How to Make Your B2B Lead Management Program Fail – Part 3

Jeff Cleary  |  Managing Director

December 8, 2016
 

Mistake #1: You set the wrong business goals

Mistake #2: Your content does not reflect an understanding of the buyer’s journey

This week, we’re going to discuss inquiries. Not all inquiries are created equal. Or, to paraphrase George Orwell in Animal Farm, some inquiries are more equal than others.

Mistake #3: You treat all inquiries alike

Preliminary work needs to be done before you characterize each inquiry: by lead source, potential level and/or area of interest, purchase authority, and purchase intent.

For example, you should not treat a request for a product demo the same way that you would treat a webinar registration. It goes without saying that the request for a demo indicates a stronger purchase intent than the webinar registration (but I’m going to say it anyway).

But that’s just a starting place. You should also assess where the inquiry takes place in the buyer’s journey. Is this an early-, middle-, or late-stage request? Is the inquirer already familiar with your company? What type of content has s/he downloaded? What content on your website has s/he been consuming (translation: reading)?

By reviewing the buyer’s contact history and looking at the quality of the inquiry, you can provide the best opportunity to make your   content relevant.

Is this “lead scoring”? Sort of. In my opinion, it is only possible to begin lead scoring after you have some history with your lead management system. You have to walk before you can run. True lead scoring (systematic weighting of each inquiry based on key criteria) can only occur after you have gained significant and substantive knowledge about your audience’s behavior – and that comes over time. That being said, the amount of effort you expend on each inquiry should be based on the quality of the inquiry. Calculating the marketing cost per inquiry, lead rate and conversion rate requires financials. Everything should roll up into an overall calculation that reflects defined business goals (your ROI). This calculation should help you refocus where you’re spending time and money to drive inquiries. The 80/20 rule usually prevails: 20% of your activity will tend to drive about 80% of your inquiries. The trick is determining which 20%. That requires financials and thoughtful analysis.

Next Week: Mistake #4 — You’re not getting sales force buy-in


Jeff Cleary |  Managing Director
Jeff, a University of Massachusetts grad, worked for others for many years. In 1990, Jeff teamed up with Mike Osborn to form Catalyst. Smart move. In his role as managing director, he continually strives to meet and exceed client expectations as well as his employees’, always ensuring a positive, productive workplace.

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