The Deception of More
I've come to think of volume as a CYA mechanism for managers to report false productivity up the chain.
More leads must mean that your marketing is working.
More candidates applying to your jobs must mean that job boards are worth it.
Volume-in is a tactic for keeping bosses happy. It gives the allusion that good things must be happening. Don't worry boss, I’ve got this covered!
What it really means is I don’t want you to ask me about the shit that really matters to the business so I’m going to distract you with fancy reports, jargon, and numbers. Lots of numbers.
Volume doesn’t equal impact. What it does show is that you’re good at casting a wide net and making your front-line people spend inordinate amounts of time doing the filtering for you.
The rub here is that psychologically we (people) have been trained to believe that more is better. As much as we want to believe—within the context of sales and marketing—that less is actually more, letting go of more is extremely difficult. Especially when jobs are dependent on always showing more.
Some thoughts for those who are thinking about marketing a product, a service, or a job:
- If you want to know what actually moves your desired end result—a deal closed or a new hire made—you can’t start with marketers. Marketers aren’t incentivized to do anything but make more happen. You have to talk directly with the dealmakers: recruiters and salespeople. There lies reality.
- Volume isn’t actually the enemy. Low-quality is. Volume + quality is very hard to pull off. In most cases, focusing on fewer, but better is smarter. Your recruiters and salespeople will thank you for it.
- The idea of fewer, but better mostly applies to processes that require a person to do the dealmaking: recruiting, sales-led, and marketing-led motions. PLG companies rely heavily on volume-in that goes through a self-serve experience with no touch from a human.
(I know, I know, there’s nuance to this. Chill out. I’m just trying to establish context for who this post is for.)