Of course, that's a simplification - and outside of the lead gen industry itself, anyone who uses lead generation needs to be aware of both sides of the equation. We've talked about how many leads you should be producing before -- but if you meet your number using leads of questionable quality, are you really going to meet your larger goals?
Buyer preference aside, though, there's ultimately a question of balance. Increasing volume at the expense of quality is a tempting but dangerous direction, and increasing quality standards too much can reduce the volume so low that the channel doesn't have the impact to make a worthwhile contribution to your business.
So what can your business do to balance lead quality and quantity? Glad you asked...
- Communicate constantly.
Your sales and marketing teams need to be consistently evaluating the
leads you're bringing in and the results they're producing. Have
internal dashboards, hold regular check-in meetings, and encourage a
culture where communication about any issues is the norm.
- Use a variety of lead sources.
Leads that you capture through your web site will behave differently
than those from search engine marketing or purchased lists. Using
multiple sources will insulate you if volume slows down in any one
channel, or if you have to dial one back because results aren't where
they need to be.
- Analyze results and costs by channel, then adjust your mix.
As you add new lead generation channels, take the time to compare them
to existing sources. Do they convert at different rates? Are their
purchases for similar revenue? Once you know the costs and returns on
leads from across all your channels, you have the information you need
to start changing up the mix.
- Have tactics for "low end" leads. Just
because a lead isn't interested in purchasing right now doesn't mean
they won't want to eventually. Similarly, a prospect who's interested in
a smaller purchase than your sweet spot may not be a high-dollar
opportunity -- but it's an opportunity for someone. Can you
create partnerships with other sellers who target smaller buyers? Can
you create custom lead nurturing campaigns for the 'just researching'
types who may not be ready to buy for six months? You've already paid to
get this lead in the door -- don't throw it away simply because it's
not an easy home run.