A consistent strategy for generating leads is necessary to the continued success of any business. The pursuit of leads, however, must be tempered with the historical realities of your market.
A lead-creation initiative that’s too optimistic may lead to disappointment if targets aren’t met. Lead-generation goals that are too conservative may not take the best advantage of valuable insights you possess about your customer base. When setting lead-generation goals, you can use what you already know about your business and your customers to set realistic targets and achieve acceptable return on investment.
Consider these elements as you establish your benchmarks:
- Average size of each deal – Larger deals, in general, bring a greater profit and a bigger return on investment. However, businesses must be able to accommodate customers at all levels. Remember that with smaller deals, more of them must be converted to pay for the lead-generation program and generate a sustainable ROI. By knowing the average size and amount of effort required for the deals you’ve completed, especially for customers with a high lifetime value, you’ll be able to make better decisions on how much effort to expend in finding and converting a lead.
- Average sales cycle – The average amount of time it takes to close a deal for your business is vital to predicting when return on investment will be realized and when your personnel and other resources are available to take on their next project. Decisions and projections must be adjusted to account for profitable deals that take longer to complete.
- Overall complexity of sale – Complex deals will naturally take longer and will require greater expenditures of your business resources. A complicated deal will require a more sophisticated sales message from the outset. More call attempts and contacts by sales representatives may be necessary, and more decision-makers will be involved at the deal’s numerous steps. If the ROI on a complex deal is high enough, it will justify the additional effort required.
What do you already know about your industry and your completed deals that you can use to set realistic lead-generation goals in your pursuit of new customers?
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