How to Set Achievable Lead Generation Goals

No one starts a lead generation program expecting it to fail. On the contrary, most marketers expect campaigns to succeed. But when goals are not based on historic data, campaigns can fall apart.

As Thomas Jefferson famously stated, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

There’s nothing wrong with having high expectations for lead generation campaigns. However, basing success metrics on historic data can provide valuable insight that can help marketers structure campaigns so they can meet lofty goals.

Terra Staffing Group is a good example. The Pacific Northwest staffing firm recently opened a new office in Portland, Ore. Starting from scratch in the new location, executives were tasked with simultaneously building its clientele and talent database. Since time spent selling their services to companies was time not spent building a talent pool, Terra Staffing outsourced its lead generation to help relieve the pressure on the launch team. Since Terra Staffing’s average deal size is relatively small to support heavy investment in lead generation, it needed a way to ensure the campaign would deliver a reasonable ROI.

By benchmarking against historic data from other campaigns, it was determined that in order to achieve ROI goals, the campaign needed to deliver a slightly higher than average response rate combined with a higher percentage close rate, and the campaign needed to achieve quick results.

The same analysis strategy will work with any lead generation effort. Marketers should look at several key benchmarking metrics to determine what will make a successful lead generation program:

  1. It’s no surprise that database quality can have a large impact on the success of lead generation efforts. Sales reps can spend a significant amount of time tracking down contacts and correcting lists that haven’t been qualified in advance. It’s important to factor this into any benchmarks.

Once marketers understand these factors, a historical comparison to similar efforts will provide an accurate view into expected results and will reveal how to structure the lead generation program to achieve the fastest revenue.

In the case of Terra Staffing, because of the small deal size and short sales cycle, the program needed to focus on calling more contacts fewer times in order to reach conversion quickly.


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