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5 Reasons Marketers Must Focus on Lead Value, Not Volume

min read
5 Reasons Marketers Must Focus on Lead Value, Not Volume

The primary focus for most lead generation marketers is — no surprise here — lead volume. It’s the KPI that they live and die by, the one that leads to fame, notoriety, and fat bonus checks. Optimizing your marketing campaigns to drive more leads seems like a winning strategy, but it’s leading you astray. Lead volume isn’t cutting it in today’s economy where CEOs and CFOs are pushing marketing teams to connect investment to revenue directly and sustainable profit rules the strategic landscape. 

So where does that leave you with leads? They’re still important, of course, but now it’s time to put lead value above lead volume and build a revenue execution-based marketing strategy. Here are five reasons why it’s time to shake the obsession with lead volume and make revenue your core KPI. 

1. Optimizing for High-Value Leads Generates More Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The biggest downfall of putting lead quantity over quality is that not all leads are created equal. While big lead gen stats might look good on paper, driving those leads might be a big waste of money. Marketers are now being led toward quality, as a recent Google survey shows that 85% of marketers say they want to increase the quality of their leads. 

There’s a good reason for that. Think of it this way: a marketer for a bank who is mostly focused on lead volume might not care if they’re for basic checking accounts or new mortgages. They’re also less concerned if the lead converts at all. In this example, the volume-focused marketer will put more money behind the “Corp Bank Trust” keyword because it drives more calls. Wipe hands on pants, call it a day.

Now, the value-focused marketer would put more money behind the “first-time mortgage” keyword. It drives fewer calls, but more conversions and therefore more revenue. These high-value leads become customers who make larger investments, so they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul. This means they’re more likely to increase your CLV, provide more opportunities for upsells, and hand you high-value referrals. The low-value leads are more likely to be transactional, one-time purchases and they may cost you just as much to acquire. 

2. Prove Marketing Impact with KPIs Everyone Aligns With

Marketers love CTRs, MQLs, SQLs, and a bunch of other fun acronyms, but they’re virtually meaningless to those who aren’t concerned about executing marketing programs. This includes CMOs who once focused on the “what” of marketing — what are we running, who are we targeting, what is the brand strategy, etc — and are now concerned with the impact of marketing on business growth. 

In a survey by Google and Kantar, CMOs who can translate marketing metrics to business impact — AKA revenue — are 37% more likely to report revenue growth than leaders who communicate strictly in that “what” marketing language.  

When you start talking about marketing’s impact on revenue growth, you perk up the ears of the CEO, CFO, and the sales organization, because that’s what they ultimately care about. When you can measure marketing success with revenue, you can prove that you’re effectively allocating your budget and make a rock-solid case for increasing spend on marketing programs and resources that impact the bottom line. 

3. Sales is More Efficient When Marketing Sends Better Leads

One impact of a lead volume-focused strategy that marketers often don’t consider is the impact on sales resources. The more leads that you send to sales, the more they have to sift through and follow up on. When your marketing programs drive inbound leads to call business locations or a contact center, it can quickly tie up their limited resources. This makes it impossible to spend adequate time with each caller and increases the likelihood that calls go unanswered. 

You often only have one chance to convert a customer who calls, and when good leads fall through the cracks when calls aren’t answered, they likely won’t call back. 

Marketing leaders who are focused on revenue can optimize programs to drive only high-value leads to sales agents, while routing lower-value leads to convert online. This enables the sales agents to spend more time with each customer, increasing conversion rates and turning more callers into customers.

4. Reducing Lead Volume Improves the Customer Experience

High inbound call volumes that result from lead volume-focused marketing strategies not only reduce sales efficiency, it also hurts the customer experience for everyone who calls. When the call queues get packed, it results in long hold times, more transfers, and less time for agents to provide empathetic experiences. This will result in increased churn and low conversion rates. 

Today’s customers have no patience for bad experiences — our survey showed that 76% of consumers will quit doing business with you after just one bad experience. Over a third also said they’d pay more for great service.

Again, using a lead value-focused strategy can reduce call volume so agents can spend more time with high-value customers and focus on providing empathetic experiences

This isn’t to say that you don’t want those lower-value leads to become customers. You should provide an online experience that makes it easy for them to complete their transactions online. With a revenue execution platform like Invoca, you can tie calls to the web page or ad that drove them, which shows you why leads are calling. With this data-driven context, you can improve online experiences that encourage lower-value customers to buy online — which is likely what they prefer to do anyway. 

5. Improve Sales and Marketing Collaboration

Last but not least, a revenue-focused marketing strategy creates common goals that make tight collaboration between marketing and sales possible. More and more companies are recognizing that driving sustained revenue growth isn’t possible when marketing and sales teams operate in silos. They see the tight coordination required across the marketing and sales teams, and have begun to view them as a combined “revenue team”.

But for most companies, there’s a complete disconnect between the marketing team that engages leads and the sales team that closes the deals — especially when the rep sits in a contact center or business location. The result is a poor buyer experience and lost revenue. 

It takes more than a value-driven strategy to connect marketing and sales, they also have to connect on shared data. Revenue execution platforms like Invoca connect marketing and sales teams to help them track and optimize the buying journey to drive more revenue. By using a comprehensive revenue execution platform, revenue teams can better connect their paid media investments directly to revenue, improve digital engagement, and deliver the best buyer experiences to drive more sales. Better yet, the data it provides creates a shared language that enables revenue teams to accomplish their goals. 

Additional Resources

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Webinar: Going beyond lead generation
Calling all digital marketers!
Level up your marketing game with industry experts' advice on building a revenue-focused strategy.
Register Now!
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