Thanks to Jim Berkowitz and his CRM Mastery E-Journal for pointing me to CIO article by David Tabor, “When Leads Lie.” Check both resources out they are well worth a read.
Here’s a few excerpts from Tabor’s article:
Why do leads lie? Leads lie because we think they’re saying something that they aren’t. A lead is not ready to buy. They’re typically not even ready to talk with one of your sales reps. A lead is merely somebody who indicated “tell me a little more,” by clicking on a link, responding to an email, or registering on a site.
Until the leads are cultivated, nurtured, qualified, and converted to contacts, there is no sales cycle.
So when you look at your revenue pipeline, most of the deals won’t refer back to leads. It’ll make your lead gen look less important than it really is. This goes double if you use the Named Account model of selling.
The bottom line: by focusing on sales-cycle starts (opportunity-creates) rather than leads (visibility events), you’ll be able to measure something that’s meaningful to the business and provide a solid basis for collaboration among marketing, pre-sales, and sales teams. And that’s the whole point of CRM.
Great tips: I agree with much of what Tabor has to say. He emphasizes the most important measurement to for marketers to measure is “sales cycles started” which is what I call lead-to-opportunity conversion rate. The point is your lead generation must connect with your revenue pipeline. If you’re not doing that, you’re missing a huge opportunity to improve.