Beware of Bad Metrics: Your Key to Customer Success

We’ve all had some horrible marketing or sales experiences we can reflect back on…the ones where we got annoyed by constantly gated information, the harassing sales calls, pulling our hair out when no one was there to help us with support, too much help when you didn’t need it, being passed along the line of contacts, haggling over the price, and so many more aggravating scenarios.

But even though we know how this feels, we keep repeating these same behaviors. Why don’t we change this pattern of bad experiences? And how are they really impacting our business?

BAD METRICS = BAD EXPERIENCES

If we are all striving for customer success, we need to reassess the success metrics we are measuring. Our typical short-term metrics used in most businesses include:

  • Pipeline
  • Margins
  • Number of leads
  • Number of opportunities

Though these metrics are common, they may be promoting the wrong behaviors described above and creating bad customer experiences. We should also be looking closely at customer satisfaction metrics such as:

  • Engagement
  • Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
  • Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT)

BAD EXPERIENCES = LACK OF GROWTH

Beware of the metrics that could create detractors. Those unhappy customers can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. Your brand is not just a factor for Marketing, but everyone in the company influences brand and the customer’s experience. Factors that can negatively affect your customers and thus your brand include:

  • Having to fill out many fields and personal information to get to useful information
  • Not being able to get help when you need it
  • Contacts handing you off from one person to the next to the next
  • Getting excited to buy but then spend months haggling prices
  • Being harassed by pushy sales people
  • Encountering even more gated information
  • Having to talk to a sales person, again
  • Or not being able to reach a live person when you need to
  • Being wined and dined for a contract then no support for success

The short-term metrics we’ve been using like pipeline, numbers of leads and opportunities, and margins, seem to be creating the bad organizational success behaviors, which in turn create negative customer experiences. These are not the customers that are going to close a deal with you, create renewals, or especially serve as a positive referral to others. Not only does this hinder your growth, but you can also bring damage to your reputation and branding.

GOOD METRICS = GOOD EXPERIENCES

Since the short-term metrics aren’t finding their way into the hearts of our prospects and customers, we need to formulate positive, long-term metrics…metrics that move, drive, and motivate the marketing and sales teams.  By measuring engagement, NPS, and CSAT, we will encourage positive customer success behaviors such as:

  • Viewing demos and papers without filling out a form every time
  • Feeling more support and less sales
  • Having transparent pricing
  • Quickening help response times
  • Sales being open about when their product/service is not a good fit
  • If you want to talk, someone being available
  • No routing rules…response is based on the customer
  • Live chat anywhere for full accessibility
  • Getting more love AFTER the contract is signed than before

All these good experiences come when an entire organization rallies behind good, long-term metrics. When measuring the right metrics, you are setting your customers up for success. The logic goes like this: If they need help, you give them help, then they succeed and are happy, thus eager to refer you.

GOOD EXPERIENCES = GOOD GROWTH

If we can learn from our experiences, then we can successfully evolve to an elevated way of viewing customer success metrics. The old metric was to encourage anything to close. Then we advanced to making sure the customer renewed. Now we are dealing with savvy, experienced customers who feel deserving of a great experience at every stage of the life cycle. This new guideline for customer success sets the metric at whether or not the customer recommends you to others.

Organizing and incentivizing your marketing, sales, and support teams to stand behind this long-term metric will ensure great experiences every step of the process. Follow the methods outlined above to accomplish the following:

  • Transform your customer experience
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Generate positive word-of-mouth
  • Reduce churn
  • Increase overall growth

Your goal with positive, long-term customer success metrics is to create the Promoters. These loyal enthusiasts will keep buying and referring others, fueling growth faster than any of the short-term metrics on their own. Pulling all teams together, your organization has the potential to be the breath of fresh air to your customers, so much so that they will pass your name to 5, 10, 15, 20 other prospects. You can’t fight the equation:

Good Experiences = Happy Customers = Good Growth

How to Survive the Mobilegeddon!

Marketers are constantly developing multi-channel marketing campaigns to reach their target customer. Generally, Marketers tend to focus majority of their attention on websites and include a mobile friendly website design as a beneficial addition. However, with more percentage of users on mobile than ever before and Google’s new mobile friendly algorithm, Marketers need to shift their attention to mobile.

In April, Google announced that mobile friendless will be used as a ranking signal which will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide. Many are deeming this algorithm update as a “Mobilegeddon” and wondering how this change will impact their business.

But no need to fret, we have all of the details you need to know to survive “Mobilegeddon” and what you need to do to save your website!

