When you’re talking about marketing performance, it’s all in the numbers. B2B lead generation is no different. Getting as many potential sales for as little budget as possible is the ultimate name of the game. In fact, in many respects, B2B lead generation has an element of painting by numbers about it. An intelligent formula of activities managed sensitively and carefully will create something that just works. The right actions, at the right point, making the perfect picture of progress, for a brand and the customer experience.
Creating campaigns that work, however, is not simple. Understanding how different metrics work together in harmony, contrast, or clash with counter-productive impacts, all comes with experience.
There’s only one number – the sales
Err, nope! Good B2B lead generation is definitely not just about the sales that occur as a result of an activity. It’s not about the money, not about the conversion from data touched, and not about the skills of key people. Good B2B lead generation is about the overall positive impact of the brand and how it affects the experience of those touched by it. In 2008 we all learned some alarming lessons about the financial crisis and its underlying causes. Arguably, one contributor was the so called ‘over goal seeking behaviours’ of people who were too eager to sell. Now we know that in order to survive, attract the best staff, and continue to grow, companies must care. So how do B2B lead generation specialists manage metrics so they perform, for the organisations concerned, and the prospective customer.
The important numbers and what they tell us
Certain metrics speak volumes about the efficacy of a particular B2B lead generation campaign. The ‘number of dials it takes to reach a decision maker’ is chief among them. Often you need numerous dials to cold call senior decision makers of large organisations. The average for finance director type contacts is between 8 to 13 dials. So a useful metric is how many dials it takes per decision maker discussion. A well-researched, profiled database will pay dividends here, as it will reduce the number of wasted dials.
As a general rule of thumb, a new project, and a cold database will take longer, and cost more to reach. A warm database will take less time and cost less to reach. And you can only warm the data through sensitive, patient hard work. For example, by using wasted dials to check decision maker names and contact details. Reception-level information such as how many sites and turnover will add weight to your record, and value to your database.
A positive outcome is where someone was reached and they responded in a way that invites further or future dialog. They want to know more, or they need something, we’ve spiked an interest, or uncovered a need to be met. Sometimes this can be defined as a B2B lead generation success, an appointment booked, a meeting arranged, etc. Other times it can be a request for written information to be followed up with a view to a meeting.
Number of dials per decision maker reached
The metric, number of dials per decision maker, must be viewed through the lens of what happened when they’re reached. If it took 13 dials per decision maker and you reached 100 – that’s 1,300 dials. Probably 3 weeks’ work for a full-time telemarketer. If from your 100 decision maker conversations, 85 could be deemed a positive outcome – that’s good B2B lead generation. Conversely, if 1,300 dials gave you 100 decision maker conversations, and 85 said they’re not interested, that’s bad. In fact, Blue Donkey would have stopped that campaign pretty quickly after it began to refine data profiling.
Stand back and look at the picture forming
So it’s not the big numbers that make a difference to good B2B lead generation. It’s the ability to stand back, and check the granular detail, and look at the picture as it evolves. Make a value judgement about how well the objective is being met. Do people want these calls, and the product and services? At Blue Donkey, if there is more than a small handful of ‘not interested’ outcomes a project will be stopped. Our process of reflective practice means we’ll review outcomes to check what the calls are telling us. If prospects are tied into contracts, if there’s a strong incumbent supplier, if competitive forces are compelling, we’ll carefully review. This insight is then shared with our clients, in detail, with recommendations about how to move forward.
New contacts sourced
Other helpful metrics include the number of new decision makers added to the database. These are new potential buyers that have been researched and added to the database for targeting. The greater the number of qualified new prospects added, the more promising the future of the campaign. Month by month, this new contacts sourced metric should get bigger. While for example, the number of dials needed to reach each decision maker gets smaller. In fact, the more emphasis placed on the database and the integrity of its contents, the better the long term prospects of the B2B lead generation campaign.
As ever, it’s important to ensure your B2B lead generation isn’t just compliant but adopts a position of best practice. To check out the rules for telemarketing consent, see the latest ICO guidelines. There are many resources on their website that will help you get the most from your marketing.
Over our 22 years, Blue Donkey have become one of the most respected and successful B2B lead generation companies around. Talk to us today about how our expert teams can help you.