8. Measure relationship depth

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by: Jon Miller

As part of the lead management process, make sure to measure the "depth" of your relationship with a target company. By depth, I mean both the number of contact names you have at the company as well as the quality of the interactions you've had.

If you've had meaningful marketing interactions with six different people from a company, then that company is more likely to be sales ready than a company where you've only interacted with one person. Similarly, a prospect who has downloaded two whitepapers, attended one of your in-person events, subscribes to your podcast, and has recently spoken with a telemarketing rep is more likely to be sales ready than a prospect who only downloaded one whitepaper.

One way to measure relationship depth (based on ideas from Kathy Rizzo at TeleNet Marketing Solutions) is to assign a point score to each type of interaction. For example, a conversation could be worth 5 points, attending a webinar worth 4, downloading a podcast worth 3, receiving a high-touch direct mail worth 2, and downloading a whitepaper or receiving an opt-in email worth 1. Next, add the points across all contacts at a company to get a total company score. By knowing the average number of points before a lead becomes sales ready, you can begin to evaluate how far along you are with lead nurturing. (More sophisticated versions of this approach assign higher weights to activities that imply the prospect is further down marketing funnel, as well as to interactions with prospects who are key decision makers.)

One last advantage of measuring relationship depth is that it can tell you when you've reached the point of diminishing returns for each prospect. For example, if your analytics show that most customers are sales ready at 20 points, then a prospect at 50 points who is not yet sales ready may be a good candidate to move to lower cost interactions if possible.

Original Post: http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2006/12/8_measure_relat.html