Below are some recommendations to ensure your website is mobile friendly:

  1. Avoid common mistakes such as unplayable videos, faulty redirects, blocked JavaScript, CSS, image files, irrelevant cross links, etc. These are often frustrating for visitors and provide a poor search experience.
  2. Use text and formatting that is resizable to the screen size without having to zoom.
  3. Include enough spacing between links so that visitors can easily tap the link.

Have you followed these guidelines and are now wondering if your website is mobile friendly? Take the mobile friendly test.

What configurations does Google recognize and recommend for building mobile sites?

  1. Responsive design is Google’s preferred method for web design. It renders the same HTML code and same URL’s for any device and resizes itself to fit the screen being used.
  2. Dynamic serving design delivers the same URL’s but different version of HTML code depending on device and browser.
  3. Separate URL’s deliver different URL’s and HTML code according tothe users device.

Responsive design is perfect for businesses that are looking to offer a consistent and holistic website experience to users on all devices: desktop, mobile, and tablets. If you are thinking ahead and want to cover your bases for any future updates, responsive web design is the best option.

Dynamic design is an ideal solution for companies that make frequent changes to their websites and adjust display for one device as needed.

Separate URLs are used by businesses who want to manage their mobile site independently. It can be a cost effective solution for small businesses with basic website needs.

ShowMeLeads offers a variety of responsive design and landing page services as well as custom design based on your business needs. Check out our library of responsive designs or ask us about creating your own custom template.

For more information on Google’s mobile search engine rankings or responsive web design contact us.

3 Ways to Bring Lost Leads Back Into Your Revenue Pool

Companies are attributing close to 25% of sales to the email marketing channel and are working hard to improve on those results. Every day email marketers are throwing away valuable leads – leads that could result in significant increases in conversions and pipeline. We want to help you discover clients hiding amongst those almost-lost leads. Important actions to take are:

  •  Make sure your marketing strategy efficiently supports re-engaging buyers who are job-change
  •  Don’t miss important business opportunities who fall victim to your spam filter
  •  Mine your out-of-office emails for improved lead volume and increased revenue

1. No Longer with the Company Doesn’t Mean No Longer a Lead

With 30% of lead data going bad every year due to changes in email addresses, phone numbers and employers, you have to realize the cost of decayed data and correct it. When a lead is acquired and nurtured through inbound marketing, there will be a point when he/she bounces after changing jobs. You will need to identify that lead and turn him/her back to the funnel. Those who used to be your leads are more likely to become your leads again if you trigger the acquisition.

The moment when a buyer is most open to new solutions is right after changing employers. A person who recently changed jobs likely has an empty inbox, so if you approach them at this time, you gain the first mover advantage of reaching them first. If you then take this opportunity to re-establish yourself as a trusted advisor, you can help to frame their purchasing decisions by educating them on the market.

While the results from both inbound marketing and outbound marketing are usually top of funnel leads, the results from this rebound marketing strategy are more often middle of the funnel leads. Inbound and outbound too often include heavy competition for the prospect’s time, while rebound marketing leverages your previous goodwill to earn their time before your competitors even know where to find them. Having started closer to the middle of the funnel, you will also spend less time and effort nurturing them.

The workflow for Rebound Marketing looks like this:

1.    Identify bounced leads and isolate job changers.

2.    Update data with reliable social media channels or personal contacts.

3.    Score these leads based on their previous engagement level and updated data.

4.    Determine the method and moment to reach out.

5.    Offer them a special marketing campaign combining customer retention and lead acquisition.

6.    When leads are re-acquired, record and treat them as past leads or buyers, not strangers.

Instead of letting these job changers fall through the cracks, you have now created an even stronger relationship than before with higher potential for success. Remember, they already know about you and absolutely do not want to download materials for early-stage prospects. Match the level of your previous relationship, creating a sense of continuity across your buyer’s career.

2. Don’t Lose Email Leads to Your Spam Filter

Chances are you could be missing important business opportunities if your email Inbox utilizes a spam filter. Take a few minutes now to investigate your email screening procedures for messages received from unknown senders. You might even discover a new client hiding among the spam!

Email inquiries from new business prospects, which by definition are unknown and unexpected when they arrive in your Inbox, can take a detour to your spam box without your knowledge.

When was the last time you did not receive an email sent by a client or friend? Failed email delivery can be quite common. Businesses frequently contact vendors via email and engage the most qualified candidate who responds first. You miss out on a potential engagement if the email inquiry does not show up in your inbox.

Here are five easy steps to protect your email, receive incoming leads, and avoid technical nightmares:

1. Check your spam box often if you use automated email filtering.

2. Add a response form to your Website. Your Webmaster can set this up so that you are automatically alerted with an email recognized by your server.

