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What to measure and why

Demand generation should be a holistic approach to optimizing the conversion and sales cycle. This way, you can form strong relationships with the right prospects. At the core of demand generation is measurement and testing. This is vital because, to quote Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Certainly there are many metrics that can send you down a rabbit hole. When you track the right data, you can measure the effectiveness of your demand generation campaigns, understand your ROI and find ways to achieve growth.

What to measure and why

Here are the metrics that matter most and why they are helpful in optimizing conversions and sales.

Closing percentages. This is a valuable metric, especially for B2B organizations. The formula is rather simple: the number of deals closed divided by the number of sales proposals multiplied by 100. This will reveal not only how your sales team is doing, but also indicate the performance of marketing and customer success teams. You can see where strengths and weaknesses are within the funnel and reveal the effectiveness of qualifying and nurturing leads.

Funnel conversion rates. Because this metric focuses more on the middle of the funnel, it is sometimes overlooked. Don’t skip this important metric. It helps identify how well things are handled in the middle, including how well your teams provide content and pass along qualified leads to sales. You can see the percentage of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that convert to sales qualified leads (SQLs) and how SQLs turn into meetings that nurture the relationship and convert customers.

Cost per acquisition. Abbreviated as CPA , this metric will show how successful your business is and help redefine goals for campaigns. To see if time is well spent and profitable, divide the cost of generating a lead (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired during the period you set.

Cost per lead. Most marketers are familiar with CPL. This will provide information on the value of a persona and how it relates to the target criteria. This provides insight on how to tailor the content or fine tune the message in the campaign. Also, if there is something preventing conversions, this metric will help reveal it.

Conversion to MQLs. MQLs are different than simple leads. These are prospects who express greater interest in your business because they have engaged with content and have provided their information. If your goal is to generate new leads, this metric is much more effective to analyze open rates, instead of simply looking at them. But remember, MQLs may be interested, but not ready to fully commit. What you do with a successful MQL will also be important: Explore MQLs to SQLs.

Average deal size. This metric is the average sales price or dollar value of each closed-won deal and it will vary depending on industry. It is beneficial in a few ways. It provides an overall view of the health of your cycle and you can see opportunities outside your typical deal size. You can then flag larger or smaller ones so you can appropriately prioritize, target and manage those deals accordingly.

Lifetime customer value. You find this metric by calculating the amount of profit a customer provides over the lifetime of their relationship with your business. This reveals insight into the success of customer engagement, quality of account management and closing deals. Understanding this metric allows you to segment customers into the most profitable groups, optimize spending on the most effective acquisition channels and help you keep high-value customers with the appropriate retention decisions.

Get the most from your measurements

Once you begin to analyze the right metrics, you can take steps to optimize your efforts. At AccelSocial, we help corporations with strategies throughout the sales funnel. To learn more about demand generation or the ways we can assist through performance-based advertising solutions, explore our website.

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Top Funnel inefficiencies

Sales and marketing teams are pressed for conversions and sales, leading them to place a natural importance on the latter end of the sales funnel. They prioritize on taking the leads they have and pushing them toward the sale, but ignoring top-end funnels and demand generation issues can corrupt the rest of the funnel. This leads to lower sales overall.

Streamlining the top sales funnel channels is imperative to maximizing your sales. Many times, some inefficiencies create problems down the line. The top end of the sales funnel includes lead generation, SEO, advertising and more. When these aren’t done properly, you end up wasting money and losing sales.

Top funnel inefficiencies cost you sales

A good sales lead becomes a customer for life. This is a top-funnel lead that is within the niche of your business, interested in your products or services, and wants to learn more. These are the leads that receive your email marketing and not only read them but click on the links as well. They naturally lead to the middle of the funnel and eventually become customers.

Bad sales leads are common when you have an inefficient top funnel system. It could be that your campaign isn’t finely targeted enough, your emails go to people uninterested in your services, or your on-site content doesn’t grab their attention. Your top funnel marketing isn’t interesting to the good leads, and instead is getting disinterested customers or those outside the price point of your product or services.

Inefficient top funnel marketing also brings in large numbers of leads. On the surface, this may sound ideal. The more leads you get, the better, right? Too many leads, especially those with little interest, just end up costing you time and money you don’t have. It’s better to have an efficient system that brings in top quality leads that you can nurture along the sales funnel.

How does inefficient top funnel marketing impact end funnel sales?

The sales funnel has three areas: top, middle and bottom. The top funnel brings in the leads, the middle nurtures them and the bottom brings them home for the sale. When your top funnel isn’t efficient, it impacts the rest of the funnel.

As a salesperson and marketer, your time is precious. Your time is money. Your efforts to market to bad leads in the middle funnel often end there. A good lead can naturally flow from one to the other with minimal effort. They’re already attracted to the prospect and the business. Bad leads take more time to nurture, and all your work may not end up in a sale.

Marketing spend is always a touchy subject, especially for SEO and Pay Per Click advertising. These are all top funnel activities and can cost three times as much when not executed correctly. Pay Per Click advertising and underperforming email marketing can drain a budget fast, with few or bad leads. All the extra money spent on top funnel marketing is leeched from the other funnels, where it could have been of more use.

They say that image is everything, and when your demand generation efforts are subpar, it makes you look bad. Who wants to order products from a site with a bad email marketing layout or content? Don’t let bad marketing bring down your brand reputation.

Fixing your top funnel marketing and demand generation

Don’t worry, we can save your top funnel marketing and increase your sales. The first step is managing your marketing better, so the leads you get are credible and worth the effort. PPC advertising should be optimized with proper keywords, high enough ad spend and fewer negative matching. Email marketing and other efforts must have a specific target audience. Social posts and advertising should engage consumers. How do you do that?

Create buyer personas that reflect the qualities and interests of your consumers. These personas are more than just profiles. It’s much deeper than that. They tell the story of your consumers. It’s who they are beyond the titles of their jobs. Personas give you insight on how the buyer thinks, their motivations and what they like and don’t like. Tailor your top funnel marketing around buyer personas and get a higher return on investment.

The content on your website and your email marketing must reflect the wants, needs and questions of your consumers. It’s not just about sales. It’s about educating them and convincing them your quality and experience make your company the best choice. Great content is indispensable for search engine optimization and user experience. A lead will travel through the sales funnel faster if their questions and concerns are answered on your website.

Demand generation isn’t expendable

You want sales but forgetting about top funnel demand generation will cost you in the long run. You’ll get too many uninterested leads. Those cost you money, time and get nothing in return. They’ll exit the funnel before reaching that final step.

Work on streamlining and optimizing your marketing efforts and website content. Create buyer personas to get inside the heads of your customers. If you want to learn more about how demand generation and content creation can impact your business, then Accel Social is here for you.