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How much did that lead cost you?

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Here’s an interesting question for you: How much is it costing you to generate one lead?

Here’s another equally interesting question: How many leads do you need to generate to create one sale?

I have spent the past two weeks asking those two questions of friends, colleagues, fellow sales commentators, clients and prospects — in fact, everyone with whom I have come into contact. And do you know what? Nobody really knew the answer. Of course, there were some pretty wild, finger-in-the-air guesses, but not one rock-solid, convincing response that you would bet your children’s inheritance on.

Don’t you find that somewhat alarming?

I do, particularly when there appears to be such a concentrated focus these days on creating new opportunities. No wonder sales departments are viewed with so much suspicion by the “grey men” in finance, they must be totally convinced that we are completely out of control.

So, what’s the answer?

The reality is that there are so many sources of leads that the process of generating leads can sometimes cause sales people to feel overwhelmed when tackling this vital sales activity.

Every organization is unique and can employ a variety of approaches in their quest to attract the attention of their target market. (This will become even clearer once you have created your ideal customer profile). That’s why it is essential to invest some time analyzing which lead generation initiatives worked well in the past, why they worked well and what improvements can be made to optimize their effectiveness.

There are three areas that you must consider that can help evaluate different lead generation initiatives with greater objectively.

  1. Effectiveness — which lead generation activities produced the most quality leads?
  2. Cost — what were the tangible costs for each lead generation initiative?
  3. Time — how much time did it take to initiate and follow up on each initiative?

Unless we have an accurate handle on our lead generation activities, our salespeople will continue to be overwhelmed, whilst those grey men will continue to be underwhelmed!

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