The Value of Velocity

This post first ran June 2015 on ANNUITAS.com

The need for speed. Today’s enterprise marketer has it. The speed at which your buyers move through their buying process has a big impact on the results your program can post. It’s not enough to know your buyer, create content that maps to their buyer’s journey and create lead management processes to regulate all the moving parts of your demand generation program. To truly create a perpetual demand generation engine that delivers, you have to master velocity too.

shutterstock_287377427Velocity can be tricky mainly because there’s so much that can be hiding in that one number. The answer?

Don’t use one number.

There are a lot of variables in your demand generation program, and to narrow in on where problem areas and optimization opportunities lie, you’ve got to unpack velocity to examine it from all sides.

Content is a key component in any demand generation program, and if you’ve examined your buyer’s journey, you’ve probably produced a lot of content to meet the needs of all your stakeholders at various stages of their process. Now, with all that content in hand, how do you narrow in on what is working hard or hardly working? You can’t look at email and download metrics alone and expect to see downstream impact. This is the first place to apply velocity measurements. For this key performance indicator (KPI), look at the average amount of time between content consumption and purchase.

Another facet of velocity is engagement to opportunity time frame. How long does it take on average for a prospect to move from engaging with one of your initial content offers to ending up in the sales pipeline? This shows an overall health of your nurture program. A great example of how one organization measures lead velocity rate (LVR) is from SaaStr, it’s from a blog post in 2012 but is one of the best examples to showcase the value of velocity.

Next, drill down into the different stages of your demand generation process to see how long it takes to move from one stage to another. Sales leaders use this approach to sales pipeline management, but marketers should adopt the same rigor to measure and diagnose their demand generation programs.

If you’re consistently managing program velocity, you’ll see where blockages appear, dig in further and see where the hold-up is. For example, if there’s an offer that consistently delivers better than average velocity, but it comes behind a so-so performer, perhaps you should re-order the offers to increase throughput and velocity. Or perhaps your SLAs are leaving leads on the table or are not responsive enough to meet modern buyer expectations.

The direction in which you take your velocity analysis really depends on what you see from applying the standard velocity KPI’s, but you’re dead in the water if you don’t have a way to measure and analyze this critical driver of success. For modern marketers, the value of velocity is undeniable.

Author: Lee Anne Wimberly @lwimberly Director, Strategy for ANNUITAS