Developing a successful ongoing lead-generation program is more than just executing great creative with a strong call to action. It’s highly dependent on an organization’s ability to focus on three primary drivers:
- Effectively aligning marketing/sales goals with revenue objectives. Without this alignment, companies run the risk of developing fragmented programs that lack cohesiveness and don’t provide long-term contribution and value to the sales and lead-nurturing process.
- Ensuring that execution in the many channels used to communicate to prospects and customers — digital, social, direct marketing, events, public relations, etc. — ties directly back to the overall strategy and revenue goals of the organization.
- Developing the necessary measurement framework and KPIs that will ultimately measure short- and long-term success, resulting in a well-thought-out integrated demand-generation program that ultimately provides the quality and quantity of leads needed for sales to meet and exceed quotas and revenue goals.
Cross-channel integration ensures that campaigns are well integrated, the strategy is successfully deployed across those channels, and ROI is directly measured across each channel. By optimizing lead-generation programs across all available channels, campaigns achieve better quality lead results.
In fact, according to an IDC study of 61 Fortune 500 senior marketing professionals, filling the pipeline to drive revenue remains the number one objective, and improving the lead scoring process is the second highest objective for B2B global organizations.
Many marketing organizations are continually being told by the sales team that they’re not delivering enough quality leads. To alleviate this perception, marketing and sales must work together to develop realistic metrics for determining marketing’s success in executing these programs. The benefits will be immediately obvious. The first is that sales develops a higher level of trust and respect for marketing. And with proper metrics and KPIs developed with sales involvement and agreement early in the campaign process, marketing will be able to justify more investment in programs for generating more leads and improving sales conversion.
Finally, to ensure the effectiveness of lead-generation efforts and the quality of those leads, don’t forget to develop a long-term strategy for marketing automation/CRM. Tools such as Marketo for marketing and campaign management — integrated with Saleforce.com for sales field-level activity monitoring and reporting — will go a long way in providing insights and marketing/sales integration, resulting in higher-quality leads into the sales funnel.
In fact, according to the “2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report” published by Marketing Sherpa, organizations that adopt marketing automation best practices strategies can expect to not only increase the quality of leads generated at least by 50 percent, but marketing’s contribution can increase by 45 percent or more while revenue per sale can increase by 25 percent or more.