Monday May 16, 2016
Do you need more or better leads? Most sales organizations would answer “both!” Unfortunately, the lead sources and lead types that generate the most leads don’t necessarily produce the highest quality leads. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume leads that produce the highest close rates are the highest quality leads, and leads that generate the most unique prospects are high quantity leads.
The AVALA Marketing Group has analyzed thousands of online leads submitted to numerous manufacturers of high-consideration durable goods via their websites. The illustration below ranks the average close rate and lead volume by both lead type and lead source for the manufacturers studied. Keep in mind, there can be many more lead types and lead sources than those listed here.
You’ll notice the lead types that generate the highest close rates are lower in overall volume. As noted earlier, customers who request brochures are typically higher in the lead funnel, and there are many more of them.
Leads from organic traffic represent a high proportion of online leads for most manufacturers, and the highest quality leads tend to come from sources that target current owners, prospects, and known shoppers. Keep in mind the Lead Volume by Lead Source is heavily influenced by your digital media spend and outbound email activity.
How to Increase Lead Volume
If part of your strategy is to increase lead volume, here are some recommendations.
- Search Engine Optimization – Because most leads come from organic website traffic, it makes sense to increase your visibility on the major search engines by improving your search results ranking. SEO isn’t the fastest way to increase site traffic and leads, but the investment pays long-term dividends.
- Paid Media – Increasing your digital media spend is a quick way to increase both site traffic and leads, however, you need to be careful not to spend too much on media with sub-par close rates. Be sure to max out your retargeting and search budgets.
- Email Frequency – Stepping up the frequency of your outbound emails to owners and prospects is a good way to increase lead volume, however, you need to be careful not to create list fatigue. If your offers and content are weak and lack relevance, or if you email too often, your subscribers will most certainly start to tune out.
- Customer Database – You can increase your lead volume by growing your database. This can be a longer-term initiative, but a larger database will provide value in your lead generation efforts.
- Additional Lead Activities - You may need to add more lead activities to your website, apps, or social media channels. A larger net will help you catch more fish.
- Increased Prominence – Some of your lead activities might be “hidden” or hard to find on your website. Lead activities that are highly visible and prominently placed, generate more leads. Lead activities that are out-of-sight are also out-of-mind.
- Promos with Price Incentives – In Column A of the above illustration, you’ll notice promotions featuring price incentives can not only drive a good number of leads, but have very high close rates. Some manufacturers steer away from price incentives for good reason, but for many manufacturers this type of promotion can generate a lot of high quality leads.
How to Increase Lead Quality
If part of your strategy is to increase lead quality, here are a few options you can pursue.
- Improve Paid Media Targeting – By improving your targeting methods, you can hone in on customers who are most likely to buy.
- Make the Best Lead Types More Visible – Not all lead types are equal. By increasing the visibility of lead activities that generate more sales, you improve your chances of increasing the number of high-quality leads that enter the sales pipeline.
- Throttle by Lead Source – If your sales organization is overwhelmed with following-up on lower quality leads, you may consider sending them only the leads that come from the best closing lead types. But don’t dismiss your other leads entirely. You’ll likely want to qualify those leads further before sending them on to your sales team.
- Throttle by Prospect Score – Marketing automation technologies, like Aimbase, can generate a prospect score for every person who submits a lead on your website. A prospect score is based on the number of leads submitted, lead type, lead source, website activity, email activity, and a host of other factors. Leads with higher prospect scores are more engaged and more likely to close. You might set rules to only notify your sales team when a customer breaches a certain prospect score.
Need help improving lead quality and quantity? Let’s get started.