Monthly Archives: August 2006

Optimize Lead Buys

Are you buying or generating the optimal number of leads? Hopefully, this is a question your marketing and sales teams can conclude from your lead management process. However, I bet the majority of you don’t know the answer to this question and quite honestly it will vary by the capabilities and process of each sales person.

This variability, without proper tracking and metrics, can be responsible for a significant impact on your marketing ROI. The simple algorithm of total leads generated or purchased divided by number of sales persons is hazardous. Although there are general rules of thumb, like: giving sales professionals 5-10 new leads per day and managing a pipeline of 100-150 total leads; however, these same guidelines with an inexperienced sales person or without visibility into individual performance can be the recipe for a 1% conversion rate, thousands of dollars in wasted marketing budget. Yet in contrast, it may be light for your All-stars.

In fact, I can generally make the statement that the top consumer of “fresh” leads will be in you bottom 10-20% and will be costing you significant percentages off your marketing ROI.

The important take away is measure and monitor conversion rates, unusual fling budget, and a fast track to increasing turn-over (if you even notice the problem). uctuations in lead accumulation, and lack of pipeline turnover.

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Do You Know Your Target Customer?

We all get comfortable with certain buyer and product profiles. Both become elements of our sweet spot or sales profile. However, if you don’t study, understand, and perfect that profile then you might work yourself into a slump.

I like to think of sales teams like baseball teams. They are made up of players that have skills and roles that need to work in concert to maximize revenue, like wins. The best teams are not all home run hitters, what would a bunch of solo home runs be worth with their disproportionate K’s. And big hitters never get pitched to if the supporting batting is not formidable. Have you ever tried to land a big account without a supportable base of mid-size clients to give them confidence you “can handle their scale?” Absolutely not.

Now the question is do you know your role and your target customer that supports the overall team objectives? This is where you should look to your lead management process. You need to be tracking your sales process and pipeline performance for key metrics that profile this target.

Things you are probably looking at:

  • Products you are selling most often
  • Customer demographics
  • Deal size

Additional things you should get from your lead management solution and leverage

  • Average margin & fees by product–higher=on target
  • Sales velocity (time from lead receipt to contact, to presentation, to close)–shorter=target
  • Conversion rate by channel–different marketing channels and approaches bring different customers
  • Mix of new leads and maximum pipeline that gives me the best conversion rate–lead management system and sales automation can minimize this effect, but it has a bigger effect than you may think

There are many more, but the point is really leverage your lead management data to understand your target customer to maximize each opportunity that fits your sweet spot. Don’t forget to continue learning and practicing techniques that then begin to expand that sweet spot.