3. Update your “safe” and “blocked” sender lists often, especially if delivery is controlled at the ISP level. Add a company’s email domain to your approved email list when you get a new lead from the company.

4. Separate business from personal correspondence by using two different email accounts.

5. Avoid downloading free software or clicking on unsolicited ads. If you do, you may find yourself subject to a virus or malicious Adware attack.

3. Out-of-Office Responses Are Filled with Leads

U.S. workers are away from the office just under 6% of the year. Mining out-of-office (OOO) emails can significantly improve your lead volume and, more importantly, your revenue! Let’s look at some numbers to see just how much potential opportunity is lost in these responses.

Let’s say the average U.S. worker receives one week of vacation and ten federal holidays each year. If the number of leads that can be found in each out-of-office email is about one out of every two emails, that’s a lot of potential loss.

For example, if you send out 5000 emails per week for a campaign, you would receive 1200 out-of-office emails per month. Assuming one lead for every two OOO emails, then you receive 600 additional leads each month!  All this from data you have access to, but are not effectively leveraging.

So the next question is: What would it take to mine this information manually? You can look into automated services or follow the manual process:

1. First, sift through the email in your campaign response inbox to find out-of-office emails.

2. Next, read the out-of-office email and capture the relevant information.

3. Note: You will most often capture name and email address and rarely company, phone number, and title.

4. Finally, upload this information into your email service provider, marketing automation solution, or customer relationship management system.

Even though there are limitations to what can be accomplished by this process, the results can add up quickly. Out-of-office emails will deliver significant value to your company if you are able to mine them. Note that both frequency of email campaigns and the target audience size of each campaign directly affect the return you can expect from mining out-of-office emails.

In summary, marketers are masters at creating demand and generating leads, and email is a marketer’s go-to tool. It is flexible, engaging, and provides tremendous return on investment (ROI). Mining your out-of-office, no longer works here, and spammed emails will help make sure you’re getting the most out of this valuable tool.

7 Secrets to a Successful Scoring Model

Lead-scoringLead scoring is a valuable system to make the sales team more efficient through pre-qualification and prioritization, and if done right, can be an unfair advantage in your market. It’s critical to get your scoring model off to a strong start and to develop its accuracy over time.

Following are key steps for successful scoring:

1. Gather intelligence from Sales regarding the typical makeup of a qualified lead.

Sales and Marketing will need to work together to define the profile of the ideal customer. Sales needs to buy into the scoring system and trust it, so it’s important to include all parties from the onset.

2. Establish Demographic and BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) scoring formula.

These set criteria might include company size, industry, role, and product/service interest and are often assessed through website forms.
Caution: Beware of false positives from website window shoppers and exaggerated BANT responses.

3. Consider content assets and lead behaviors to better define your ideal customer profile.

In a department store, you can watch a potential buyer take clothing off the rack, look at the price, hold it up, and try it on, then the salesperson can see clearly when to approach. We also have to assess online behaviors and apply the score values for prospects who register for webinars, download post-session materials or whitepapers, express interest at a tradeshow, or watch videos or demos. Who clicked through on a call-to-action or viewed pricing? These behaviors might weigh differently from each other, but each tells a story of the potential prospect and suggests when to “approach.”

4. Determine where the prospects are in the marketing funnel by using scoring to evaluate the stages.

A scoring system can set the lead status in the funnel. For example, a low scoring lead might be an Inquiry, while a higher scoring counterpart would be a Marketing Qualified Lead and is ready for sales.

5. Take necessary steps to move qualified leads to opportunities.

Depending on where leads fall in the marketing funnel, scoring can help in the lead flow as ownership, activities, and role are defined by business rules, assessed through scoring, and moved around depending on their activity.

6. Prove or disprove the success of your lead scoring model.

Lead scoring is successful when leads with higher scores convert into closed/won business more often than low scoring leads. Analyzing velocity and conversion-to-revenue rates is also critical to measuring successful scoring. Lead scoring is generally proven not successful if metrics related to lead scoring are trending negatively. In that case, you would need to identify points of failure and make the necessary changes.

7. Optimize your lead scoring for continued improvement.

Even the most successful lead scoring models receive ongoing auditing and fine-tuning. Changes and adjustments will only help to create more reliable and sales-ready results.

It’s important for organizations to remember that lead scoring won’t predict if a deal will close, but it will help prioritize who sales should engage with first. Lead scoring is often implemented, yet rarely fully leveraged. If your competitors are using lead scoring models as well, make sure yours is fine-tuned, fully-utilized, and ever-dynamic.