For a B2B company to be successful, they must gather and analyze relevant company data. The more data is gathered and analyzed, the more accurate data-driven decisions business owners can make to consistently grow their clientele—and B2B lead generation isn’t any different.
Understanding and keeping track of lead generation key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential for seeing what’s working with your business growth strategy and where there’s room for improvement. Additionally, since there are two different variations of B2B lead generation—outbound and inbound—it’s important to choose KPIs that align with the strategy you implement, as well as overall sales KPIs.
In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:
Identifying optimal KPIs is vital for sales, marketing, and sales development teams to gauge the effectiveness of their business growth strategies.
B2B lead generation teams should choose KPIs that align with their short- and long-term goals to make sure they hit their quotas each month and year, such as total leads generated and/or pitches held.
Additionally, when identifying the best KPIs for your B2B strategy, consider the buyer journey of decision-makers in your target market to see that you’re analyzing the best data for your business growth efforts.
For example, if your company decides that an outbound appointment setting strategy works best for the audience and that’s what you want to prioritize, then consistently analyzing web traffic and keyword growth doesn’t give you any insight into how your outbound strategy is performing. But if your company is taking advantage of both B2B lead gen strategies, then seeing how outbound and inbound efforts align with one another is essential.
If you want to see the most results from your outbound lead generation efforts, keep track of metrics that allow your sales development teams to make data-driven decisions, explore areas for improvement, and compare results to industry standards. Here are some of the best KPIs to measure.
Measuring dials made by business development representatives, sales development representatives (SDRs), appointment setters, or whoever is responsible for making phone calls is essential for reflecting the team’s activity level. This shows you where they’re spending most of their time and the impact they’ve made as a result of these dials.
For example, if an SDR made a lot of dials in one day but had few pitches and sales appointments set, the SDR manager can assume it was a slow day and the SDR wasn’t able to get a lot of prospects on the phone. However, if an SDR made fewer dials but was able to set a lot of pitches and sales meetings, the SDR manager can assume that it was a good day to get in contact with decision-makers. Analyzing these results helps SDR managers see where their team is accelerating and explore areas for improvement to their approach.
As a company best practice, our SDRs aim to make 135 dials a day for our clients. Within this number of dials, they’re also expected to make eight pitches and set one sales meeting between a qualified lead and a member of our clients’ internal sales team.
This KPI has to do with calculating the ratio of successful calls that lead to a meaningful conversation with a prospect. This indicates the effectiveness of reaching decision-makers. Research suggests that it typically takes about 6–8 phone calls before a cold caller can get in contact with a prospect and start the conversation.
If your caller is getting a lot of contact with prospects but isn’t able to set the appointment, it may be an indicator that the SDR struggles with closing or is simply not asking for the sales meeting. It may also mean that the prospect doesn’t even give the sales development rep the time of day to make the pitch for a sales meeting.
If the SDR’s rejected call rate seems to be consistently higher than other callers on the team, it may be worth following up with extra sales training to reduce rejection rates.
Measuring the ratio of conversations with prospects that lead to scheduled meetings or demos is essential for demonstrating the quality of interactions. Dials-to-meeting ratio counts the number of calls needed to secure a qualified meeting or appointment. Understanding this ratio is vital as it assesses the effectiveness of prospect engagement and pitch quality. A lower ratio indicates efficient targeting and compelling messaging.
The ideal dials-to-meeting ratio varies based on industry, product complexity, and lead quality, but a common benchmark is around 18:1. This means 18 dials lead to one successful meeting, serving as a useful guideline for B2B lead generation teams aiming for effective outreach and conversion.
Sales Meetings Scheduled
The sales meeting scheduled KPI refers to the number of qualified meetings or appointments set with potential clients through outbound lead generation and appointment setting efforts. It directly indicates the effectiveness of turning prospects into tangible opportunities for sales engagement.
Understanding this metric helps gauge lead quality, outreach strategies, and team performance. An ideal benchmark for sales meetings scheduled varies based on industry, complexity, and targets. However, a common goal could be around 1–3 meetings scheduled per day per sales representative, reflecting a robust and successful B2B lead generation strategy. This range is dependent on the small to medium-sized business and health of the sales pipeline.
