Research shows that only 25% of leads should be advanced to sales. The rest come from job applicants, customer service inquiries, misdials, and spam.
If your leads are not valid, you may overestimate the return on investment your marketing efforts are producing. Lead validation helps you see if your search engine optimization, social media, or display campaigns are working. It allows you to test and improve your marketing efforts.
What Is Lead Validation?
Lead validation lets you separate real sales leads from non-sales leads. It allows you to separate every phone call and email submission into sales and non-sales leads. You can identify glitches in your marketing campaigns and correct them.
Your lead validation team will listen to every phone call and read every inquiry you receive and separate them from leads or not leads. Google analytics cannot do this. Analytics tracks the number of conversions your website generates, but conversions and leads are not the same things.
You want every dollar your company invests in marketing to have a maximum return. Lead validation must be added to your marketing process to achieve this goal.
How to Determine What Leads Are Real and What Leads Are Not
Let’s say that your enterprise has two marketing campaigns going on simultaneously. One campaign directs people to your website. The other campaign directs people to contact you by phone. The Internet campaign generates 150 conversions each month. The phone campaign generates 75.
Logic would dictate that you should pour more money into the Internet campaign because it’s producing better results. However, lead validation may reveal that only 25 percent of the conversions made on the Internet are true leads, whereas 60 percent of those made by phone are true leads. Now, you need to re-examine your marketing process and where you will put your resources.
Lead validation can seem like a monumental task. You need to search through each conversation generated by your website and analyze every phone call your business receives to determine if the interactions are considered true sales leads.
The process takes time and energy, but it is worth the effort. There are solutions that can simplify the task for marketers, allowing them to analyze call content quickly to determine the quality of the lead. You will need to change the way your marketers view their task. Lead validation requires more work than Internet marketers are accustomed to. However, when it is made the heart of a campaign, it gives marketers the ability to visualize their lead generation using accurate data.
Understanding the Mechanics of Lead Validation
Once leads are validated, they become a tool to promote business. These leads can produce referrals. They can spread news about your business and the services you offer. Promotional gifts, coupons, and discounts are a good way to make the most of validated leads.
Not all validated leads express interest immediately. They may need time to digest the information that’s being provided to them via marketing and email campaigns. They might not be interested in purchasing your product or services today, but they may be future prospects that you can plan to target accordingly.
You should divide validated leads into two columns, those that look promising and others that do not. Marketing data shows that if you are the first to interact with a lead, they will probably purchase a product or service from you when they are ready to buy. If your validated leads do not like their first interaction with you, chances are high that they will not come back to you in the future. This underscores the importance of having a proven plan of attack when interacting with validated leads.
Effective Lead Validation Features
Effective lead validation requires you to give your online marketers the tools they need to optimize their campaign performance in a way they cannot do by relying on inquiry data. You want tracking and validation systems to be tailored to meet the following objectives:
- Providing the online marketing source for each validated lead
- Identifying the number of sales leads versus other types of conversions
- Have an accurate picture of the cost per lead versus the cost per conversion
- Optimize campaigns and their performance by differentiating between sales leads and other types of conversions
- Improve campaign performance quickly and accurately, delivering improved results for your clients
The Benefits of a Proactive Approach As Opposed to a Reactive Approach to Lead Validation
The best lead validation process is preventative, not reactive. This could mean lead validation starts at the point of lead generation. This would require validating phone numbers, emails, names, addresses, and other information in real-time as the data is being gathered.
This form of lead validation allows you to get rid of duplicate leads, invalid leads or leads that are improperly formatted. It also allows you to use bespoke rules that will prevent you from wasting time and money on low-quality leads. You will be able to increase the percentage of sales conversions from validated leads. This optimizes your performance, regardless of the system you use for validating leads.
You may feel that you are running a suitable lead validation program and that your company’s performance has been optimized to only produce quality leads. This is a risky attitude and could lead to you having several poorly sourced leads. Your desire should be to improve the performance of the lead validation processes you are using.
This proactive attitude requires you to go beyond traditional validation of data, emails, names, and address leads at the meta-level with the goal of optimizing performance via intelligent validation. This may mean using machine learning technologies. Metadata validation lets you identify quality leads and reject poor leads using meta-data values attached to the data. Intelligent validation also uses advanced machine learning technology. It is iterative and uses an algorithm that constantly analyzes sales and rejections to predict which leads are more likely to lead to conversions. Once it receives a lead, a “lead scoring” algorithm will give the lead a predictive score. This makes it possible for you to prioritize your leads and decide how they can be used best.