Just about every marketing and sales executive is planning for next year. With the pandemic, the need to generate leads isn’t going to stop anytime soon. We’ve put together lead generation key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide your sales and marketing strategies into the next year and beyond. First, let’s put some of the terms into context.

What is Lead Generation?

According to HubSpot, lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated an interest in your company's product or service. Lead generation is usually at the top of the lists of goals to increase revenues. An example would be a form completion or telephone call for your products or services. There are 2 common approaches to lead generation efforts: inbound and outbound marketing.Tablet pc with text Get More Leads with blue background

What are Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. KPIs provide a focus for strategic and department improvement using data-based decision making in order to focus your attention on what matters most. Revenue & return on investment are common KPIs for businesses.

Understanding Leading & Lagging Indicators

Leading indicators are sometimes referred to as inputs. Leading indicators are associated with predictors of the future while lagging indicators are associated with the present condition of the business. A lagging indicator measures current production and performance. Lagging indicators are best used with leading indicators to determine trends and if outcomes were met.

Recommended Lead Generation KPIs for Sales & Marketing Professionals:

Organic Search 

Organic search traffic refers to the visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid (organic) search results. This metric gives you insight into the effectiveness of your marketing & sales efforts. When your SEO is effective, people are finding your website or product/services on their own. So, your cost per lead is lower because you aren’t spending money on advertising.

% of New Users

New Users are the number of first-time users during the selected date range. The percentage of new users vs. returning users is an important metric to see the percentage of new users coming to your website. Reviewing this metric over time can help you to understand the percentage of new prospects coming to your site from sales and marketing efforts and expenditures.

The total number of new users can also be useful. It should be taken into context with your bounce rate and channels such as social media.

Traffic-to-Lead Ratio

The traffic to lead ratio tells you how many of your website visitors convert to leads. If traffic is increasing but your traffic-to-lead ratio isn’t growing in proportion, there could be content, technical, or offer alignment problems. These are great opportunities to test ways to improve the results with increasing potential customers.

Business man with the text Turn Prospects Into Sales Appointments in a concept

New Meeting

For B2B marketing, the goal is new meetings such as a demo or a discovery call. It can be a method of determining whether or not it is a true sales qualified lead.

Business men closing deal with a handshake

New Deals

New deals are defined as new purchases, orders, or contracts. A new deal can put the relationship into context. It usually occurs at the end of the sales funnel and the beginning of the stage of creating brand loyalty or delighting your customers.

Return on Ad Spend

The return on ad spend (ROAS) is a marketing metric that measures the amount of revenue your business earns for each dollar it spends on advertising. ROAS gives you visibility into how to scale your campaigns and marketing efforts.



Source: The Online Advertising Guide

Revenue and ROI

Revenue is defined as income generated from normal business operations and includes discounts and deductions for returned merchandise. Return on investment is a ratio between net profit and the cost of investment. Revenue and return on investment are the most top-level responses we heard from marketers who are measuring their lead generation.


Source: The Online Advertising Guide

Cost Per Lead and Cost Per Acquisition

The Cost per Lead (CPL) metric measures how profitable your marketing campaigns are when it comes to generating new leads for your sales team. Cost per Lead tells you whether your investments are positively impacting the bottom line.


Source: The Online Advertising Guide

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is a metric that measures the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level. If your marketing efforts don’t produce leads at a profitable cost per acquisition, you could be spending more on your marketing than you’re bringing in from the sale.

Lead Conversion Rate

The Lead Conversion Rate measures the percentage of visitors who come to your website and are captured as leads. It is an indication of your ability to attract the right target audience and the efficiency at which your website turns people into leads.

Landing pages are often used to obtain leads. According to Wordstream, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, across all industries. The top 25% of companies are converting at 5.31% or higher!

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value indicates the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer account over their customer lifespan. It’s one of the most important metrics and one of the least used by business owners. It can help you to determine how much you can spend in your marketing budget, which marketing channels to allocate your budget to and which product or service to push.


Source: The Online Advertising Guide

Put Your Lead Generation KPIs Into Practice

You can simply just read about these lead generation KPIs or you can put them into practice! Find the KPIs that work effectively and the ones that don’t for your business. You will find no shortage of metrics that will help you to measure lead generation. I encourage you to pick 4-8 key performance indicators, consistently measure their growth, and take actions to improve upon them.


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