As marketers, we’re constantly measured by 1) How many leads we generate and 2) The conversion rate of those leads. But…can our marketing and sales tools tell us if those new contacts are legitimate prospects? This is where LEAD VALIDATION comes into play.  Lead validation fills the gap between marketing automation and sales efforts.

What is lead validation?

I’m not a huge Wikipedia person, but their definition is a solid place to start: “Lead validation is the process by which sales leads generated by internet marketing campaigns are separated from other types of conversions. Lead validation is crucial for effective internet marketing management; without it, companies can neither accurately evaluate the results of, nor efficiently improve, their SEO, PPC, display advertising, email, content marketing and social media campaigns.”

Without lead validation we run the risk of seriously overestimating the ROI of your marketing campaigns. Obviously, each phone call or form completion doesn’t always equate to a strong lead. According to a recent study by marketing services firm Straight North, analyzing over 350,000 marketing inquiries, barely half of them were legitimate sales leads.

Proper Lead Validation = Marketing Success

When your marketing ROI and cost per lead calculations are based on lead generation data that is only 50% accurate or complete, it will almost certainly lead to negative consequences.

Marketers who leverage an effective lead validation system will be able to identify the source of every validated lead and how many are a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). These marketers are then able to accurately calculate a true cost per lead, instead of a cost per conversion.

Lead validation provides the ability to make better decisions and adjustments based on more accurate data that correlates leads to performance metrics. Lead validation allows us to properly “connect the dots” to maximize marketing efforts and improve ROI.

How?

If your martech stack doesn’t already include a validation tool/service, start thinking of ways to integrate lead validation into your tech stack ASAP. My goal today isn’t to recommend platforms, it’s to educate so you can drive stronger ROI. Regardless of whether you’re leveraging technology or manually lead scoring, you MUST allocate time to test the process and evaluate what percentage of leads are SQL. If you’re not improving I can guarantee your competitors are.

What do you think? How are you currently tracking and evaluating your leads? How are you improving your existing process and what are some of the challenges you’re trying to solve right now? Please share in the comments section below.

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