At Abstrakt, we shoot for this range, if not higher. Through our B2B appointment setting program, our SDRs schedule 3–12 meetings per client depending on the industry served and the needs of the client.
Each metric above is important data to understand and improve the impact of your B2B appointment setting efforts. Learn how our SDR teams approach and analyze these metrics for our B2B clients, resulting in more qualified sales meetings.
Sales Meeting Attendance Rate
Sales meeting attendance rate measures the percentage of scheduled appointments that potential clients actually attend. This shows the effectiveness of pre-meeting communication, prospect interest, and alignment with their needs. Understanding this metric helps optimize follow-up strategies and refine qualification processes.
An ideal benchmark for attendance rate can vary but generally ranges from 60–80%. This reflects a balanced approach, ensuring that most scheduled meetings result in valuable interactions.
If you want more insight into ways you can reduce sales appointment no-show rates, read our blog here.
Appointment-to-Sales Conversion Rate
Appointment-to-sales conversion rate is the percentage of sales meetings that lead to closed deals. It gauges the efficiency of turning initial interactions into tangible, revenue-generating outcomes. Understanding this metric helps refine sales strategies, enhance lead qualification, and improve pitch quality.
An ideal benchmark for appointment-to-sales conversion rate varies based on industry, complexity, and sales cycle, but generally, a rate of 20–30% is considered strong. This number includes initial cancellations and reschedules before the meeting occurs. From there the goal is a show rate of 70-80%, and ideally you don’t want your no-show rate to be over 20%.
Also, each lead source has a different close rate, as inbound leads overall will close at a higher rate than an outbound meeting. This is just by nature of prospect already openly expressing interest.
Like every other metric for B2B lead generation, this range varies by industry. For our company’s B2B lead generation efforts alone, we have an average pitch-to-close ratio across all channels of 18% but we are aiming to get above 20 and to 25% if we can.
Email Response Rate
Email response rate calculates the percentage of outbound emails that get a response from the recipient. This shows how effective email outreach, subject lines, and messaging relevance are. Understanding this metric helps optimize email content and engagement strategies.
An ideal email response rate is typically around 10%. This reflects successful targeting and compelling communication so B2B lead generation teams can use this as a benchmark.
LinkedIn Response Rate
LinkedIn response rate indicates the percentage of LinkedIn connection requests or messages that get a response from recipients. It measures the effectiveness of personalized outreach and engagement strategies on the platform. Understanding this metric helps refine connection approaches and messaging techniques.
An ideal LinkedIn response rate varies but often falls between 20–50%. This range signifies successful networking and meaningful interactions. B2B lead generation teams can use this benchmark to assess their LinkedIn outreach’s impact and optimize their approach for enhanced response rates.
Follow-Up Sequence Effectiveness
This KPI analyzes the performance of different follow-up sequences or messaging variations to determine which approaches yield the best results. Understanding follow-up campaign sequence effectiveness determines the impact of ongoing communication in nurturing leads towards conversion. This means you need to have professionally persistent follow up efforts rather than a single email that goes out to prospects and leads in the nurturing phase.
Setting up multiple follow up sequences allows you to identify which sequences work best, which can be improved, etc. For instance, you may find once sequence that works best for a certain buyer persona, industry, etc. Here, you can use lead segmentation to divide prospects and leads into different groups, empowering them to get the best content for their stage in the B2B marketing and lead generation funnel.
B2B lead generation teams can measure this by tracking metrics like email open rates, click-through rates, and response rates at each follow-up stage. Analyzing which follow-up emails or touchpoints generate the highest engagement and conversions helps refine messaging, timing, and overall campaign strategy. Additionally, monitoring how leads progress through the B2B sales funnel after each touchpoint provides insights into the effectiveness of the entire lead nurturing sequence, enabling teams to optimize for better results.
Number of Touchpoints
Tracking the number of touchpoints (calls, emails, social outreach interactions) shows your B2B lead generation teams to see how long it takes to reach a prospect, qualify them, secure a sales meeting, and close business. Some prospects move through the sales cycle faster than others, and understanding the average shows how your process compares to industry averages and reveals where improvements can be made.
