to behave favourable now will remain constant.
Track data as you add new customers, and always evaluate profitability to target the highest-ROI opportunities.
Follow-up with Qualified Leads for a Healthy Pipeline
You can’t measure ROI on lead generation without following the process of opportunities as they progress through your pipeline.
Sales managers need to maintain a view of the pipeline by monitoring the sales funnel and identifying any potential bottlenecks.
If you have a lot of people getting stuck at the leads stage, for instance, it could signal that your team isn’t able to efficiently qualify prospects.
You either need to revamp your qualifying and nurturing activities or fine-tune the way you assign reps to leads.
Identify any other gaps or missteps between lead generation and conversion. Remove bottlenecks and emphasise how qualification plays out over the entire selling cycle.
The sooner you get out of bad deals, the sooner you can move on to more qualified prospects.
Partner with a Lead Generation Expert
A tad self-serving I know, however, B2B companies often find that they achieve a higher lead generation ROI by working with an expert partner.
Outsourcing lead generation activities allows you to leverage the expertise of the partner, save on inefficient manual efforts and enable your team members to focus on the rest of the opportunity pipeline.
Primary benefits of outsourcing lead generation include:
- Expert strategies and processes for getting the right leads in your database
- Freedom to focus on high-efficiency internal selling steps
- Access to the best technology, tools and process for lead generation
- Time saved on the steps involved in attracting prospects
- Optimised results tracking and strategy modification
Also, when you outsource lead generation, you don’t have to worry about investing in the building space, infrastructure, people and resources required to complete these activities.
Instead, the partner is responsible for providing all of these things as they do for all of their clients.
A 2016 Global Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategy and Tactics revealed that only 12 percent of companies surveyed outsourced these activities.
However, anecdotal examples provided by businesses that take this approach suggested there is no comparison in the relative ROI of outsourcing versus self-managed lead generation.
The costs to hire internal staff, allocate space, and offer benefits can be exorbitant – particularly if you are a technology startup, or an organisation selling into a new territory for the first time.
There are steps your business can take to improve your lead generation return on investment.
You can have dedicated staff in charge of developing strategies, conducting routine database reviews, continuously evaluating analytics reports and monitoring pipeline efficiency. And in a lot of industries, that makes good sense.
However, the time and costs involved in performing these activities in-house can be extensive.
Therefore, it could be more beneficial to have your team focus their lead generation efforts on the latter event – closing sales leads.