By Severine Hierso
Measurability is key. Whether you want to gauge your first successes in business or are looking to scale up, having data-driven results to back up your ambitions will make the path ahead of you infinitely easier to navigate.
This can be particularly useful when it comes to assessing your lead generation output. Breaking down key elements will allow you to refine campaigns and roll the most effective wins into securing future leads with less effort.
Luckily there are industry-standard ways and means to quantify almost every aspect of your business these days. From keyword gap analysis on your site content to KPIs for customer feedback resolution, it might seem a little overwhelming when you first dip your toes in data-led decision making.
But with so many to choose from, how do you get started using data-driven metrics without getting bogged down in the maths?
Below are seven of the more integral data-driven metrics that will allow you to start pulling key learnings out of your lead generation campaigns without pulling your hair out!
1. Return on Investment
This is the big one. If you’re not currently tracking your Return on Investment, then you need to stop what you’re doing right now and call a meeting with your Marketing Team. Return on Investment is the most top-level metric by which successes and opportunities in lead generation can start to be dissected.
ROI should be measured across every aspect of your business; from value assessments on your web conferencing solutions to how fit for purpose your accounting applications are. In lead generation, however, it can form the basis for the employment of more niche metrics down the line to help refine how you look at your campaign performance.
How you go about creating a standard metric for Return on Investment that is best suited to your business model can often come down to what costs you decide to include in your calculation. Smaller-scale businesses might want to differentiate between the explicit hard costs and the more abstract soft costs of campaign operation and stick to their guns to keep ROI gauging consistent going forward.
2. Lead Score
Leads are not created equally. With that in mind, it’s important to differentiate between the leads you generate to assess their relative value. Should your business find itself light on marketing resources or under a restricted scope, Lead Score will help you identify the leads to target and maneuver into the sales funnel.
One of the best ways to go about categorising your leads is via a points-based system. It will mean that each lead can be held to the same quantitative standard and allow the score to interact with many other data-based metrics your business is employing.
Knowing which customers are historically, or intuitively, more important will garner them more points toward their final score, whereas those who were obvious ‘one and done’ clients will receive a lower attribution.
To start with, your lead scoring will need to dive into some historical data. From there, you can start to see patterns in what converted your leads into customers, and what aspects of your campaigns best accomplished that.
Once you have solid lead scoring in your arsenal, you open yourself up to a host of other metrics that can boost your insights.
3. Lead to Website Traffic Ratio
If you imagine your website as your product showroom, there will be metrics that help you establish what factors helped you get visitors to the door, but your Lead to Website Traffic Ratio will help you determine how effective you are in guiding them through it.
Visitors to your product’s website are teetering on the edge of the sales funnel, but once they cross that threshold they’re officially a lead. Determining how many of those buy-curious visitors turn into leads is determined by your Lead to Website Traffic Ratio.
This is where the importance of eCommerce dashboards come into play. Key data evaluating everything from engagement with your site content, bounce rate, and user journey can be studied with this metric in mind.
It’s one thing to get excited about an increase in visitors to your website, quite another to Keeping this ratio front and centre will allow you to optimise your website for what it was meant to do; convert leads into cold, hard revenue.
The beauty of using Lead to Website Traffic Ratio is that there is no sweet spot to aim for; the sky’s the limit. The higher the ratio, the better your website is at sparking leads.
Do ensure, though, that if your site is prone to heavy traffic at certain times in, say, a month, you are allowing a sufficient time frame from which to pull your data so as not to under-represent your conversion.
4. Customer Acquisition Cost
Seeing the real-world value of every decision your business makes is key to refining your business strategy.
No-cost tweaks like a killer subject line in your marketing emails can make a big difference but where costs are incurred in getting that customer through the sales funnel, Customer Acquisition Cost will help you make informed value decisions.
More complex calculations can include the breakdown of every soft cost as well as the hard costs of acquisition in lead generation. However, if your time and resources are limited, calculations can simply include the hard costs of your audio conferencing software.
For customers with multiple products in their portfolio, it’s important to adequately proportion the hard costs across each one. Doing so will ensure specific campaign data isn’t muddied by overestimating costs and, therefore, under-representing your success.
5. Customer Lifetime Value
Good lead generation is a way of channeling potential.
Once you have acquired your customers, most business models will, in some way, depend on keeping those customers. One of the hallmarks of truly happy customers is that they return time and again.
While even the best marketer can’t predict the future, there are ways to make a call on the future value of many lead interactions once they hit the customer phase. Customer lifetime value is a measure of the average customer revenue over their entire relationship with the company.
Customers with higher lifetime value can be targeted for additional campaigns, more specifically tailored to their demographic’s criteria. This helps reduce overall investment in future campaigns with the added benefit of greater potential Return on Investment.
This has an added benefit, too. Customers who are targeted because of their specific interactions with your business, feel memorable and important, leading to higher retention. In this manner, Customer Lifetime Value has a way of feeding into itself in a wholly positive way.
Customer Lifetime Value can also offset certain Customer Acquisition Costs. Such metric interactions are why it’s invaluable to have as many metric irons in the fire as possible when it comes to assessing your lead generation campaigns.
6. Sales Closure Rate
Lead generation is all about the end goal: the sale. With that in mind, this one might seem like a no-brainer. Datafying the amount of sales pitches that result in a sale is one of the primary ways of feeding back into your lead generation.
As your business scales up, you may naturally see an increase in sales. Knowing exactly how that measures up against the number of leads generated, pitches floated, and presentations given, will give a realistic view of meaningful sales progress. From here you get greater visibility over your scalability.
With the Omnichannel Experience fast becoming the norm, keeping a close eye on your Sales Closure Rate will help you define which channels are most beneficial to your business. A sharp influx of live chats coinciding with a month of higher-than-average sales closure will indicate chat metrics are an area for further exploitation.
7. Upsell Ratio
As a business continues to utilise its success metrics, more actionable results will continue to emerge. A solid customer base coupled with data-driven resources will provide sufficient understanding to start going beyond the sale.
Here, metrics like Upsell Ratio come into play.
Depending on your product niche, the upsell will either come as part of the sale package or post-sale; with the likes of version upgrades or add-ons in SaaS solutions, existing separate from the first sale.
Knowing your Upsell Ratio will allow you to determine if there are areas for improvement in terms of your focus on upselling.
Making customer testimonials part of your content marketing strategy will create a mutually-beneficial customer experience. This, in turn,will increase the potential for post-sales upselling as retention moves from passive to active.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just as one of the biggest software testing myths is that product refinement can hold up the project lead generation campaigns, these too, are perfectly able to be adjusted on the fly.
Having real-time, data-focused metrics to hand will allow that to happen with minimal campaign upheaval. Most of the continuous integration your campaigns can, and should, experience will be drawn from the above data-driven metrics.
And what does ci mean in this instance? Well, to borrow more parlance from our development family, it means readily levelling up in a system that supports real-time, effective changes driven, in your case, by the metrics above.
Further, an awareness of the metrics that best suit your business is as important as utilising your chosen few effectively. The above seven, however, are as good a place as any to start.