How to drive revenue from all sources is the second of 7 Truths about Sales and Marketing that CEOs need to know. This post is part of a series about the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results.
In the previous blog in the series we discussed the importance of creating a universal lead definition and why that process cannot be delegated to marketing and/or sales. Today we’ll discuss driving revenue from all sources using something I call the RING formula:
Drive revenue from all sources: inbound, nurture and proactive outbound
When weighing the benefits of inbound vs. outbound marketing, the RING formula can help you to determine the right way to approach lead generation for your organization. RING is a mathematical formula that sheds light on the contributions inbound is making to the bottom line. From there marketers can understand and what contributions are required by nurturing those inbound leads, plus how much revenue must be driven by proactive outbound.
It works like this: Revenue desired (or required), minus revenue expected from inbound marketing, minus revenue possible from nurturing inbound leads, equals the GAP, or the shortfall that needs to be addressed. The GAP must be filled through proactive outbound activity.
I developed this simple formula to illustrate the risks of overdependence on inbound marketing. Inbound is highly touted and readily adopted for good reason: Having prospects come to you has obvious, universal appeal. But inbound alone can’t generate enough leads to drive the revenue you need. Without a carefully crafted plan to nurture your leads, and without outbound efforts as part of the mix, meeting your numbers is going to be tough. It takes an “allbound” approach to maximize your lead-generation efforts.
- A well-run inbound program can realistically deliver 35 percent of the leads you need: That's according to The Bridge Group. Pretty impressive. But obviously not enough. This number is proof that it will take outreach to engage your entire target market.
- Inbound drives smaller deals that often involve lower-level decision makers: Marketo said it best: “It’s unlikely that CXOs are going to spend time trolling the web for blogs and other content.” To get these C-level folks’ attention requires proactive reach to complement inbound efforts.” It helps that senior executives are 2.5 times more responsive to quality voicemails and personalized email than other marketing channels. So, proactive outbound (including telephone calls) works if CXOs or other senior level executives are your target.
- A raw inbound lead will cost twice that of an outbound lead once qualified: Inbound leads start out low cost. However, since only a small percentage are truly qualified, the cost to nurture them is high—especially if you are using your direct sales team to do it. The so-called lead that cost $25 to generate inbound will cost more than $2,500 to bring to a sales-accepted state (vs. an average of $1,350 for a qualified outbound lead).
- Nurturing inbound leads can up your lead rate from an average of 5 percent to 15 percent: More than 90 percent of those who respond to inbound leads are not in current buying mode. Using follow-up outbound (phone, voicemail, and email) across multiple sales cycles to filter, qualify, and move leads through the funnel can multiply inbound results by 3X.
- An average of 53.75 percent of the leads you require to hit your revenue target need to be generated by outbound: The RING formula shows that the gap between leads generated by inbound and inbound nurturing and the total number of leads you need is significant. For B2B companies with a complex sales process, more than half need to be outbound sourced.
Understanding the realistic potential of inbound, nurturing, and outbound is necessary to achieving desired revenue. Fortunately, it’s not guesswork. The RING formula, and the statistics that support it, help you predict your lead-generation success, and balance activities accordingly.
What percentage of your revenue goal has your organization been able to achieve through inbound marketing only?
To learn more about RING, download PointClear’s whitepaper (no registration required).
In the next blog in this series we will discuss how to proactively drive more marketing sourced revenue.