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Social Selling Reduces the Cost Per Lead

Posted by Amar Sheth on Apr 10, 2014 5:49:15 AM

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Cost Per LeadOur data shows that it costs 75% less to generate leads on social media than on other channels. At the bare minimum, social selling is something that you should be exploring.

In the world of B2B sales and marketing, we’ve always been fascinated with a few key KPIs that help us manage our business. One of them is cost per lead.

Your sales team is hard at work every day generating leads and chances are that your marketing department is out there generating marketing qualified leads so your sales people can transform them into viable opportunities.

How much do these leads cost?

Here is a great infographic from Michael Brenner @ SAP depicting the cost per lead.

What’s important to note is that across all industries surveyed, the costs are below $100/lead. However, as the number of filters increase, so does the actual cost per lead. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone since you're increasing the number of qualifiers and reducing the number of people interested in your product/service.

As an example, I once worked for a technology company that wanted to measure the cost per appointment, a metric they deemed important to close rate. They found it costed $250-$400 to put a sales rep in front of a customer. That’s expensive.

How are these leads generated?

Although the study doesn’t point out how these leads are generated, it’s safe to assume that the bulk of them were generated through traditional methods, such as cold calling, direct mail and conferences.

The cost per lead KPI has become so important that an entire industry of lead generators has blossomed. Need an appointment? There’s a company that generates those. Need an inquiry through your website? A digital marketing company can generate that too. How about driving calls to your inbound call center? Ditto, there are companies offering those services.

But, what about social?

What is Social Selling

No one has really measured the actual cost per lead derived from social. As social selling gains more prominence and traction, more people will pay attention to this lead source.

Here is some data from us: $350,000 of new opportunities in 6 months costed $600. This stat is from a year ago but you get the point. Remember, these numbers are 100% derived from social selling – there was no cold calling nor traditional sales efforts applied here. You’ll notice that the cost per lead in this social scenario is far lower than using traditional means. We’re hitting a cost per lead rate that’s below $20.

I share this with you not to gloat, but to show you what’s possible when social selling is added to your lead generation strategy. Should you continue with cold calling? Absolutely, yes. If marketing has any other ideas that are backed by science and data, those should be pursued also. But, it’s time you start adding social selling into your daily activities.

Our data shows that it costs 75% less to generate leads via social than any other channel. At the bare minimum, social selling is something that you should be exploring.

The Bottom Line

For us, social selling makes financial sense because the cost per lead is just too good to ignore. I urge you to take a look at your efforts and investigate how much it costs you to generate leads. Chances are that it’ll be far more cost effective to generate leads via social. In addition, we already know these opportunities have far more relevance and context. I’m not suggesting that you stop your current lead gen efforts; I’m advocating that you add social into your mix. If anything, it’ll help lower your overall corporate cost per lead KPI.

Curious on how to start generating social leads? I can help. We’ve got lots of insights and data that can help you dip your toes in the water. Email me at amar@salesforlife.com or set up a time with me below to get started.

Remember, social selling isn’t difficult; it’s just different.

Amar Sheth

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Amar Sheth

Amar Sheth

About the Author

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.

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