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Performance of Lead Lists: Who is Responsible for Performance?

Performance of Lead Lists

In outbound B2B, there’s a lot of misplaced faith that with a magic lead list, you can make your quota.

“If only I can get the perfect list of companies, with the right contact and their email!” So the thinking goes.

But a list of companies, contacts and emails is not nearly enough. The journey to sales is often a longer, harder journey for marketing & sales than we wish it would be, right?! A lead list is only a small part of this journey.

Quality of the list is definitely important. The data should be accurate and reliable. You should know your ideal customer profile and request data that fits it. Vendors nowadays should be flexible enough to deliver more filtered, tailored data. While some data for specialized requests may not be available or too expensive to acquire, the lead list should fit your ideal customer profile as much as possible.

Beyond this, many factors that affect list performance are actually related to marketing and sales.

For example:

– Number of touches: need at least 12-15, sometimes more
– Quality of the sales team: turnover, training and consistency
– Pipeline process, closing strategies

So how do you measure sales and marketing performance?

– Test for differences: sales tenure/regions, touches
– Vary campaign design and offers within a list or data source
– Analyze results and apply insights for next steps

If there are statistical differences, the problem is not the list.

The easy path is to write off a list as crappy, and search for the next vendor with a magic lead list. But this won’t get you ahead. You will repeat similar disappointing results and delay improvement.

Instead, for long-term success, understand the differences between list performance and sales & marketing performance. Separate your expectations from the lead vendors vs. sales and marketing processes.

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