We have talked in recent posts about Aberdeen Group's 2011 report, "Optimizing the Marketing to Sales Lead Lifecycle Report." In it they identify the best practices necessary for laggards at lead management to move to industry average, then for average performers to achieve best in class results.
If you have been following the recommendations they have suggested you are on your way to moving up this ladder. So what are the next steps, how do you move past being just "industry average" and attain best in class results? Aberdeen identified 3 key areas that help the top level maintain their coveted elite status.
- Using customer purchasing history to qualify and prioritize leads
- Ensuring your marketing staffs' compensation is tied to campaign results
- Automating workflow management whenever possible
A closer look at each best-practice helps us determine makes it so valuable to the lead generation process.
Using customer purchase history to qualify and prioritize leads
Over 50% of top performing companies use past customer purchase history to improve campaign effectiveness and to raise lead quality. In many highly transactional environments this is an extremely important metric to act on. It means you're not 'starting fresh' with each lead for one thing. It also moves leads that might be offering the shortest buy cycle to the top of the list.
It's also significant that half the best in class companies don't do this, so there is some quality low hanging fruit ready to be picked by competitors that perfect it.
Ensuring marketing compensation is tied to campaign results
Let's face it we are all money motivated, and what better way to drive behavior than aligning incentive compensation to lead generation results. More and more companies are looking at this tool to improve lead generation results.
An even bolder approach would be to align marketing compensation to your sales teams booking/revenue growth plan. When marketing does a stellar job of providing highly qualified leads for their sales teams why should the sales department receive 100% of the benefit from a commission perspective? When the sales team overachieves it makes sense to share some of that success with the marketing team.
Automating workflow management whenever possible
43% of high performing companies use automated campaign workflows to increase marketing productivity. Best in class companies realize the benefits these tools can provide, especially in situations where marketing campaigns are complex and the cost of human capital to execute them is high. As the complexities of marketing campaigns continue to increase the ongoing investment in automation tools is a must have not a nice to have.
Best in class companies understand the value of creating strong marketing programs that deliver their sales teams the constant flow of qualified leads needed in today's highly competitive environment. By aligning goals between sales and marketing and by leveraging technology you can take you firm from a laggard to best in class position. It does require investment in terms of time and money but the ROI is hard to dispute.
Want to talk about your unique situation or discuss some of the best practices we see in our client engagements? Schedule a SALES READY Review and take the first step to improving your lead generation results.