The Most Important Lead Management Reporting Tools
- Lead management should demonstrate the same measurability to revenues and profits as any other marketing or business development program. Only when the program is shown to be profitable will it become sustainable.
- Because lead conversions occur near the top of the funnel and due to the large volume of leads, even small improvements to lead processes are shown to deliver substantial financial benefits.
- Lead management reporting drives improvements to lead conversions and downstream revenue results. If your reports are not causing course corrections and shifting tactics, you're doing it wrong.
Lead Management Reporting
Lead management consists of up to eight integrated processes that convert leads into sale opportunities. Those processes generally include acquiring, enriching, scoring, qualifying, nurturing, routing, responding and analyzing sales leads.
You might think of the process as everything from the point the lead was acquired to the point where it is transferred to the salesforce.
Lead management reporting is often the final step in a lead management implementation. But it's the step that measures each of prior steps, both individually and end-to-end. It's the step that validates progress or fixes the leaks to increase the volume and speed of lead conversions.
Most reports display only historical data. The best sales lead reporting uses dashboards to deliver real-time insights and shift from lagging to leading indicators. And the very best reporting consists of analytics with interactive metrics, so marketers can perform What-If modeling and pro-forma scenario planning.
A dashboard displays the most important key performance indicators (KPI) in an easy to consume visual interface. This real-time information enables sales and marketing staff to quickly identify trouble spots and intervene with timely course corrections.
Real-time sales lead reporting gives management the visibility to focus their limited time on the most significant upside opportunities.
The best dashboards take a less is more approach. They focus on fewer metrics to drive more action. Experienced marketers know that adding more measures clouds what's most important and quickly results in diminishing returns.
An interesting thing about sales lead dashboards is that users spend less time accessing information reporting but leverage the insights to make more changes to the lead generation programs. That's the sign of successful reporting. If the information is causing operational changes to be made, it's working.
Displaying sales lead benchmarks creates additional sales and marketing intelligence.
Benchmarks provide a relative comparison to identify where the company stands and most needs to improve. They also enable predictive analytics.
For example, marketing research shares the monthly lead database conversions. When filtered by industry and extrapolated, marketers can calculate how improvements to nurture campaigns impact conversions and the volume of qualified leads sent to the salesforce.
Many marketers like to apply forecast models to show how a 1% improvement in any sales lead process impacts conversions and revenues.
Other marketers with KPIs below the industry median may prefer to see the revenue impact by improving their performance to the median level. Knowing the financial upside allows marketers to know how much they should invest to achieve that upside.
Measure What Matters
There are plenty of tactical marketing reports. Some can help improve sales lead operations, but most don't show the business contribution or value from marketing.
The C-suite doesn't care about activity and vanity metrics. They care about sales pipelines and earned revenues. They want to know how marketing investments and efforts directly tie to earned revenue.
Research published in the Marketing Transformation Report shares that the five most important marketing metrics to company executives are percent of leads sourced by marketing, percent of revenues sourced by marketing, Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV or LTV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). Marketers that deliver on these measures demonstrate their value and indispensability.
Finally, marketers deliver the most valuable reporting when that information can engineer future revenue achievements.
A sample revenue engineering model is shown below. This was part of a dashboard I created for a client and is showing that to achieve an additional $1,360,000 in revenue, they need to acquire 425 leads at a cost of $66K and allow 146 days.
The model is built on a sales conversion funnel that shows each sales stage and the conversion and duration metrics between each stage.
When you know how many leads go into the top of the funnel and how much revenue comes out the bottom, you can reverse the funnel to start with a revenue target and instantly calculate how many leads need to into the top. That allows marketers to invest in the right marketing campaigns or other lead generation events to achieve a slated goal.
This type of model brings visibility, predictability, and deterministic engineering to revenue generation.