If your IT sales cycle has slowed to a crawl, it’s time to take another look at your data and lead generation metrics. Too often, marketing teams use metrics and KPIs that don’t reflect an organization’s true goals and objectives, according to a benchmarking study on B2B demand generation.
Making Sure Your Data Is Valid And Up To Date
The success of your marketing and sales efforts is directly correlated to the quality of your data. Incorrect or outdated information has a devastating impact on demand generation, creating problems that spread through every stage of your sales pipeline.
When sales reps are working with faulty data, they end up wasting time pursuing bad leads. That’s frustrating for your reps, and makes it harder for them to generate revenue for your business.
To avoid this mistake, keep your lead database updated and as accurate as possible. This accurate, trustworthy data gives you true visibility into your sales process, a foundation for making strong business decisions.
Measuring The Results Of Your Lead Generation Program
When you’re running a lead generation program for IT sales, your company’s leadership needs to understand how the metrics you’re tracking are generating revenue. For that, you need to analyze each stage in the buying cycle: Suspect » Prospect (Opportunity) » Evaluation » Proposal » Negotiation » Close (Customer)
Within each of those areas, you need metrics that will show:
● Trends over time — These might include tracking changes in the number of initial inquiries from prospects, etc.
● Performance against benchmarks — This could be where you are or where you want to be, but should be based on some data specific to your sale/industry. (E.g., Is the conversion rate from prospect to suspect accurate for your industry?)
● Data specific to individuals — Individual performance metrics are essential when it comes to your inside sales team, your outside sales team, etc. (E.g., What is the performance gap between your top and bottom sales performers? Can this gap be bridged?)
Once you’ve gathered these lead generation metrics, two scenarios are possible:
● The metrics are in line: They tell the story you want to tell and are self-explanatory.
● The metrics are out of whack: You now have to analyze your information on a more granular level to find out what issues exist and how they could be resolved.
The significance of these lead generation metrics depends on your circumstances, so it’s important to identify the hurdles your managers are trying to overcome, and then find the metrics that meet their needs. Improving your data quality and metrics should deliver noticeable gains in both demand generation and closed sales.