This is a guest poost by Aaron Wittersheim from Straight North.
Imagine you run a grocery store and one day you receive a box from a supplier containing 10 pieces of fruit — a mix of apples and oranges.
If a customer shows up and asks for five oranges, will you be able to fill that order? You should know because you probably opened the box to find out how many of each fruit you received from the supplier.
However, in the world of online marketing, not everyone is opening the box. Far too many companies assume that every conversion on their website is a potential sales lead — but the truth is, they’re not.
Although many online marketers might believe that the number of conversions on their websites has a direct correlation to the number of sales leads they receive, the reality is that only about half of those conversions end up being sales leads. The rest typically are made up of job applications, customer service requests, incomplete form submissions and other interactions that aren’t really sales leads.
By mixing the apples with the oranges, businesses waste time and resources chasing after oranges when what they really want are apples.
Why Lead Validation
That’s why lead validation is such a crucial element of an online marketing campaign, but one that is sadly lacking from many marketers’ plans. By adding lead validation to your process, you open the box and see exactly what you have.
Lead validation not only allows you to distinguish which conversions are sales leads and which ones aren’t, but it also makes it possible to identify the online marketing source of validated leads. Thus, establishing an accurate cost per lead.
This gives you a more complete picture of how effective your marketing campaign is and provides you with a framework for optimizing the performance of your campaign.
You will be able to focus your attention and resources on conversion sources that are delivering true sales leads and de-emphasize those that are not; rather than treating both equally or, worse, overemphasizing sources that deliver a larger number of conversions, but only a small percentage of true sales leads.
Doing Lead Validation
Although many companies believe they can rely on Google Analytics goal-tracking data to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, there are some significant blind spots in using this type of tracking that can leave you with an incomplete understanding of your campaign.
For example, this type of tracking only counts form submissions, without distinguishing which ones are complete. It also ignores phone call data, which remains a critical element of marketing campaigns. Most importantly, this type of tracking doesn’t identify whether or not any of the completed goals were real sales leads.
Sifting through every inquiry on your website and over the phone to validate leads may seem like a time-consuming process, but the value of adding lead validation to your marketing campaigns is clear. Without it, you’re not only unable to compare apples and oranges, but you also have no idea how many of them you really have. You should be teaching your marketing people and sales reps how to validate leads and work better together for tight SMarketing alignment.
Take a look at some more insights around lead validation in the study below:
How do you do lead validation?