While traditional metrics can estimate the value of marketing-generated leads and conversions, they fail to answer crucial questions often posed by Sales and other business leaders, such as ‘When can I have more sales leads?’ and ‘How quickly will campaign activation in a particular channel deliver bottom line results?’ So as an alternative to the traditional approach of lead nurture and scoring, lead velocity is about how to get the leads being acquired by channel activations through the marketing pipeline as quickly as possible.
If a prospect has initially been acquired through a PPC ad campaign, for example, at this point they’ll be anonymous. But if as a result they visit your website, click on and interact with various elements, before completing a form to download an introductory guide, you’ll very quickly be able to build up useful behavioural and firmographic information about them. You’ll then want to take them through the pipeline journey to becoming a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) by understanding what they want to buy and why; and then a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) where you know their industry, seniority, budget availability, and maybe a timeframe for when they want to buy, etc.
Understanding lead velocity not only enables you to meet your Sales team’s requirement for a reliable flow of high quality leads; it also lets you measure how long it takes a prospect to get to each stage in this process, and establish a level of predictability that says, for example, that a new lead will take 30 days to close. This can then give you the confidence that if you spend an additional £/€X on a similar campaign, you’ll generate Y leads and Z new customers within the next 30 days.
“Lead velocity gives you a commercial model for your marketing – and a way to constantly optimise marketing performance by channel, content and messaging, to get the best return.”
James T Fletcher, CEO, JTF Marketing
Ultimately, this translates into a situation where you can predict the commercial outcomes of current and future marketing strategies and campaigns with a high degree of confidence, and so make better marketing decisions. For example: