Lead Generation and Analytics
In a previous article we talked about how to stay ahead of the game with Lead Generation strategies in 2017. Although Best Practice recommends to focus on Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media, the bottom line is that effective lead generation requires planning to ensure the desired results, unless you are selling water in the desert. In this article we focus on another important aspect of lead intelligence – tracking lead engagement.
Having a well-thought-out plan of action is only half the battle. You also need to follow potential customers through prospecting and sales cycles, nurturing them until they become paying customers. In this day and age, when information reaches people immediately, companies need to be flexible and adapt almost as fast. Your customers’ attention is not guaranteed – interests change, trends come and go, and people are always looking for the next big thing. So, why is tracking lead engagement so important?
Tracking lead engagement is important for multiple reasons:
- Help the sales and marketing teams to focus their time and energy on the leads that matter.
- Ensures you analyse current data to better predict future trends (and better prepare for future trends!).
- Maps the users’ path so that you know exactly where they lose engagement in the product; which in turn will allow you to improve those “hurdles” and increase your customer retention rate.
- Reduce your churn rate by better understanding what drives people away.
- Confirms which lead generation strategies are most effective.
- Improves your social proofing and SEO efforts because of the “positive feedback loop” that you have initiated.
The Turning Point
With those thoughts in mind we were researching the topic and stumbled upon a very insightful report by GetApp, which you can find here, about top Lead Generation channels that drive quality and quantity leads.
They surveyed 300 companies in North America to find their lead generation strategies and challenges. What grabbed our attention was the fact that close to 18.4% of salespeople stated that their model to measure ROI is inaccurate and that 69% are likely to invest in predictive analytics to better score leads. Those numbers are quite significant as it shows that companies realise the fact they have to focus on lead generation but they don’t understand their leads and they don’t know exactly when they are losing people’s engagement in the sales cycle.
After reading the report we just had to know more so we contacted GetApp. They were very kind to provide us with a commentary from Karen McCandless, the researcher that wrote the report. Here is what she had to say:
“In May 2017, we conducted a survey of 300 businesses based in North America to find out their main lead generation challenges, the best channels for generating high quantity and quality leads, new lead gen trends, and the effect of software.
Generating high quality leads was cited by 28% of our respondents’ biggest challenge, followed by generating a high volume of leads at 22%. Reasons behind this include lack of budget assigned to lead generation, as well as not knowing or understanding the audience you are targeting. This means that any lead generation efforts will be more generic and less targeted to your target buyers.
The survey also revealed that many sales and marketers are still not tracking their lead generation campaigns. This can be attributed to the complexity of tracking different metrics across different channels, as well as a confusion over whose responsibility it is to do this. The lead generation experts who contributed to this report suggested that the marketing department should be tracking campaigns, rather than salespeople. However, businesses are often held back by the manual processes they have in place, or the wrong piece of technology for the job.“
The take-home is that businesses need the right information in the right time in order to improve the ROI of their lead generation efforts. Following the engagement levels of leads from prospects to including them in your sales cycle to converting them into paying customers is not an easy task for every company.
What the GetApp report and the commentary show is that the most common reasons for not tracking a lead’s engagement successfully boils down to the complexity of tracking different metrics across multitude of channels, confusion over who is responsible for that, and using the wrong technology.
The Road Ahead
Given all the information that we have, it becomes obvious that the only way going forward is investing into a CRM that tracks a lead’s engagement over time. This will not only allow you to guide potential buyers across all of your lead generation channels but it will also pinpoint the weakest touchpoints along the way. The latter is probably even more vital as it can ultimately lead to improving customer retention and churn rates of your product/service. If you are still not convinced, here are some of the most eye-opening, CRM statistics for 2017:
- The ROI on CRM is approximately $5 to every $1 invested (Baseline)
- CRM gives businesses a 65% boost in sales quotas (Innopple Technologies)
- A 41% revenue increase is realized with CRM (Trackvia)
- CRM is used for email marketing 60% of the time for small businesses (MarketingCharts.com)
- Leads that are nurtured in the CRM system convert 47% of the time (Annuitas Group)
- Conversion rates can improve by 300% with CRM in place (Cloudswave)
- Customer service can improve by 47% with CRM (Capterra)
- Overall, 74% of businesses using CRM report better customer relationships (Software Advice)