HomeBlog I Don’t Care About Your Country (and Neither Should You)

I Don’t Care About Your Country (and Neither Should You)

December 07, 2012 | By Alden Cushman

OK, an inflammatory headline to be sure – but when it comes to measuring things like demand creation waterfall conversion rates, it couldn’t be more true. As organizations put in place the processes and technology to measure and track waterfall conversion rates and average cost per lead, they’re also realizing that such metrics vary by line of business, target market, product line, region, and even country.

OK, an inflammatory headline to be sure – but when it comes to measuring things like demand creation waterfall conversion rates, it couldn’t be more true. As organizations put in place the processes and technology to measure and track waterfall conversion rates and average cost per lead, they’re also realizing that such metrics vary by line of business, target market, product line, region, and even country. They often contact us asking for industry averages by those key characteristics – which usually inspires us to talk about key factors and drivers that really influence conversion rates – for example, lead qualification and demand type – vs. other attributes (like region and country) that do not impact these metrics.

While attributes like region and country should be noted, our research shows that it does not matter where activities like marketing lead qualification or lead scoring are done but how they’re done. By the very definition of lead qualification, a Level 4 marketing qualified lead (MQL) in one country should behave very much like a Level 4 MQL in any other country. If they do not, either a lead is not really being qualified to Level 4, or potentially the lead contact is providing less than truthful information.

Yes, it can be interesting and perhaps beneficial to report how leads in one country are converting compared to leads from another country, but this should not be the only attribute of the lead conversion analysis. For some organizations, a country like Japan may be an established, well- penetrated market and the relatively low volume of its leads sourced by marketing are qualified very highly – to perhaps a Level 4 or 5 – and will likely convert at a very high rate through the post-marketing qualified waterfall stages (emphasis on quality over quantity). For other organizations, Japan may be a completely new market, and the relatively high volume of marketing-sourced leads are qualified to perhaps a Level 2 or 3 – likely converting at a rather low rate through the post-MQL waterfall stages (emphasizing quantity rather than quality). Even within the same country, lead levels can vary significantly by target market (e.g. industry or account type) or even by product or offering where complexity and pricing are key.

So, while “country” is a nice-to-know attribute for reporting purposes, it should not be viewed as a key driving or influencing factor in metrics like conversion rates.

 

Alden Cushman

Alden Cushman is Practice Director, Benchmarking and Analysis, at SiriusDecisions. He’s worked for more than 18 years as a market researcher, competitive intelligence manager, product marketing manager and analyst. Follow Alden on Twitter @AldenCushman.
Join Us at #SDSummit