Lead Generation: Questions to Define Your Key Metrics

Before you even start creating your lead generation blueprint and building your business case, you need to define your key metrics. What are you looking to get out of lead generation? How will lead generation affect your organization and what are you trying to achieve?

You then need to determine where you are now, what your sales and marketing teams have historically been doing, and whether it has been effective.

Get your team in a room, sit down, and get ready to answer some important baseline questions to guide your goal-setting. This is the discovery phase. By determining what you are doing now, you can set an initial benchmark for where you are today and where you want to be a month from now, six months from now, and so on. It might be helpful to have both sales and marketing in this meeting to get a closed-loop look at your sales process.

Ask yourself a selection of the following questions broken down into a sales and marketing process category:

  • Sales processes

    • What is your average sales price?

    • What is your average sales cycle?

    • What are your revenue goals per quarter?

    • What is your win rate — the percentage of leads that turn into sales?

    • How do you define an opportunity and what are the steps involved to move an opportunity to a sale?

    • How many "influencers" usually influence a sale?

    • What does your sales team look like? Do you have inside sales reps and account executives, or do you only have an outside sales team?

    • What do sales reps do with leads that do not turn into opportunities?

    • What percentage of marketing generated leads would your sales teams define as good leads?

    • Where does your sales team look to find leads without the help of marketing?

  • Marketing processes

    • What lead generation programs are you currently participating in?

    • Do you have a content plan? Do you have a company blog?

    • Is your company active on social media channels?

    • What happens to new leads when they enter your customer relationship management (CRM) system?

    • What happens to new leads that don't convert right away?

    • What is the return on investment of your lead spending? What is your cost per lead?

    • Do you have a marketing automation platform (a software solution that helps marketers deploy — and automate — marketing programs and lead generation activities to increase revenue)? For more on this, see Chapter 4.

    • Do you have a lead scoring and lead nurturing program?

    • How are you tracking metrics currently?

    • What is the conversion rate from leads to opportunities?

    • What is your success/win rate?

    • What is marketing's contribution to the sales pipeline?

    • What is marketing's contribution to closed revenue?

    • What is your current cost per lead?

The answers to these questions are not only good benchmarks for when you move forward, but they also show you where you might need improvement.

Study your answers to these questions carefully. What stuck out to you? What are you trying to accomplish? It might be increased brand awareness, more activity on social channels, higher conversion rates, more leads, and so on.

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