I recently spoke on a panel for OMMA Global. In attendance were leading companies, agencies, and experts in the digital marketing world, all there to discuss why “The Lead Is Just The Beginning.”
Without question, top companies recognize the need to build digital programs that generate leads. But here’s the reality – too many companies have been living by this strategy alone. Show me a successful CMO who measures his/her success by leads acquired. It doesn’t happen. Wall Street doesn’t care. Your investors don’t care. And neither does your CFO, CEO, or CSO. Today’s high-pressure, high-expectation leaders expect CMOs to deliver not leads, but revenue.
All our jobs in the digital marketing world depend on driving actual revenue into and through the sales funnel. So how can we transition from a focus on lead generation to one on revenue generation?
First, regardless of your specific function – be it lead provider, lead scorer, or brand ambassador – adopt a common language and a common set of expectations.
Fight the urge to focus on a piece of the process – it doesn’t matter if you generated the target number of leads. It doesn’t matter how your many clicks you generated today. And it doesn’t matter what percentage of leads converted into true pipeline. What matters is the actual revenue generated by focusing from start to finish on the customer experience…which means that today, quality trumps quality.
Here’s the key –
1. Stop counting pulses (that’s really what you’re counting when you purchase leads). Instead, understand who you are targeting based on the attributes that matter (eg approved credit scores, a propensity to buy, etc.)…not a beating heart that expresses interest but quickly fades away.
In a complex, multi-staged sales cycle, quality leads – folks that truly express interest, fit your target market, and demonstrate a propensity to buy – are the ones that drive the business forward. It’s what keeps them engaged from step-to-step of the sales cycle.
2. Know who you’re targeting and where you can find them best in the digital marketplace. Then think about (i) which tools they use (both online and offline) to learn, evaluate, and purchase, and (ii) and when/how they use each one of these tools at key points in the sales cycle.
3. Focus as much on how you manage your leads and the consumer experience after you’ve captured a lead as you did in trying to capture it. You will be amazed at the incremental customers you can deliver from the leads you already have.
By building an integrated strategy that considers the right audience, the right channels, and the right outcomes, you can follow the lessons of today’s most effective CMOs to take “Online Lead Revenue Generation” to the next level.