According to a recent study conducted by BtoB Magazine, marketing professionals are increasingly adopting lead-generation practices and strategies as part of their job responsibilities. No longer was lead-generation solely the domain of the outbound sales prospecting team. Marketing was expected to pick up their slack too and contribute high-quality leads that eventually convert into opportunities for the sales pipeline. The next step, then, is for marketers to find the right lead generation metrics with which to measure their efforts.
The study’s results revealed, unfortunately, that those efforts were woefully unsophisticated at this point of the marketing evolution. Approximately 55% of survey respondents admitted that their effectiveness of their lead-generation efforts was simply average, while more than three-quarters noted that the way they gauged their success was limited. This puts an even greater onus on marketers to find the right lead-generation metrics to determine the best lead generation sources and strategies, streamline their overall marketing operations and, most importantly, contribute to revenue. After all, while leads are important, they are just a four-letter word to CEOs, who are more interested in the bottom line.
To wit, here are three of the most crucial lead generation metrics that every Marketing VP needs to be aware of.
The first and most critical lead generation metric is quite simple: How many leads have we generated and we on track compared to last month, an average month or our goal? Your marketing team needs to have quantitative goals, just like your sales team has bookings goal. As a Marketing VP, you can then use this lead generation metric to help track your daily progress toward meeting your marketing goals. Additionally, the Lead Trajectory waterfall separates various lead sources, allowing you to see which sources have contributed the most to your lead generation efforts.
Check out this example of a Lead Trajectory report above. This team has killed it this month, already beating their average monthly trajectory, last month’s trajectory AND this month’s goal, with another week to go in the month. Looking at these lead generation metrics, a Marketing VP would be very satisfied with his or her efforts this month, and look to build on this for the future.
Marketing VPs can look at this lead generation metric to answer an important question: “How is my lead database changing over time?” Naturally, Marketing VPs want to see their lead inventory grow month-over-month, indicating that their efforts are improving. The Marketing VP is learning from the successes and failures of past campaigns, re-prioritizing efforts to focus on lead sources that produce the highest-possible ROI. They are becoming more efficient and effective as a marketing in terms of generating leads and building out their inventory.
Instead of looking at raw numbers, the Lead History report should also segment between various lead types, based on the stage they are in or how qualified they are. While every company will have different ways of grading leads, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) are generally considered top-shelf. In this example above, the company’s lead inventory has been steadily growing over the past six months. The quality of leads has also improved significantly. In March, this team generated only 171 MQLs – six months later, that number has multiplied 10-fold, all the way to 1,756 MQLs. This Marketing VP’s lead generating tactics are working and getting better.
More than just the quantity of leads generated, Marketing VPs should also be aware of the quality of the leads that their team has produced. This is where a Lead Funnel report can be a critical asset. This snapshot report looks at how your leads have progressed through various stages before closing (i.e won or lost). The report breaks down the percent conversion rate from one stage to the next, providing a better understanding of how marketing-generated leads progress and identifying problematic stages and significant drop-offs from one stage to the next.
Once you’ve found the stages with the lowest conversion rates – in this example, between the nurture stage and the MQL stage – you can then help your team focus their efforts on improving conversion rates at these points. With that analysis and coaching, you will be able to strengthen weak points of your funnel and improve conversion rates throughout, ultimately leading to more marketing-generated won deals.
Lead generation should absolutely be in the domain of marketer’s, and not just the prospecting team. Marketers have significant resources and can run campaigns that are much more efficient and effective than simply cold-calling. The next step is to implement the right lead generation metrics and reports and start measuring their efforts. Once they get there, Marketing VPs can focus on weak areas, emphasize strengths and transform the team into a lean, mean lead-generating machine.
What lead generation metrics do you track in your marketing team? Share them in the comments section below!