In a February 2016 report, 83% of B2B marketers said they were focusing on lead quality over lead quantity[i]
So, what is considered a high-quality lead, and why are B2B marketers turning their attention to quality over quantity? Well firstly, a high-quality lead is one which meets all of the BANT criteria (Budget, Authority, Need Time), and adheres to the sales team’s lead conditions. But most importantly, a quality lead is one which is easily converted to a customer and spends money with the organisation. The reason B2B marketers are more focused on this outcome rather than generating multiple leads is because, you can’t pay bills with engagement.
B2B lead generation is subject to multiple reports and analysis to determine its value. For example, metrics such as email open rates, social media reach, and content engagement are all foundations of a typical multi-channel marketing campaign. So what’s the problem? Well, these metrics are good indications of the campaign’s performance, but in the grand scheme, they are fairly worthless. This may be a difficult concept for many marketers to comprehend, but it’s important to remember that business growth is based on sales, revenue, and profit. A result of 500 new leads sounds good, but if none of these go on to buy from the company, then is there any real value? The answer is no. When it comes to paying rent for the office space, or reporting to the C-Suite, it’s money that matters, not the number of non-converting leads that have been generated.
Generating 500 leads is one thing, but converting them to customers is another. The best way to ensure this slick conversion is to remain focused on the criteria set by the sales team. For example, if sales have requested that all leads be within 50 miles of the office, have a turnover of +£5 million, and have at least 50 staff, then it starts to become easier to determine what a high-quality lead looks like. Now, if only 2 people from the initial 500 actually meet the sales requirements, and actually go on to convert, is the initial engagement rate still relevant? The truth is, probably not. Remain suspicious of ‘soft’ metrics when generating B2B leads. The fact is, it’s sales and revenue that matter.
Once all else is said and done, it will be possible to analyse the revenue from the marketing campaign and see if the activity generated a return on investment. The more ROI, the better the B2B lead generation activity performed, and the more profit the business generated. With this in mind, sales and revenue are still the paramount metrics in lead generation and marketing activity. All other measurements may be indicative and good to have, but nothing is more important that ROI.
To find out more about measuring the ROI of your marketing and lead generation activity