There are lots of things you need to keep track of when managing an outbound sales program. There is, however, one metric that should be tracked above all others.
Qualified Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) is a real time metric that indicates the health of your lead pipeline. A positive lead velocity rate indicates that you are consistently growing your qualified leads on a month-over-month basis. A decrease in velocity rate quickly alerts you to a potential problem before it affects your sales pipeline.
When setting your lead velocity rate goal, we recommend setting it about 20% of your targeted monthly growth rate. The reason for this is to account for the natural churn that occurs in growing businesses.
Utilizing this crucial metric is valuable for three reasons:
- It’s a simple measurement that is easily understood by all.
- It’s a leading indicator that highly correlates to increased growth rates.
- By consistently tracking LVR, you’ll gain valuable insights into your overall sales and marketing efforts.
What You Learn From Tracking Lead Velocity Rate
There are, in essence, only four scenarios at play for any growth organization:
- Decreasing LVR/Decreasing Sales
- Decreasing LVR/Increasing Sales
- Increasing LVR/Decreasing Sales
- Increasing LVR/Increasing Sales
Of these scenarios, only the fourth is a good one. If you find your company in one of the first three scenarios, here’s what you should do:
Decreasing LVR/Decreasing Sales
Most companies that find themselves here put more pressure on the sales side. Realizing that they need to fix something, they tend to start at the closest activity to new revenue, which is of course the sales effort.
However, if your lead velocity rate is decreasing it is very hard to fix the growth problem. If your LVR is decreasing you must fix that before you can address the sales problem.
Decreasing LVR/Increasing Sales
This scenario is the reason that tracking lead velocity is so important. It’s easy to get complacent. When your velocity rate is decreasing a major danger sign should be flashing and you should take steps to fix that before sales suffers.
Increasing LVR/Decreasing Sales
If you’re seeing your LVR increase and it’s not translating into increased sales growth in a reasonable period of time, you know you have one of three issues present:
- Sales rep quality issue
- Sales process issues
- Product fit issues
It’s time to make a change and fix those issues.
3 Ways to Increase Lead Velocity
If you have a lead velocity problem, here are the three most likely fixes:
Improve list quality
If you’re the greatest fisherman in the world and your fishing in waters that don’t have the type of fish you’re trying to catch, you’re not going to be very effective.
I’m constantly shocked to see how often aggressive growth companies continue to use ineffective list and list strategies. Your list is your “pond.” Make sure you are fishing in one with plenty of your fish.
Eliminate barriers to selling
The 2015 State of Sales Productivity Report found that 20% of salespeople’s time is spent on reporting, administrative and CRM-related tasks. I’ve seen other studies that show as little as 50% of a salesperson’s time is actually spent selling.
If your lead velocity is tracking to your goals make sure that your lead generation team is able to put the appropriate focus on generating leads. If you’ve got them doing admin or other projects…stop!
Increase Sales Rep Productivity
Your salespeople are only working when they are actually talking with qualified prospects. Everything else is the cost you must accept for gaining those conversations.
But what if you could quadruple the number of conversations your reps were having an hour? While that seems an obvious question, most companies aren’t utilizing technology like they should to make that happen.
One of the hottest topics in sales and lead generation is the effective utilization of technology to leverage your efforts. As strange as this sounds to veteran sales executives, your technology stack is now as important as your sales team. If you don’t have the right one, you’re not going to achieve your goals.