Demand Generation

Lessons from the CSO Insights 2010 Lead Generation Optimization Study

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The CSO Insights 2010 Lead Generation Optimization Study identifies some of the best practices that companies are focusing on to optimize their lead generation performance. Here are five of the key success factors they found.

1. Measure Campaign ROI

For the first time in the history of the LGO study, over half the firms stated that they have processes in place to track campaign ROI. And a key part of delivering sales and marketing ROI is the ability to track the dispositions of all sales leads via a CRM system. With over 75% of all sales organizations leveraging these applications, marketing now has visibility into the entire revenue cycle, allowing them to measure success based on metrics and not in terms of ‘impressions’ or ‘awareness’. These new marketing metrics help further sales and marketing alignment.

2. Mine the Gold in Marketing Automation and CRM Systems

Effective lead generation teams that analyze the data accumulated in Marketing Automation and CRM systems not only have the insight to understand which prospects are most likely to buy, but they also have the ability to track the disposition of the leads they’ve been generating. This, in turn, provides clarity into the types of programs that are most effective and those that are not. For example, one medical firm, when looking at their key influencers, discovered unexpected win rates. The purchasing department’s win rate was less than 25% but the nursing team’s win rate was over 67%. They soon found that while the purchasing department thought the test was too expensive, the nursing team saw that the results were worth the cost. This insight enabled the firm’s sales team to focus their efforts and target more effectively.

3. Customized Messaging Increases Conversion 20%

Not all buyers are created equal. With this insight, marketers can develop more targeted messages, increasing the effectiveness of their lead generation efforts. One example includes a financial services firm. When looking at its past success, they discovered that prospects with certain characteristics responded more positively to messaging that involved a ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ more than others. By using a web-based marketing approach, different segments of users received emails that offered solutions they were most likely to care about, and were then directed to educational landing pages about the topic of interest. This focus helped lead conversion rates increase by nearly 20%.

4. Optimize Data Quality and Quantity

Customer and prospect data continues to deteriorate. Only 8% of firms reported currency and correctness of prospect data was over 90%, an all-time low. Data quality directly impacts marketing’s ability to effectively execute lead generation campaigns. And the success of customized messaging depends on the lead generation team’s access to the appropriate data and the ability to segment prospects.  These tools supply offerings about prospects that go beyond the basics of name, address and phone number. While there is a cost associated with data management services, the cost of investment vastly outweighs the cost of doing nothing.

5. Implement Technology for Marketing and Sales

Execution of lead generation campaigns is enhanced when companies invest in Lead Generation Management solutions. Solutions like these not only help get the right message out to the right prospects, but effectively score the leads that are generated. It directly impacts the level of effort sales reps dedicate to lead follow-up and helps keep companies top-of-mind. There has been a tremendous increase in the number of firms using lead management. A year ago, less than one-third of firms were using a LGM system. Today, that number is almost 50%, with 85% using a commercial offering. (Most common including Marketo, Salesforce.com and Genius.com) When asked if they would recommend their LGM vendor to their peers, the number of firms who responded with “Absolutely” or “Very Likely” has increased to 66%.

Sales and Marketing 2.0

This portion of the study concludes with advice from Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and publisher of Selling Power:

“He who has a thing to sell and goes and whispers in a well is not so apt to get the dollar as he who climbs a tree and hollers.”

Want to learn about how to achieve these five critical success factors?  Marketo is excited to sponsor the upcoming Sales and Marketing 2.0: Collaboration that Delivers Results Conference by Selling Power.

Not only is Selling Power known for high-quality events at great locations (Four Seasons, nice!), but Gerhard from Selling Power is a master mediator who knows how to get the inside scoop from those presenting.  In the coming weeks we will post some interviews from speakers who are going to be presenting at the event to get everyone excited for a great few days of learning.   Hope to see you there!

2010 Lead Generation Optimization