An idiot once told me, "Leads are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get." I couldn't disagree more. Sure, I understand compiling and managing leads from a major trade show or campaign can seem like a huge undertaking. There are so many different types of people out there -- all sending your organization their contact information. It's a lot to sift through and, undoubtedly, you're going to come across fake email addresses and bogus phone numbers. But if you're truly a modern marketer, you have an RPM (revenue performance management) foundation in place to help you identify "what you're going to get."
Let's think outside this box of stale chocolates and turn this candy-coated analogy into a piece of cake. Here's how you slice it: RPM by definition is a strategy for managing a company’s interactions with buyers through the entire buying cycle that enables predictable, rapid, and profitable revenue growth. I like the word, "predictable," here. If you understand how to target correctly (for example: setting up a subscription preference center or developing personas to identify your company's ideal customers), you'll have more insight as to what type of data you're collecting. And if you build trust with your target audience, they're less likely to give you fake information on forms, such as, Job Title: Your Mom; Name: Hoosier Daddy, etc.
Leads are NOT like a box of chocolates, Mr. Forrest Grump. You can bet your ping-pong balls that following RPM and establishing a fully defined targeting process actually does allow you to know "what you're going to get." Not exactly what you're going to get, obviously; however, you'll have a pretty darn good idea.
But I'm a fan of giving idiots the benefit of the doubt (just ask anyone who knows me about my pre-marriage dating life...). Leads actually ARE like chocolate when it comes to lead quality. Contrary to popular belief, less is more when it comes to sales leads -- as long as those leads are of high quality. Think of it like this: M&M's vs. Godiva. I could eat 100 M&M's in one sitting. Easily. Doesn't mean that I should, though, right? M&M's are cheap and full of empty calories. I should eat just a couple bites of Godiva. It's rich and satisfying because it's higher quality chocolate. Sure, it might take me a little longer to hunt down a Godiva chocolate bar, and it's definitely going to cost me more cash than a bag of M&M's, but guess what -- it's worth it.
When your team takes the time to develop a lead funnel, you'll be able to distinguish which leads are cheap and which leads are worthwhile. You'll end up with less "Godiva leads" than "M&M leads," but your sales team will be thrilled. They'll know the higher quality leads are better and they'll be able to put more focus on closing them. Then, when your team meets your revenue goals, you can have a party with a Godiva chocolate fountain . It's a delicious win-win for everyone!
If you'd like to learn more about targeting and lead quality, we have some amazing classes at Eloqua University dedicated to these topics. Check them out today!