Lead generation benchmarks offer a way to track your success on a deeper level, to allow you to grow and thrive. In this guide, we take a look at some of the most important metrics that define your benchmarks.
Although clicks and sales are certainly important lead generation benchmarks to track, they are not the only signs that your campaigns are going according to plan. Success is not always easily defined and will often depend on a number of factors, from your specific campaign goals to your audience, your growth rate, and even your campaigns themselves. You may focus on a completely different metric for a small email marketing sequence to increase followers in time for seasonal sales, for example. For an ongoing campaign that aims to convert leads into sales, your metrics would not be the same.
Define Your Lead Generation Benchmarks With These Key Metrics
How do you see genuine growth in your lead generation campaigns, then? For starters, you can focus on these metrics that help you better define your benchmarks.
The total number of leads you have at the start of your lead funnel is, needless to say, an important place to start. In order to grow your campaigns in the first place, you need a strong number of leads. That does not mean that every single potential lead has the same value, however. Leads are not tracked in the same way and differ in a few ways. The primary types of leads that you will need to track include:
- Marketing qualified leads (MQL). These are the leads that are perfectly suited to your target audience. They have shown interest, either by downloading content or completing a demo or a trial or reading articles on your blog. These leads need to be grown through lead nurturing strategies until they are ready to be handed over to sales.
- Sales qualified leads (SQL). These leads have been handed over to your sales team. They have shown a clear intent to purchase, they meet your lead scoring score, and they should be treated as soon to be qualified leads.
Both of these leads play a key role in the process. Planning your campaigns to target each lead is the best way to ensure that each type of lead has the best chance of converting.
MQL to SQL Ratio
Another metric that you can consider is your MQL to SQL ratio. This is the ratio of marketing leads to sales leads. This metric measures the percentage of marketing qualified leads that go through the sales funnel and become legitimate sales leads that can then turn into verified sales. The reason that you should be keeping an eye on this metric is that it helps you to make sure that your sales and marketing teams are working together at various stages of the process.
This is important because a smoother process almost always means a far better chance of a conversion. If you are noticing imbalances, such as a very high number of MQL that are not turning into SQL, you will be able to streamline your processes and find ways to improve your strategies to avoid lost sales and wasted time.
Of course, click-throughs remain an important metric across all types of lead generation campaigns. Whether you’re planning an email marketing blast or a carefully thought-out lead nurturing series, or you are using online ads, social media or content marketing, clicks show interest. They also help you determine whether your campaigns are relevant to your target audience. You can use strategies such as split testing to track this metric even more effectively.
Visit to Lead Conversion Rates
What happens when a lead makes that click and arrives on your website or landing page? This is where the visit to lead conversion rate comes in to help you get a better idea of how your lead generation campaigns are doing. If you are noticing a fairly decent click-through rate, with a poor visit to lead conversion rate, something is going wrong somewhere along the way. You may find that your calls to action are not working as well as they should. You may find that your lead content is not hitting the right note. You may even need to look at your overall design or your messaging. You can use split testing for this, too, to test various elements within your website. It’s a good idea to check this metric often to make sure that you continue to improve wherever you can.
On the topic of conversion, this remains one of the key lead generation metrics, for good reason. Conversion means different things to different businesses. Typically, it means sales but it does not have to only mean sales. Not all conversion is the same. Assigning values to your conversion goals can be a very effective way to determine whether your campaigns are hitting the right note.
Customer Close Rates
Another one you’ll want to monitor is your customer close rate. This applies to leads that have been nurtured, handed over to sales, and closed. Marketing and sales teams should track this benchmark because it directly connects your marketing efforts and strategies to sales that have closed, leading to increased revenue. Integrating your CRM is a very good way to track this metric. When you make note of this metric, you will be able to show clear growth on your monthly and quarterly reports. You’ll also be able to see a clear return on your investment in paid ads, content or any other type of marketing efforts made.
Site Abandonment Rates
Don’t forget about site abandonment, which is another metric that can be incredibly useful to track. Abandoned carts and websites may seem like a lost lead, but, with a careful lead generation strategy designed to bring back those leads before they are gone forever, you can avoid losing potential sales. To plan such campaigns, you first need to know the ratio of qualified leads that visited your site only to leave again, compared to the total number of visits. As we mentioned earlier, there are many things that could cause leads to leave your site. Take a good, hard look at your bounce rates, time spent on site, and the number of pages viewed per session to see where you can improve.
Cost Per Lead
Your cost per lead rate is also a good one to watch. This is the total amount spent tracked against the total number of leads that the campaign generated. You will need to set and track these benchmarks on all of your campaigns to be sure that you are getting the most value without wasting costs. Understanding the amount of time and resources it costs your sales team to turn that lead into a customer is also a good idea. This will help to prevent wasted time that could be spent on more viable leads. After all, lead nurturing is more about generating customers rather than leads that fizzle out and never convert.
Lifetime Value Rates
Finally, that brings us to one of the most important metrics of all – customer lifetime value. This is one of the best ways to monitor your return on investment. As you know, customer retention can often cost far less and take far less time and resources than customer acquisition. When you consider your lifetime value rates, you have a far better chance of maintaining your growth and increasing customer loyalty in the process.
Lead Generation Benchmark Metrics
Rather than getting side-tracked by just one or two metrics that may not be a clear indicator of real growth, aim to keep all of these metrics in mind to keep your lead generation benchmarks on track. Lead generation should always be a process and never a once off strategy. Refine your campaign by measuring what matters so that you can learn and know what to change or stop.