Measure What Matters
“Joe” tells me that the webcast he just ran produced 100 leads. That’s a lot of leads from a webcast in our business. I inquire how many people attended the webcast. It turns out that 100 people expressed an interest in the webcast, and 60 attended.
That’s not a bad attendance rate, but that doesn’t mean that all 100 people who registered for the seminar are leads. It means that we have 100 names to call to discover the level of interest and fit for our product. Depending on the subject of the webcast, they are usually slightly warmer than a cold call list. In my book, the webcast registrants are “inquiries”, but not leads.
There’s a lot of semantics here. You can call these inquiries “leads” if it works for you. In fact, I don’t have anything against generating inquiries. After all, inquiries are where it all starts.
The problem I have is when marketers determine the success of a campaign by the number of inquiries it produces. If you can’t reliably tell me how many sales we can expect from 100 inquiries, I don’t think you can use it as a measure of success for a campaign. Inquiries don’t pay the bills.
In my department, the only metric we talk about publicly is leads that we put in the hands of the sales team. We do measure other metrics like cost per lead and click-throughs but those metrics are often irrelevant to anyone outside our team. A lead to us means there is a potential project that could involve our product and they fit our target profile for size of company and industry.
I know the sales team can close X% of these leads that we produce. Knowing their sales goals, I can reliably work backward to the goal for number of leads that my team needs to generate. We become part of the team and the connection between sales and marketing strengthens.
It also removes the blame game. If sales doesn’t reach its goals, yet we hit our leads goals, we know there’s something else going on. No one can say, “we didn’t have enough leads” because sales and marketing agreed ahead of time on the goal.
Every business is different. No matter what product you market, make sure you measure what matters. I would love to hear from others in the marketing field. How do you measure what matters in your business?