Goal-Setting, Planning, and Testing: The Importance of Managing Your Lead-Generation Strategy

Learning how to use lead-generation marketing to your advantage requires planning and forethought. You need to think through your management strategy before beginning efforts to improve lead generation in your company. By setting goals, creating a plan to adopt new tactics, and testing the results, you can measure how the company’s investment of budget and time helps increase the number of leads and sales.

Developing a Strategy and Setting Goals

Developing a good lead-generation strategy begins with setting goals on what you hope to achieve. Your goals should define how much you wish to increase your lead-generation efforts, by when, and at what cost. It’s amazing to me how many organizations plunge into campaigns with no idea of what they’re shooting for, how many leads they’re trying to bring in, or what level of cost-effectiveness they need to observe. When their campaign is over, they have no idea how well specific tactics are working to provide them with the leads they need or if they’ve provided a positive ROMI (Return On Marketing Investment). Often, they’ve gone over budget or executed a campaign that has provided them with a minimal number of actionable leads.

Overall, the goal for lead-generation marketing should be to use as many tactics as possible to your advantage. In defining a management strategy, you should focus your goals on three areas:[wcm_restrict]

  1. Determining the goals of your lead generation tactics
  2. Using the best-quality lead-generation tactics for your organization—that is, focusing marketing efforts on the tactics that will give you the largest number of high-quality leads – to help meet lead goals
  3. Using the most cost-effective tactics for your organization

Adopting New Tactics

If you wish to adopt new lead-generation tactics, you need to have a plan in place for testing them alongside your proven tactics. You cannot simply switch to the new tactics and expect to achieve instant success. You first need to learn how to use them effectively. It may be that your current tactics work very well, but the new tactics can supplement them in generating leads. Or maybe the new tactics will eventually be more efficient at providing quality leads and/or more cost-effective than your current ones. But be aware: It will take a few tries with the new tactics to learn how to make them work to their full advantage.

Adopting new lead-generation tactics can be expensive, so it needs to be done carefully and systematically. Current lead-generation efforts need to be maintained. Obviously, you don’t want to suddenly switch to new, untested tactics or divert essential marketing resources from existing successful tactics. This could cause a sudden drop-off in your incoming leads.

The Power of Testing

Without testing and measurement, you have no idea which lead-generation tactics work best or give you the highest number of quality leads at the most effective cost-per-lead. Nor do you know how to use those tactics in combination to obtain the maximum number of leads you can get. Time and again, I’ve seen companies pour large amounts of money into lead-generation tactics without having any way to measure their success or failure. They have no way of knowing if the $10,000 they’ve spent on the campaign has made a difference. When they want to justify the next $10,000 to their executives, they have no way to do it.

Also, you need to have a plan in place for how you will qualify and use the leads you acquire. Don’t take this step for granted, especially with new tactics. Even if you have a well-established lead-qualifying system in place, make sure your organization knows how to capitalize on the additional leads, so that you get maximum benefit from them. You don’t want to spend a lot of money acquiring leads with a new tactic and then have those leads slip through the cracks because your marketing or sales teams aren’t sure what to do with them.

Through goal-setting, planning, and testing, you can find areas in your lead generation efforts where you need improvement, and justify areas where you need more budget. Good managers and executives have learned how to predict results by explaining their plans and the potential benefits.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

David T. Scott has served as CMO and Director of Marketing for Fortune 500 companies and billion-dollar organizations, including GE, AT & T Wireless, PeopleSoft, and Intermec. While working at these companies, he developed a set of strategies designed to help marketing organizations increase their lead-generation results. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business, Scott is the founder and former CEO of Marketfish, Inc.

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