As many companies today are continuing to look to the web as source of marketing their business, I see a common flawed practice taking place. Companies spend so much energy trying to generate leads and perfect their lead capturing capabilities that they lose sight of making sure the leads are qualified and actually convert to sales. While the concept of tracking leads through the sale is nothing new, marketers new to interactive marketing are finding that the analytics are often so detailed and that campaign changes can make such quick variable results that the efforts get distracted too much on the lead generation and lose focus on which leads are converting to sales.
For example, I recently had a client who we had been supporting for a year with campaigns for Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Advertising, Landing Pages, and eMail Marketing. As the year unfolded, the client saw significant positive website results in unique visitors, page views and ultimately actions taken by visitors which included white paper sign ups, PDF downloads, and eMail Newsletter Sign ups, all of which they believed, in that order, were the most influential actions that prospects could take on the website. While the numbers of visitors, actions clicked, and overall activity was growing very well, my customer became entrenched with tracking the Bounce Rate of the pages. For three months, all of our efforts were directed at lowering the bounce rate of and not on the abundance of landing pages. That direction resulted in our client not wanting to integrate the landing page actions into their CRM to track their leads efficiently. The net result, they lost the momentum they had been building, by focusing so much on the Bounce Rate. Three months later, the customers was now seeing a decline in actual sales and now back tracking, it was easy to see that too much effort was applied to one part of the interactive marketing metrics and not enough to all the other variables that help marketers make the right decisions.
This is one of many examples how watching one metric too closely and loosing sights on some of the others may have negative results. The capturing of lead data is a critical phase in measuring results, but, the lead integration into a CRM and tracking the lead sources, sales cycle, closing percentage and average dollar of deal size can ultimately make great lead generation result in really great revenue growth.