Quality over quantity: the key lead generation objective for 2015

The latest research from Ascend2 reveals that lead quality is the most important lead generation objective for marketers in the coming year.

The Lead Generation Benchmark Report, released last month,comprises of findings from a survey of 375 global business leaders and marketing professionals, and examines the upcoming challenges to lead generation success in the year ahead and how they plan to overcome them.

Quality over quantity

Unsurprisingly, improving the quality of leads generated and increasing the quantity of leads generated topped the survey.

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 15.06.09Although the survey suggests lead quality over lead quantity is the chief concern: the two essentially reflect two sides of the same coin.

Producing a couple of high quality leads every quarter, could be just as bad if you were producing a bunch of low quality ones en masse in that same span of time. You could make the case that going for quality saves on unnecessary marketing, but is that enough to keep you from running low on revenue? Probably not.

More interesting than the ranking of the most important lead gen objectives for next year is why said objectives are not being achieved.

Worryingly, only 13% of respondents rated their lead generation strategy as “very successful” in achieving their important objectives. Although email marketing and content marketing continue to be the most popular marketing tactics du jour, marketers are struggling to optimize demand generation for lack of quality data.

Lack of data means lead generation strategies are largely unsuccessful

Lack of quality data topped the poll as biggest hurdle to achieving lead generation success, alongside having an effective strategy. Of course the Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 09.30.37two go hand-in-hand: if marketers don’t have the data they need to start their lead gen efforts, there’s little chance they’ll be able to improve upon the quality of their leads.

The most challenging obstacle to success is not budget. It is the lack of quality data and the lack of an effective lead generation strategy to achieve success.

The data sources from which marketers can draw are manifold. Constructing ‘ideal buyer profiles’ has become an intense science of consolidating social media, firmographics, transaction history and demographic insights yet, as the report shows, this has not translated into improved lead generation successes.

One answer may be for marketers to look at new sources of data that do this; in particular content interactions and how they can used to better understand target buyers and craft more relevant marketing messages.

Tracking content consumption will improve lead quality and lead gen strategy

Lead generation continues to be stuck in the rut of treating content as merely a conduit to generate leads rather than as a key source of prospect insight.

This is a huge oversight.

At an individual lead level: what each prospect has read before they become a lead is hugely helpful in understanding their unique wants, needs and problems. This information can be used by Sales reps to improve everything from lead-to-conversion rates to deal size value.

At an aggregate level, understanding which pieces of marketing content are stimulating the greatest amount of lead capture and why they are working is incredibly useful for optimizing editorial and social media strategy.

By using test and learn cycles to track content consumption against lead conversion goals, Marketing can optimize relevant content to attract more valuable quality leads and Sales can convert leads through a more relevant conversation.

Successful lead generation in 2015 will require paying closer attention to content interactions during the prospect-to-lead journey and using those interactions for lead insight. Without this kind of oversight, it’s unlikely that marketers will see a substantive improvement in either lead quality or lead quantity.

See our “How to Optimize your Demand Generation” webinar with Forrester to learn more.

idio for Salesforce is a new lead intelligence tool that tracks your prospect or lead’s content consumption and builds profiles of their current interests so you can have a more relevant conversation. Book a demo now!