In recent years, a new area of the marketing field that is growing is the concept of lead generation, usually in combination with some type of lead scoring. Advanced CMS tools coupled with customized, personalized, perfectly timed, follow up delivery channels allow targeted follow ups to drive better leads. Companies are acknowledging more and more that they cannot gain the most ROI from mass media techniques and instead are focusing on getting the right eyeballs looking at the right products in the right stage of the buying life cycle.
A topic that I am intrigued by is how you can accurately assign a dollar value to what a lead is worth. Lead scoring techniques, from simple math to advanced software are available to help with this concept. The trick is to define your goals in order to know what is truly a success. You can easily get overwhelmed by data. Especially with a large ecommerce website for instance. You could track ‘successes’ and assign scores and values to them until your are spinning, without really gaining the right insight into actual dollar values generated from the scored successes. In the online channel, I see different basic groups of activity on a specific web page that qualify as a ‘success’ – whether its from a basic conversion or an actual completion of a sale or lead. You can also set up your analytics to follow and assign value to specific sequences of actions or goal paths.
However, what I struggle with in this area is, no matter how many ways you try to bend and shape it, you cannot completely control an online user’s patterns. Even with a progressional wizard, you still cannot be sure that the users didn’t step out for coffee or go on facebook and get distracted, and that is why they didn’t quite finish your application, but they may come back again and finish it later. So, how can you truly assign a monetary value to certain types of actions when you can’t really define the specific way in which they reached your online goal?
I would like to learn more about lead scoring and how you can use it to truly measure your successes. However, the way that I measure leads and successes with clients now, without lead scoring, is by tracking pre-defined and agreed conversion and completions, and giving an overall percentage of ‘successes’ out of the total overall visitors to the site. For example, if I have 50 completions in one month, and 1000 visitors, my completion rate is 5%. I then set a benchmark for this number compared to either industry or past success rates for that company. This is combined with the overall spend on advertising, seo and overall online spend to determine the value based on the business generated.