B2B Articles - March 27, 2017

B2B Lead Generation: How to Set Measurable Goals

An important part of any lead generation strategy is setting and meeting goals. Lead generation tactics not based on goals cannot result in measurable success. Consequently, marketers may not know whether or not to repeat certain actions.

"68% of B2B companies are still struggling with lead generation."

Often this struggle stems from a lack of strategic planning, which includes goal creation. Team-wide goals can help marketers stay on track and better understand how to find high-quality leads.

Currently, 61% of B2B marketers find generating high-quality leads as their biggest challenge. This challenge, however, can be somewhat relieved by creating strategic goals and then identifying the tactics that will help achieve these goals.

Related Reading: 4 Common B2B Lead Generation Mistakes

Industry Standards Are Not Company Goals

One area marketers get hung up on is basing goals off of industry standards. Context is important when deciding goals, but industry standards lack that aspect. When marketers are seeking high-quality leads, the team must take a step back and ask: What is a high-quality lead?

B2B Lead Generation

If a marketer cannot answer that question, then the lead generation campaign is in real trouble.

By working with the sales team, marketers can better understand what a high-quality lead entails. This will take time to work through, but ultimately the campaign will benefit greatly from this knowledge. Once a marketer understands what makes someone a high-quality lead, they can derive tactics to reach this person.

Team alignment is critical:

Remember, when sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.

For many B2B industries, a high-quality lead is a very specific person. This means the number of high-quality leads might be lower per month (though sales from these leads will likely be much higher than B2C companies).

Thus, it does not make sense to base lead generation goals off of industry standards, which do not take into account information such as this.

Download the Complete Guide to Set a Conversion Rate Goal (Specific to Your  Business) [Free eBook]

Marketers and salespeople can work together to create a realistic goal for lead generation, which can then help gauge the success of various campaign activities.

Meaningful Metrics Should Guide the Campaign

hubspot-funnelMarketers should pursue meaningful metrics instead of metrics that don’t mean much. Marketers should look at marketing qualified leads, conversions through the sales funnel, and sales qualified leads.

  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) are leads that are not quite ready to buy but they have expressed interest in the company. This could be filling out a contact form, clicking on an ad, requesting more information, etc. These leads are ready to be nurtured and are more likely to end up in a sale.
  • Conversions through the Sales Funnel means watching how leads are pushed down the funnel to become a customer. 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation was their most important content marketing goal in 2016, and the sales funnel plays a huge part in this. Not every lead will continue down the funnel, but if marketers succeed in pushing many down, then their campaign is working.
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) are further along in the buyer journey than marketing qualified leads. Having a high amount of sales qualified leads typically means that marketers did a good job nurturing MQLs and maintaining their interest in the company.

Of course, there will be more MQLs than SQLs, but these are great measurements to use in order to set appropriate goals for B2B lead generation campaigns.

Related Reading: HubSpot Funnel: Why It's Important for B2B Success

Measurements that have no results-driven value are metrics such as:

  • Traffic
  • Bounce rate
  • Number of users
  • Time on page

Marketers should stay away from using those valueless measurements as goals.

Teams Working Together

Marketers sometimes do not know or do not have access to data on campaign success.

"In fact, 25% of marketers don’t have any idea of their conversion rates."

Without those numbers, marketers are unable to justify campaign changes or continuing with a certain campaign. Not to mention, marketers have trouble justifying their value.

Marketers should have access to these data sets and analytics (as well as learn how to read these numbers) in order to set and monitor goals.

Marketers can then alter their B2B lead generation campaigns accordingly, using data-driven instead of gut-based decisions.




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