Companies that use marketing automation report seeing:
- 107% better lead conversion
- 40% greater average deal size
- 20% higher team attainment of quota
- 17% better forecast accuracy.
What EVP of Sales doesn’t want a higher rate of lead conversion and bigger deals? The numbers speak for themselves.
It has taken a while, but technology has finally delivered on enabling the softer science of marketing to deliver hard numbers. This is music to my ears as the responsibilities of sales and marketing fall squarely in my lap for both our company and that of our clients. I’ve always found three components of sales to be a challenge:
- How to improve the quality of leads
- How to reduce the cost to generate a lead
- How to speed the progress of a prospect through the sales cycle
Quality of leads
Over the years, we’ve gotten pretty good at determining which leads are a good match for us based upon certain criteria. We’ve honed our processes, procedures and forms to help ensure we are asking the right questions and evaluating all the necessary components in order to pursue the best opportunities. Ten minutes into a conversation with a prospect, I can tell whether or not we can truly help. That works when it’s face-to-face or ear-to-ear, but what about all the folks I don’t know … the ones who see our outbound marketing or are researching our services online?
Marketing automation enables us to deploy those tried and true processes, procedures and forms to begin the evaluation before we pick up the phone or sit down over a cup of joe. It collects data on which ads someone responds to, which email interested them and what they were researching on our website.
With each interaction the system awards a value, no different than if I were having a discussion with them in person. Now at the push of a button I can identify not only who has been responding to our marketing efforts, but also how I should prioritize them based on level of engagement. And I know EXACTLY what they are interested in. We can jump immediately to the conversation they want to have – lead quality efficiency at its best.
If you are savvy to thoughtful lead generation today, you’re likely deploying a content strategy and investing in regular development of relevant content. You’re building various assets (e.g., whitepapers, infographics, blog posts) off one content topic and then promoting that content in a variety of channels (e.g., advertising, web promotion, e-mail). But what’s working? How are you benchmarking and measuring your lead acquisition cost?
For ourselves, as well as our clients, we set a benchmark for success by measuring the level of engagement with the:
- SUBJECT matter of the content we develop
- ASSET TYPE that carries the content
- CHANNEL that delivers the asset
Marketing automation provides us the insight to stretch our lead generation dollar by reporting exactly which of our efforts are engaging our prospects. It’s a cycle of continuous improvement. Always refining to deliver the right content, in the right asset, through the right channel.
Sales Cycle Conversion Rates
On average, it takes us just over 150 days to bring a qualified lead to the Holy Grail of a trusted partner relationship. Over those 150 days we invest an enormous amount of time and talent. As a result, it increases pressure to ensure our lead generation efforts are delivering quality leads to the pipeline in the first place. Once they’re in the pipeline, I want to make sure marketing and sales are aligned to nurture each individual prospect more efficiently to that Holy Grail. So, how do we know it’s working?
We recently brought a significant client on board. They found us online. We had no idea who they were prior to their initial engagement through content on our website. Our marketing automation platform identified them and served up the exact content they sought. It then notified us of who they were and their service points of interest, and we followed-up with a tailored response that moved our conversation immediately to the contract phase of our sales cycle. Initial contact to Agency of Record contract = 41 days. Now that’s efficiency.
If you’d like to learn more about marketing smarter to deliver efficient qualified leads, click here. And who knows, perhaps we’re destined to have a relationship.