In the constant battle to demonstrate the fruits of their team’s labor, Marketing VPs typically hone their focus in on one key marketing metric – leads. These same Marketing VPs also fervently believe that what their counterparts in sales – not to mention the CEO of the company – care about the delivery of these leads. Once those leads have been generated and handed over for sales to convert into opportunities, marketing’s job is done.

Those Marketing VPs would be wrong.

In fact, a truly accurate and effective marketing metric to benchmark Marketing VPs against is not which lead sources produce the most leads, but rather which lead sources generate the most deals.

‘Lead’ is a dirty, four-letter word’

- CEOs

As mentioned above, many Marketing VPs like to demonstrate their high performance by pointing to the number of leads their team and various campaigns have generated. And we don’t mean to denigrate the focus on generating leads – in fact, generating marketing leads is crucial to running a business, and for doing so the Lead Trajectory marketing metric is very useful.

Mike Volpe, the Marketing VP of HubSpot, once described marketing metrics as a ‘Check Engine’ light that reveals when something in your ‘car’ is off. The Lead Trajectory report is a great gauge, measuring your lead generation efforts against your team’s goal. From there, you can delve deeper to identify which specific lead sources have proven most effective at generating leads, and adjust your marketing strategy appropriately.

This information is great, but what if the 185 leads produced by the Search campaign led to only 1 deal, or none? What if the Direct campaign produced 5 deals out of its 43 leads? A face-value examination of lead sources by leads generated not only paints an incomplete marketing picture, but can even present false findings that lead the Marketing VP to make the wrong decisions.

What’s the alternative?

A much fuller and clearer picture can be gleaned by examining a Marketing Bookings by Lead Source report. This marketing metric identifies which lead source generated the most deals, both in terms of number of deals and total value. Now you can really determine which lead source is the most effective and should be emphasized over the others.

According to this example above, the Search campaign was underwhelming, in producing 3 deals out of its 185 leads. However, the Facebook campaign blew it out of the water, producing a total of 19 deals out of only 43 leads. Clearly, in terms of lead-to-deal conversion rate, the Facebook campaign is the superior lead source.

Other factors must be taken into account, including the cost of the campaign and the total value of these deals produced – in the latter case, the Adwords campaign were worth slightly more, aggregated, than the Facebook one. However, you can see the difference between these two marketing metrics, and why revenue-focused CEOs and marketers will opt for the second report every time.

The next time your CEO asks how your marketing efforts are going, don’t mention the number of leads your team has generated. Go straight to the dollars, and it will all make more sense to your CEO.

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