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How do you know whether your lead-generation program is working and delivering a good ROI for the company?

You may be doing some lead tracking to understand conversion rates and customer profitability, which is great. But the sales team will inevitably let Marketing know that (1) Marketing was just a small step in closing the sale so the sales team deserves the credit; (2) the sales team would have found and closed those leads anyway, so there is no incremental value; or (3) the leads are fine, but there is just never enough.

We need reliable measurements to both prove and improve our marketing effectiveness.

The first two parts of this article series outlined what is necessary to improve lead quality (covered in Part 1) and how to improve sales alignment for better lead transition, tracking, and sales support that increases the close rates of those leads (covered in Part 2). We'll now look at the measurements challenges for lead generation as we provide insight into the most-common questions lead-generation marketers raise with respect to measurements.

Lead-Generation Measurements

Measurements around lead generation are made easier by the fact that once a contact is generated, that contact's interactions and outcomes can be tracked (systems and operational issues aside). But there are also challenges unique to lead generation that require a closer look at what it takes to get reliable measurements.

Let's address the most-common measurement questions, starting with the basic and moving to the more advanced. As you look through these, remember that there are four primary categories of marketing measurement that we can use to assess the incremental impact of marketing: pre- and post-tracking, or trending; market testing; modeling; and surveys.

Lead tracking: How do you match lead contacts to buyer contacts when different people from the same company are involved in the buying process?

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image of Jim Lenskold
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