Are Your Lead Sources Dead Ends? Discover How to Separate the Winners from the Losers.


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Listen closely. Your lead sources are trying to tell you something.

Some are shouting, “I’m a wellspring of sales-ready leads! Focus your energy and resources on me.”

Others are grumbling, “My leads are expensive, and they don’t convert. Cut me loose. Now.”

Are you getting the message? 

Here, we’ll help you identify your best and worst channels. Then we’ll outline the path to generating more high-value leads over time. (And becoming a hero to the sales team.)

Should They Stay, or Should They Go?

You can evaluate your channels—and identify what went wrong—in four easy steps.

1. Start with a simple list.

Make a clear, simple list of all inbound and outbound lead generation sources.

Next, pull your lead source data (or enlist your marketing ops person). For each source, include leads’ contact information, history of activity, and lead status.

Marketing automation software will give you a precise picture of each prospect’s path. If you’re operating manually, your leads’ movement through the funnel may be less clear.

Again, keep things simple. Focus on the most important numbers.

2. Follow the number trail.

These conversion rates will tell you how well your lead sources are performing.

  • How many leads are converting to sales-ready leads?

  • Among all leads passed to sales, what percentage become sales opportunities?

  • How many opportunities result in deals?

  • What is your cost per lead?

  • What is your Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)?

You’re looking for trends over time, as measured by month, quarter, or year. Maybe your business fares better in some seasons than in others. If so, you should account for that in your monthly or quarterly analysis.

If you recently added a new channel to your lineup, be patient. Give yourself time to establish a baseline. Look for online tools that provide benchmarks by channel or industry vertical.

We created The Marketing Channel Scorecard to help you evaluate the performance of your lead sources.  The Scorecard use a scientific approach to assist your decision making.  It also enables you to evaluate total campaign effectiveness instead of simple cost per lead metrics.

Download the Marketing Channel Scorecard here.

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3. Look for red flags.

Shrinking conversion rates. Leads that go untouched. An unhappy sales team. All of these point to a big problem.

Does this mean your lead source is a dud? Not necessarily.

4. Uncover the truth.

For every channel that bombs, you must dig deep to answer these questions:

  • Were your methods to blame? Was your campaign optimized?

  • Where did the breakdown occur? Did you provide poor leads, or did sales neglect to follow up on them? Was there a simple miscommunication between marketing and sales?

  • Are marketing and sales fully aligned? Do you and the sales leader agree on what constitutes a sales-ready lead?

If the channel isn’t the problem, have an honest discussion with your sales leader. Then you can work together to make your future lead generation campaigns more effective.

How to Amplify Your Success

You’ve determined which lead sources are worth keeping. Now it’s time to fine-tune your efforts and maximize ROI.

  • Clearly define what “sales ready” means. You and the sales leader should be completely in sync.

  • Get real-time feedback from the sales team. How many leads passed to sales were good? Did prospects recall interacting with marketing? Or were sales calls poorly received? Maybe you’re pulling the trigger too early. Work with the sales leader to adjust, as necessary, the definition of a sales-ready lead.

  • Reallocate and replicate. Shift more of your marketing budget to your best lead sources. Study previously successful campaign tactics and apply them on other channels.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christina Dieckmeyer
Christina Dieckmeyer serves as the Director of Marketing at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), a professional services firm focused exclusively on sales force effectiveness. Christina uses marketing best practices and benchmarks to help SBI and their clients companies accelerate their rate of revenue growth. She is data driven, and focuses on execution based marketing strategies.


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