While it may not be the case 100% of the time for marketers, usually its revenue where the buck stops. We can do an amazing job at getting leads but if those leads don’t convert into customers or sales then its not considered a success.
Based on this its important to take a step back from time to time, away from the all important “conversion rate” and look at whats happening further down the funnel. Is the funnel working great and we just need more volume or are there recurring issues where leads are not turning into customers or sales? If its the former then great! we can just work towards increasing that initial conversion rate or increasing our marketing budget. But if its the later, we need to take a hard look at the visitor experience and expectations after converting.
A good way to do this is adapt testing to be based not on leads but opportunities or sales. while this may extend testing time, it will can ultimately help your bottom line much more. More often then you might think, a test that increases lead conversions can actually reduce sales and vice versa. Ideally you would want to be measuring both with every test and weighing the pros and cons of each’s impact overall to make your decision.
To leave you with an example, we tested adding a live demo opt in form field to our standard lead gen form. Best practice says that more fields = less conversions, however the demo is an opportunity for a sales member to speak directly to the prospect (much more valuable and further down the sales funnel). We ran the test and the conversion rate did drop by about .75% so if we had stopped there the test would have failed. However, when looking at the number of requested demos the conversion percentage increased by an astounding 530% which now made the test a huge winner.
Consider multiple conversion points along the sales funnel for your next test and you might just be surprised with what you see.