B2B Lead Generation: What are the most important metrics to track?

B2B Lead Generation: What are the most important metrics to track?

In business, you can’t define success if you don’t know how to measure it. Hence, metrics are important in giving marketers an idea as to how their efforts are faring. The only problem is that there are a lot of metrics that could be measured; so which ones really need attention?

Before you answer that, it’s important to know why you need to identify the right metrics to track.

You wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time and effort in computing and analyzing data which in the end wouldn’t be able to help you improve anyway. Also, too much information can sometimes only lead to confusion and can keep you from coming up with a clear assessment of how your campaigns are doing.

Although there are no standard metrics across all business types, there are those which must be tracked under any circumstance.

Below is an excerpt from a cheat sheet released by Marketo entitled 5 Lead Generation Metrics Every Marketer Should Track:

1. Number of MQLs (marketing qualified leads)

Marketers must acknowledge that not all leads are created equal. It’s important to put quality measures in place (e.g. a lead score) and only count leads that pass a certain quality threshold as MQLs. By eliminating the “bad” leads from your  calculations, you’ll get a more accurate picture, and you’ll gain the trust of the sales team that depends on you for a living.

2. Cost per MQL

All marketers have limited resources. If you’re running lead generation, make sure you are maximizing the results you generate. To achieve the greatest results with the resources you have, you’ll want to minimize the cost per MQL.

3. Cost per Sales Accepted Opportunity

Cost per MQL can be a great early indicator of the health of your lead generation initiatives, but sometimes you have to look further down the funnel. If you have a sales team and they run lengthy sales cycles (anything longer than one week) you’ll find that the Cost per Opportunity is an important metric and might not correlate exactly with the Cost per MQL trend. Take a longer term perspective, examining all spend and the resulting opportunities over a period of time. If this metric is trending the wrong way, you’ll want to dive deeper into your programs.

4. First-Touch ROI (by program)

As a lead gen marketer, your job is to determine what programs to run. MQLs and opportunities are helpful, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the financial ROI of your marketing investments. Which programs are bringing in quality leads that eventually convert to dollars for your team? How much revenue resulted from those programs? And how much did you spend to generate that revenue?

5. Multi-Touch ROI (by program)

Many programs will look great from a first-touch ROI perspective. You probably want to invest more in those over time. Other programs will look terrible from a first-touch perspective, but don’t be so quick to stop running those programs. Some programs tend to be extremely influential after a lead has been created. If you take a multi-touch ROI view of your programs, you’ll find that some of your best performing programs look like losers from a first-touch perspective.

White Paper courtesy of Marketo.com. Download the full PDF here.