With Leads, It’s Quality, not Quantity
“Companies are wasting millions of dollars generating bad leads that no one follows up on,” asserts Dan McDade, president of Norcross, Ga.-based business prospects outsourcing company, PointClear. The problem, he explains, is a disconnect between sales and marketing—particularly within B-to-B companies—where marketing complains that sales doesn’t follow up on the leads it delivers, and sales complains about the quality of those leads. The end result: Finger-pointing, wasted campaign dollars, poor ROI, and a company at odds with itself.
If that doesn’t sound like the kind of team you want to be part of, McDade offers up a few suggestions for how
B-to-B marketers can improve their end of the process.
* Use analytics, such as modeling and step analysis, and other tools, such as firmographics and good, old-
fashioned calling, to clearly define the real target market. “We have one client who thought its target market was 85,000 companies. Through analytics, we narrowed that down to 35,000,” explains McDade.
* Consolidate multiple prospect databases into one clean, de-duped warehouse. Marketing is not a series of discrete events, cautions McDade. “Track all activity, every marketing event, by company, by contact, and analyze all that for future activity.”
* Enhance prospect records with overlay and environment data, such as decision-maker names, demographics, firmographics and company-specific content. Some of this information is available through public sources, but the best source is picking up the phone and calling, asserts McDade.
* Prioritize the prospect database into highest value segments on which to focus. “From due diligence, you can know intuitively what sectors work best,” suggests McDade. Measure response rates by those criteria and focus your efforts on just the highest-performing segments.
* Deploy multitouch, multimedia programs to engage executive-level decision-makers and qualify them as ready buyers for the sales force. “We’ll typically run nine touchpoints per cycle—call, e-mail, call, e-mail, direct mail, etc.,” explains McDade. “And when the lead meets our criteria, send it out to the field.”