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Maximizing Lead-Generation Marketing ROI, Part 2: Insight, Alignment, and Action

by Jim Lenskold  |  
April 28, 2009

You run your marketing, generate those high-quality leads we discussed in Part 1 of this article series, hand these leads off to the sales team, and wait. "Hey, guys, anything happening over there with our leads?" Dead silence.

The execs are asking about the ROI on your marketing efforts, but you seem to have lost sight of the financial returns that may or may not be present in the black hole where you send your leads. The financial success of lead-generation marketing is very much dependent on how those leads are managed after the Marketing handoff to Sales.

The need to better align the sales and marketing organizations is generally well known. They are connected through their shared roles in motivating customer-purchase activities and divided by different cultures that concentrate on distinct portions of the customer-purchase funnel.

There's no doubt that alignment is good, but what must you ultimately accomplish to drive performance and profitability?

The big opportunities are tied to driving better-informed actions, which is a combination of what you know, what you do, and knowing how well you did. The marketing and sales teams can prioritize their efforts, allocate budgets, and design high-impact strategies by managing insights, alignment, and actions in the following key areas:

  • Lead transition
  • Funnel tracking
  • Sales-effectiveness support

Lead Transition

You've invested marketing dollars into generating those leads with the expectation that as many as possible will proceed on their journey to become closed sales. Just like passing the baton in a relay race, the handoff of leads from Marketing to Sales must be as seamless as possible during this transition stage.

The key metric to manage here is the ratio of Marketing-qualified leads to Sales-qualified leads (MQL/SQL), which represents the percentage of leads the sales team qualifies and accepts.

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Jim Lenskold is founder and president of Lenskold Group (, a consultancy that delivers a comprehensive approach to marketing ROI measurement and management. He can be reached at

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