Learning how to use lead-generation marketing to your advantage requires planning and forethought. You need to think through your management strategy before improving lead generation in your company. By setting goals, creating a plan to adopt new tactics and testing the results, you can measure how the company’s investment helps increase the number of leads and sales.

Developing a Management Strategy and Setting Goals

Your goals should define how much you wish to increase your lead-generation efforts, by when and at what cost. It’s amazing how many organizations plunge into lead-generation campaigns with no idea of what they’re shooting for, how many leads they’re trying to bring in or what level of cost-effectiveness they need to observe. When their campaign is over, they have no idea how well specific tactics are working to provide them with the leads they need or even if their tactics have provided a positive return on marketing investment. Often, companies have gone over budget or have executed a campaign that has provided them with a minimal number of actionable leads.

The goal for lead-generation marketing should be to use as many tactics as possible. In defining a management strategy, you should focus your goals on three areas:

1. Meeting or exceeding lead quotas

2. Using the best-quality lead-generation tactics for your organization—that is, focusing marketing efforts on the tactics that will give you the most high-quality leads to help meet lead quotas

3. Using the most cost-effective tactics for your organization

Adopting New Tactics

If you wish to adopt new lead-generation tactics, you need to have a management plan in place for introducing them into your organization. You cannot simply switch to the new tactics and expect instant success. You first need to learn how to use them effectively. It may be that your current tactics work very well, but the new tactics can supplement them in generating leads. Or, maybe the new tactics will eventually be more efficient at providing quality leads than your existing leads. But be aware.  It will take a few tries with the new tactics to learn how to make them work to their full advantage.

New lead-generation tactics can be expensive, so proceed carefully and systematically. Existing  lead-generation efforts need to be maintained; you don’t want to suddenly switch to new, untested tactics or divert essential marketing resources. This could cause a sudden drop-off in your incoming leads.

The Power of Testing

Without testing and measurement, you have no idea which lead-generation tactics work best or which tactics give you the highest number of quality leads at the most effective cost-per-lead. Nor do you know how to use those tactics in combination to obtain the maximum number of leads. I’ve seen companies pour large amounts of money into lead-generation tactics without having any way to measure their success or failure. Managers have no way of knowing if the $10,000 they’ve spent on the campaign has made a difference. When they want to justify the next $10,000 to their executives, they can’t.

You need a plan in place to qualify and use the leads you acquire. Don’t take this step for granted, especially with new tactics. Even if you have a well-established lead-qualifying system in place, make sure your organization knows how to capitalize on the additional leads so that you get the maximum benefit from them. You don’t want to spend a lot of money acquiring leads with a new tactic and then have those leads slip through the cracks because your marketing or sales teams aren’t sure what to do with them.

Through goal-setting, planning and testing, you can improve your lead generation efforts and justify areas where you need a bigger budget. Good managers and executives have learned how to predict results by explaining their plans and the potential benefits.