Consumer confidence has fallen to record low figures, with more and more consumers cutting spending in almost every area of their life. Spending is increasingly limited to essential items, with discretionary spend falling across the board.
At the same time UK businesses are facing rising costs in every area from energy and rents to raw materials and wages. This places companies in the catch 22 position of trying to find more customers at a time when they are also trying to cut costs.
Why lead management & tracking matters
No business wants to waste money at the best of times, and these are far from the best of times, but failing to properly track leads will inevitably result in budgets being thrown away on ineffectual marketing channels.
You may think that the best way to increase leads is to increase traffic to your website, however this is often just a vanity measure. More website visitors doesn’t necessarily mean more people will contact you, so you have no increase in leads. Even when you do get an increase in people getting in contact, if there is no uplift in sales then this increase in visitors just becomes a net cost, as you spend time and resources on leads that were never going to result in sales. Your increased website traffic may have increased leads, but they are low quality, unqualified leads.
This focus on driving numbers to a website is often the result of a failure to understand where your most profitable customers have come from. Even if you have taken time to identify your ideal customer, without following the entire sales journey through to the end, you won’t know which of your channels or marketing activities are the most successful at driving sales.
This is where lead management and tracking comes in. Following each customer through every stage of the marketing lead process gives you robust, actionable data from which to refine your marketing strategy.
In addition, a comprehensive lead tracking strategy also captures the behaviour of those otherwise ‘ideal customers’ who didn’t complete the sales process. Looking at where your strategy was unsuccessful, for example by A/B testing ads or tracking form abandonment, helps you to avoid so-called survivorship bias, where your data is skewed by ignoring where lead generation failed and attempting to find out why.
Saving money with lead management & tracking
Key to understanding how your budget is being spent is knowing what your cost per lead (CPL) is. In theory this is easy to calculate. For example, say you spend £2,000 on your PPC ad campaign and 20 people who click on it complete a form on your website. You therefore calculate that your CPL is £100, that is £2,000/20. So far so good.
However, consider how you respond to online marketing. Often you will visit a website more than once before making contact, this is even more true for B2B sales where a team of people may be involved in buying decisions. You may not complete a form on the website. Maybe you call, maybe you use live chat. To get an accurate CPL – and to be able to accurately assess which are you most cost-effective campaigns – you need to track every way that your leads reach you and from what campaign source, ideally right down to granular details like keywords and pages. Back to your £2,000 campaign. With better lead tracking you may find that another 15 people called you and 5 used your live chat. Suddenly your CPL is £50. More data lets you make a better assessment of the value of this lead generation strategy to your business.
Using this data to continually improve your lead generation strategy improves the quality of your leads. Back to website traffic. Your PPC campaign may not increase traffic but you can now calculate through effective tracking of all channels whether it has increased leads, and by constantly collecting more data you can improve the quality of these leads.
Tracking the whole journey
There’s a further step you can take to improve lead quality and maximise the value you get from your marketing budget. Feeding back sales data into your lead management system will give you even more information about which parts of your marketing strategy are not just generating leads but generating sales. However, this step can’t be achieved if you haven’t got the basics in place. The bottom line is, if you want to get the most bang for your marketing budget, get your lead tracking and management in shape, and everything else will follow.