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Avoid wasting money in marketing and understand lead process

Where does valuable marketing budget go to waste?

Many companies waste valuable marketing budget because they can't transparently track the lead process from prospect to customer and identify breaking points at a glance. Avoid this marketing mistake and save yourself wasted money in marketing.

"I know half of my advertising is money thrown out. I just don't know which half."

That's what Henry Ford supposedly said almost a hundred years ago. What was his problem? He had hardly any means of systematically analyzing the response to his advertising. Today, we have such methods at our disposal. However, the feeling of having wasted part of the marketing budget has changed little to this day.


On average, German employees subscribe to five to seven newsletters. That was the case ten years ago and has not changed significantly to this day. And that's despite the fact that the flood of digital content has multiplied over the same period.


While on the one hand the volume of information is increasing, the tolerance level for information offers that are not considered relevant is falling. For example, a newsletter is unsubscribed from (and possibly replaced by a new one) much more quickly than just a few years ago. This behavior presents marketing experts with new challenges: Your target group expects to be addressed individually. Whereas customers stoically threw away advertising mail just a few years ago, in the digital world they have ways and means of keeping unwanted advertising at bay.



A study by Forrester Research predicts that over the next two years, the main focus will be on specifically addressing the needs of each individual customer. Against this background, the other results of the study are sobering: more than half of the companies surveyed need at least three months to use insights from customer analyses to improve their workflows and systems. Only 20 percent are even able to tailor messages to customers.


 


These numbers are hard to comprehend, considering that nowadays there are CRM tools, analytics tools, lead management platforms, and marketing automation tools: measuring who did what, where, when, and reacting to it is no longer a problem. With this awareness, however, the question arises: why do many companies still fail to develop customers into buyers on an individual basis? In our daily practice, two explanations can be found. First: companies do not use tools such as CRM or web analytics at all or only in a makeshift manner. Second: Companies do not integrate the technical platforms into one big whole.



Process hot leads lukewarm

Probably the most frequent reason for a lead process being aborted is that the leads generated are passed on to the right processor too late or not at all. Evaluations from our own projects prove this:


the probability of closing a deal can drop by over 25 percent (depending on the product) after just 24 hours.


After 48 hours, it not infrequently even falls below 20 percent without processing.


Far too rarely do we find processes that deal with unprocessed or misdirected end customer inquiries. This is not the only reason why, in our view, the rapid exploitation of sales opportunities will continue to create the greatest potential for differentiation in 2021.




Generate unsubscribers automatically

Another aspect is the lack of processing of unsubscribers. Analyzing and evaluating unsubscribe data is still used far too little. The possibilities of marketing automation - if used correctly - are enormous. However, one has to be careful here:


Process-driven communication can be annoying for the addressee if you sustainably misdirect it.


Poor communication done in an "automated" manner acts like a blender in a cesspool!


Marketers should invest as much time as possible in monitoring communication processes and thus closely monitor their unsubscribe rates.




A hole is in the bucket - avoid marketing mistakes

„Auf einer Messe werden Interessenten in einem Leaderfassungs-Tool erfasst, danach in einem Automations-Tool weiterentwickelt und von dort in ein CRM-System gespielt.”

As nice as the theory sounds, common practice unfortunately looks different:


Somewhere between these different processes in the lead process, relevant information often disappears.


If important data is lost, the prospect cannot be adequately served.


This sounds completely banal, but it is by far the most common and most consequential error in the technical integration of different marketing systems. Missing information is the most common reason why sales staff do not process leads. Clear handover rules to sales, which can be clearly defined by marketing automation systems (scoring & rating), help here.


Tip: Same old

A lot of time and money is lost when a single lead goes through process steps multiple times. For example, it is far too seldom taken into account which materials or offers have already been given or sent to the prospect. Even the best marketing information is more likely to have a negative impact if the prospect is receiving it for the third time. Even CRM professionals are often unable to track which customer received which marketing material and when.



Blessed are those who see in the lead process

If you want to improve your processes, you first have to know where the problems are.


How long does it take for a lead to go from initial contact request to a call back from the sales representative?


What percentage of leads are still waiting for that call today and which ones are they?

Who is responsible?


The entire lead process is a critical business process and should therefore be clearly documented and closely monitored across all stages in order to be able to react quickly and precisely to undesirable developments.Leads do not fall from the sky and generally cannot simply be collected at a trade show. They have to be developed and permanently managed. This requires a well thought-out system to turn "cold addresses" into potential buyers and repeat customers. The subsequent distribution of contacts to sales should be rule-based.


Fully automated processes enable a strong acceleration, as every manual step carries the risk of a process delay up to a standstill. This is anything but simple and certainly not done quickly. But if you look at the result, it's worth the effort. You can see what communication costs from the first contact to the best lead score, because every interaction can be valued monetarily. If you implement this consistently, you will know after a few quarters how much budget is needed to fill the lead funnel.




Conclusion: Make your lead process visible within your marketing and win more customers

100 years after Henry Ford, no one needs to shell out money for marketing. All one would have to do is adopt Ford's principles for marketing. Wasn't he the inventor of the process in manufacturing?

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