The key to successful B2B online lead generation is knowing your metrics and improving them.
The beauty of operating in a digitally-driven world is that businesses nowadays can get their hands on large amounts of data, which can help them make sense of what’s happening.
Knowing that someone has visited your website six times within the last two months – a sign they are likely to be heading towards making a purchase – can be a huge advantage. Especially if you know who that person is and can start actively engaging with them.
Setting up an online lead generation mechanism when you’re a B2B business isn’t difficult. All you need is one good ‘offer’ (a piece of content that can be downloaded in exchange for an email address), a landing page and a way to capture the email addresses.
However, to make it work really well and ensure it generates a constant stream of good quality leads, you need to spend time experimenting and refining the process. It will take regular analysis of key data if you’re to improve the ‘machine’.
One of the main reasons you may want to track, measure and report on your lead generation performance, is to see what return on investment (ROI) you are achieving.
The more positive the ROI of your campaigns, the more budget you’re likely to be allocated. And with more budget, you can enhance your campaigns even further, making them bigger and better, and improving your ROI yet again.
But the only way this will work, is if you know exactly what is contributing to your results.
Measuring web traffic and the leads you’re getting out of it is a great first step. However, very quickly you’ll need to delve deeper into your data, to start measuring different data points, so you can truly understand what’s working.
Basic lead generation metrics you must track
As new leads come in, you need to be able to see the path that brought them to you. Not only is the overall number of leads interesting, but the question of whether they converted at the first touch point, or have in fact been in touch with your material at several points.
For example, they may have found you on LinkedIn, then seen an ad pop up on Facebook, read a blog post, then decide to follow you on LinkedIn and read another blog post, finally going on to sign up for a webinar.
In this example:
- FT (first touch) is however they first came across you on LinkedIn.
- The first conversion is the webinar
- MT (multi touch) are all the bits in between the FT and first conversion, which will have had an influence on the lead’s behavior
It’s often not a straightforward journey, with lots of back and forth.
If you set up a simple lead generation process, knowing the last touch before conversion might be good enough for you to start improving the process. But as your lead generation activities expand, so too will your need for more sophisticated tools and measurement.
Marketing automation software can help here, not only when it comes to putting your campaigns together but in offering sophisticated ways to measure what’s going on with your leads.
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is someone you have identified as a potential lead. They’ll tick all the right boxes in terms of your target customers.
You need a mechanism in place for determining what a MQL is and what you’re going to do when you find one.
If you have a lead generation process set up around one downloadable offer, then consider including a simple question on your form that will help you distinguish between leads. For example, if geographic location is very important, then ask for their postal code or region. Anyone within your reach is then highlighted as a MQL.
There are of course going to be lots of other determining factors. As your lead generation activities get more sophisticated, so too will the options for how your visitors and leads may behave.
Eventually, you may decide you need a way to score each lead as it comes in. Again, this can be very simple or very sophisticated, depending on your setup and needs. All leads are certainly not equal, so it’s good to think early on about how you’re going to score them.
Opportunities in the pipeline
Having your data work seamlessly together will make it far easier to reveal what works and what doesn’t. You need your sales and marketing tools to talk to each other and synchronize, so everyone knows what’s going on. For example, being able to measure the number of new opportunities generated by a webinar, or an in-person event, will give you greater insight into what works best for your business.
Average lead close rates
You need to know how many of your leads actually close. This figure can be a good indicator of whether you are attracting enough good quality leads in the first place.
As there are multiple touch points in the buyer journey, there will also be multiple conversion points. Ideally, you need to measure the conversion rate of each of these individually, to see their effectiveness.
Time to customer conversion
Knowing how long a customer conversion takes from FT to final close, is another metric to evaluate regularly. There will be many moving parts and metrics involved in this number, so always ensure you’re comparing like with like.
Email click through rates
Just like conversion rates can help you improve your lead generation tactics, so too can looking at what’s happening with your email activity.
Opening an email is one thing, getting someone to read it is quite another. And getting them to act, such as by clicking in a link or replying, is yet another. Think what metrics you could monitor for the different emails you send out regularly.
Emails are key for nurturing leads along and building a relationship that will ultimately end in a sale.
An anonymous visitor coming to your website for the first time is unlikely to be an immediate opportunity, particularly in the case of more complex sales cycles. Ideally, you’ll turn that anonymous visitor into a contact within your database, who you then keep in touch with via email and phone.
As a Lead Forensics customer, you’ll be able to easily track conversions. You’ll also be able to contact a lead using information our software gives you – even if they never convert on your offer. You can then compare their interactions with different emails and work on improving your overall process, as well as the individual elements contained within it.
Find out more about the Lead Forensics product in the short guide below or get started with our free trial:
A key metric to track, particularly when it comes to determining ROI, is your costs. Knowing the overall cost, as well as the cost per channel, per opportunity and per lead, are all important. We’ve written more about this topic here: how to cut your cost per lead.
Per channel metrics
Aside from looking at the leads that are coming in, you also want to be examining every channel, tactic and individual campaign you are running. How do they compare to each other in terms of attracting traffic, converting leads, creating opportunities and eventually closing deals?
Paid vs organic
If you do a lot of paid for lead generation, then you also need to compare these efforts against your organic ones. Which one brings in the most and best quality leads? How do the costs compare? What ROI is being achieved?
You may find that paid leads give you more leads and faster, but that the organic ones are better quality (or the other way around). This type of information is vital in determining how you should move ahead.
Progress and trend charts
Don’t just look at the numbers that have already happened. Develop a couple of progression charts that will enable you to see immediately how you’re doing this month compared to last, or against another relevant time frame.
There are also all kinds of industry benchmarks for the above metrics and more. They can be helpful for building your understanding and showing you what’s going on with your own lead generation methods. Just be careful not to place too much weight on them.
Developing your own benchmarks will always be the best way to go. Look at how you are doing compared to how you did within another similar time frame. Then every now and then, see how that compares to what others are doing.
As a Lead Forensics customer, you have the option to create your own dashboard inside the tool. Talk to us and we’ll help you ensure you’re using the software to its fullest and that it’s set up in the optimum way for your business. That way you’ll be taking advantage of every opportunity to generate leads and improve your processes.