Lead Generation? Revenue Generation is Your Slam Dunk.
The term “lead generation” is widely used in sales and marketing. Yet a more accurate nomenclature would be “revenue generation”.
According to this Hubspot article, lead generation is the process of attracting prospects to your business and increasing their interest in your products or services, all with the end goal of converting them into customers.
For most service-based companies the journey from prospect to paying customer can be long and complex. There may be many interactions required with the prospect and much time for the journey to run its course. In order for companies to have a consistent pipeline of paying customers, they need to have a steady stream of prospects at various stages in the customer journey. Lead generation is the process by which companies begin finding and securing prospects. These prospects once found, are called leads and are officially in your marketing funnel.
In the industry, we use terms such as “qualified leads” to describe prospects that are much more likely to “convert” into paying customers. Every lead generation agency knows that they should be targeting and obtaining quality leads. The better agencies know how to do it.
These leads are passed on to the company’s sales team and it is this internal team’s job to now convert those leads.
At this point in the relationship between the lead generation agency and the company hiring them, there is usually a reckoning of ROI. How many leads did the effort produce? How many clicks did it take? What was the cost of the lead? If both companies are a bit more advanced in their thinking, they may analyze how many of the leads became paying customers. What percentage of leads became paying customers? How many paying customers did the lead generation effort attain, compared to the cost? And finally what was the actual cost per paying customer?
What is missing from all this is the single most important criteria to consider. And that is how much revenue was generated, or more accurately how much profit was generated. It is incumbent on the lead generation agency to understand this from the project launch. The starting point of any lead gen campaign must include the financial value of a paying customer and the potential Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). When these “end game” figures are included in the equation, it changes the entire outlook of the effort. Instead of simply relying on a list of leads, which still requires much more effort in order to become revenue, the agency must focus on the value of the overall effort.
Companies should not be focused on getting 10, 100, or 1000 leads, regardless of the conversion rate of those leads. Companies should be focused on the value of the revenue generated and getting the maximum return on their investment.
For this reason, it’s much more congruous for this vital service to be called Revenue Generation. It may be just semantics, but it forces the agency, and the service-based companies hiring them, to keep their ultimate target in focus. If the conversation between the two parties is only about leads, they are both aiming too low. Stay focused on revenue and profit and keep your eyes on the ultimate target.