How to Set Up Your First Marketing Qualified Lead Report with Marketing Automation Tools - dummies

How to Set Up Your First Marketing Qualified Lead Report with Marketing Automation Tools

By Mathew Sweezey

Your Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) report is easy to set up in your marketing automation tool. The ways to do this differ according to your tool. Some tools have prebuilt MQL reports that automatically track all the leads you mark as sales ready. Other tools require you to manually set up MQL reporting.

To set up your MQL report, you need to obtain the following three data points:

  • How many people are MQL at a given time. You need the ability to see the number of leads marked MQL over a period of time. A basic list with a sort-by-date field is fine.

    If your tool has a built-in MQL report out of the box, you don’t need to do anything. If it doesn’t, you need to create a custom list or create segmentation to keep up with this data for you.

  • How long it takes people to leave the MQL stage. Time is used as a part of the formula. Just pick the time frame you want to measure results in. It is suggested you use quarterly, biannually, and annually.

  • The cost of generating each lead in the MQL stage. The simple way to calculate your ROI is to take your marketing budget over a period of time and divide it by your MQL number to arrive at what you’re paying for each MQL lead.

    You should use this number to see whether you are spending more or less money over time to generate the same result. This number is a much more accurate representation of your direct results from specific actions, taking into account the time it takes for those results to yield results.

    You need to use a rolling average of costs over a period of time. So, for example, if you want to track how much it cost you to produce the MQL leads in Q1, and your average velocity of net new leads to MQL is 30 days, you need to account for your 30-day lag in results.

    To do so, account for your costs beginning 30 days prior to Q1, and stop 30 days prior to the end of Q1. The result tells you how much money you spent to generate the majority of the MQL leads.

Remember that the return on investment (ROI) report of a stage is not 100 percent accurate. You are assuming a lot of averages, and in marketing, people don’t operate as averages. They operate as individuals. So use ROI reports as a guide. You’ll notice that sometimes ROI can’t explain why you had more leads, or fewer leads, during a time period. So look for large trends and understand this report as a guide, not a fact.