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Perfecting a Dashboard That Maximizes Lead Generation

By Tracy VidesDec 26, 2014

perfecting a dashboard that maximizes lead generatinLead generation is one of the top priorities for every business. But as the old saying goes,

“You won’t get anywhere without knowing where you are.”

That’s why metrics are important for businesses. With so many stats and signs to worry about, measure, analyze and glean meaningful information from, monitoring the right indicators is an uphill task.

Thankfully, there are innumerable, inexpensive tools available to make that part of the process easier. However, getting the best out of your metrics will require you to chase the right numbers, take what you must from a resulting sea of data, get organized and create a system (like you would with marketing, hiring and operations).

But how do you decide which dials and meters are important and club them together to form a dashboard that will be the lifeline of the direction your business is taking?

Here are the critical components from which you can try and build a growth monitoring system optimized for lead generation.

Lead Generation Process

Setting the right goals gives you a firm direction for you to move toward. Your goal attainment metrics give you an overall view of what you need to make your business successful.

Staffing

You need an excellent, passionate and hardworking team to get closer to your goals. So, ask yourself:

  • Who is a part of your team? What are their roles and responsibilities?
  • Who sort of people do you hire and how?
  • How long does it take for onboarding an on-site team member or an independent off-site contractor?

Tasks, Deadlines and Productivity

More questions:

  • How do you identify your prospects and actually get the leads that you do?
  • What qualifies as a lead? What are your deliverables? What milestones need to be reached and when?
  • Does your team achieve task completion before deadlines? How do you allocate resources to team members?
  • How do you manage lead conversion and execute the sale?

Budget & Costs

Knowing how much you spend on various aspects of lead generation helps you move closer to the ultimate goal of spending less to get more.

  • What’s the budget you’ve earmarked for lead generation and customer acquisition?
  • What does it cost you to produce content or resources for lead generation, directly or indirectly?
  • How do you measure your ROI on these costs incurred?
  • What is your Budget/Revenue ratio? While this is a slightly broader metric, it gives quick insight into how well your budget is being used to generate revenue for your business.

Leads by Channel

Blogging, social media, traffic to your website, outreach programs, email marketing and other types of lead generation material such as whitepapers, reports, guides, video tutorials and membership subscriptions will be your primary tools for lead generation:

Blogging

Business blogging is one of the best ways to generate leads without any extra costs (bar those of producing and promoting every blog post).

According to HubSpot’s stats, marketers who embrace blogging are 13X more likely to benefit from positive ROI. In fact, at least 82 percent of marketers who blog daily have acquired customers from their blogs.

What metrics should you measure for your blog posts? Here are few that work for me:

  • Number of blogs published that were planned for and scheduled in an editorial calendar
  • Comments per blog
  • Social shares per blog post
  • Amplification

By reaching out to other websites or third-party blogs to promote your content, you establish credibility and gain exposure. Guest posts, sponsored content, native ads, infographics and slide decks are the best forms of content to raise brand awareness. The metrics you’d do well to track are:

  • Number of content pieces published in various formats (and weighted by cost and quality)
  • Inbound link profile
  • Referral traffic

Social Media

Although it’s hard to pinpoint leads generated from specific social posts or updates, it’s still possible to measure the effectiveness of your efforts in generating leads:

  • Reach: How many people do your updates reach?
  • Engagement and shares: How many people actually engage with your updates? How many simply share and forget? What platform-specific actions (such as Like or Favorite) qualify as engagement?
  • Brand Impressions: On social media, your brand mentions are amplified. With hashtags, for instance, your conversations spread to a lot more people than you think. Did any of your hashtag campaigns hit “trending” thresholds on any social network? What were the lasting benefits or follower gains you achieved from these campaigns?

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the best way to reach out to your subscribers—a captive audience waiting to hear from you. Some of the important metrics to measure for email marketing are:

  • Total number of subscribers
  • Percentage increase of subscribers over a period of time
  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates (for CTAs within emails)
  • Social shares from emails

Standalone Content Assets

You could build any number of microsites that exclusively target certain niches you service or sell to. Better yet (from a centralized or branding point of view), you could choose to build a resource hub on your site, which acts as a nucleus or starting point for everything your audience needs and wants. Shopify’s resource center for starting and running a retail business is a great example.

Further, your blog could have email subscription forms above and/or below the post. The sidebar could have graphics, newsletter opt-in forms or links to your resources or community forums.

All these elements help generate leads by helping you increase email subscriptions, direct downloads, social shares and, most of all, leads.

Funnel Progression

Leads by phase: Plotting all your conversion opportunities by stage allows you to get a holistic snapshot of your business.

Qualified leads: All leads are not created equal. Lead quality directly affects your conversions and marketing spend. Dividing your qualified leads into marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads will put you in a better position to nurture them accordingly.

Engagement rate: Focus on how effectively you are engaging your qualified leads through drip campaigns, retargeting or other methods.

Customer Conversions: This is when customers come buying and making those transactions. If you had to pick just one metric ever, this one fits the bill.

Retention: The story isn’t over with conversions. There’s that recurring effort of making your buyers come back to make purchases again and again—post-sale marketing, they call it. It makes even more sense if your business has recurring transactions such as membership fees, subscriptions or monthly bills.

Analyze these:

  • Number of repeat customers
  • Loyalty program metrics
  • Customer life cycle

Putting Everything Together

HubSpot users will know most of these elements come together naturally right in their dashboards. Keeping a scorecard can help organize any additional elements. 

But while every business calls for a meticulously customized approach to creating the right analytics dashboard, there are several ways to do so. If you are not utilizing HubSpot, here are a couple other options.

One tool I’ve used is Cyfe. You can pull in the numbers from various data sources, channels or campaigns (organic and paid), and maintain a single, centralized view for all your important analytics. Chris Abraham of Socialmedia.biz termed it as “one dashboard to rule them all.”

Cyfe integrates with social media networks, email marketing tools and all major web and mobile sources of traffic, sales and revenue. It also plugs into campaign data from ad networks owned by Google, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo.  

lead_generation

Another above-average dashboard tool especially helpful in communicating critical lead data company-wide or across disparate teams is Geckoboard.

All said and done, make sure any tool or dashboard you use mitigates the inherent challenges that statistics carry:

  • Metrics, by themselves, make little sense. They are best understood in related clusters plotted over timescales.
  • The amount of variables in the actual transaction flow—from the time a prospect first becomes aware of your product, service or business to the point of sale—make it extremely complex.

Further reading:

How do you build your lead generation dashboard? Let us know in the comments!
Enterprise Lead Nurturing: Delivering Sales Ready Leads

Additional Topics:
The Author

Tracy Vides

Tracy Vides is a content marketer and social media consultant. She works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Although new to the digital marketing scene, Tracy has started off well by building a good online reputation for herself, with posts featured on She Owns It, Business 2 Community and elsewhere. She is @TracyVides.
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