Social Media Success Won’t Fix a Broken Sales Funnel

If you are a B2B marketer looking to use social media as a way to generate more sales leads, by all means test and experiment with it. However, first be sure that your CRM and lead handling systems are working properly. Otherwise, you will only make a bad situation worse.

All leads should be qualified and nurtured

A lot of social media gurus are telling us that, since social media is different, its success should be measured differently. This is complete nonsense. Whether you generate inquiries from social or “conventional” media, they should all be treated the same way and measured with the same metric. In practice, this means:

  • Qualify every lead— before you pass it on to your sales people for follow-up, no matter where the lead came from. Leads that aren’t ready for follow-up should be nurtured until they are.
  • Track and source conversions accurately— This is especially important when using social media, because its “free” nature can make any leads it generates look far less expensive than inquiries generated from “paid” sources. However, this can be especially misleading with social media because you can’t always control where and to whom your message goes. A low lead cost is meaningless if the conversion rate is poor. In the final analysis, your conversion rate and, ultimately, your cost of sale are the only metrics that matter.
  • Make your final demand generation decisions “by the numbers”— Simply put, this means keep doing the things that generate good conversion rates (and an acceptable cost/sale) and stop doing the things that don’t measure up.

Have feedback on this or any other topic? Let me know lfoong(at)thealeagroup.com.