The number of touchpoints required to convert a prospect into a sale varies widely depending on factors like the industry, product complexity, buyer behavior, and the lead quality. However, research suggests that it often takes an average of 6–8 touchpoints to convert a prospect to a sale. It’s essential to have a well-planned multichannel lead nurturing strategy to guide prospects through these touchpoints and reduce the amount of time they spend in the sales cycle.
An effective inbound lead generation strategy doesn’t just happen out of luck. If you want to grow your business through B2B inbound marketing efforts, you have to routinely monitor inbound marketing KPIs.
Here are some of the best inbound lead generation KPIs to analyze and manipulate for greater success:
This KPI measures the total number of visitors to your website. Website traffic is the foundation for other metrics and indicates the effectiveness of your overall online presence, making it an incredibly valuable form of B2B lead generation data.
B2B digital marketing teams can explore the ideal website traffic rate by comparing it against industry benchmarks, setting growth targets, and analyzing traffic sources. Using tools like Google Analytics, they can track trends, user behavior, and conversion rates, optimizing content, SEO, and user experience to attract and engage the right audience.
Website engagement rate gauges the level of user interaction with your website’s content, including metrics like clicks, time spent, and page views. Understanding this metric is crucial for inbound lead generation, as it measures the effectiveness of your website in capturing and retaining visitor attention.
For B2B websites, an ideal engagement rate often falls within the range of 60–70%. A higher engagement rate indicates that your website is successfully engaging and nurturing prospects, potentially leading to increased lead generation and conversions. Monitoring and improving website engagement helps enhance the overall effectiveness of your inbound lead generation efforts.
Average Session Duration
Average session duration measures the average time users spend on your website per visit. Understanding this metric is vital for inbound lead generation as it reflects the quality of user engagement and content relevance. Longer session durations indicate deeper exploration and potential lead interest.
For B2B websites, a good average session duration typically falls within the range of 2–4 minutes. However, the ideal duration can vary depending on the complexity of the content and user intent. To enhance session duration, focus on providing valuable, informative, and engaging content that meets visitor needs.
Pages per Session
Pages per session represents the average number of pages a user views during a single website visit. Understanding this metric is essential for inbound lead generation as it indicates the extent of user engagement and the depth of their exploration.
A higher pages per session value suggests effective content and user interest, potentially leading to more lead generation opportunities. For B2B websites, an ideal range for pages per session is often between 2–4 pages (ideally, less than four). This range shows that visitors are actively seeking information and engaging with your content, increasing the chances of generating leads.
Count the average number of pages a visitor views during a session. Higher page views signify deeper exploration of your content. However, a higher page view count can also be a sign that your user cannot find what they need, but feel like you have the answers they’re looking for. Identifying these session pathways allows your B2B marketing teams to see if there are ways to can improve the user experience of your content and website overall.
Form Abandonment Rate
Form abandonment rate indicates the percentage of users who start filling out a form but do not complete it. Understanding this metric is vital for inbound lead generation as it reveals potential friction points in your conversion process.
A high form abandonment rate may indicate complicated forms or unnecessary fields. For B2B websites, the average form abandonment rate is nearly 68%. However, there are ways to reduce this percentage.
Measure the percentage of visitors who start filling out a form but do not complete it. A high abandonment rate might indicate friction in the conversion process. If this occurs, check the number of form fields you have. The typical average is 5–7 fields are where conversions start to drop. However, like with most things SEO, the answer depends. For some instances, more fields are needed to help ensure the user is adequate giving info add more fields. Additionally, the same could be said with less fields.
For example, a newsletter signup might just need name and email. Therefore, it’s important to not go overboard and ask for business address, phone number, employee ID number, city, state, zip, etc. Just get the info you need to accomplish the goal of the page or CTA.
Top Performing Content
Reviewing top-performing website content reveals valuable insights into user preferences and needs. Understanding why certain content attracts more engagement than others helps refine content strategies, enhancing user experience and driving better lead generation.
By identifying the key elements that resonate—such as topics, formats, or value propositions—brands can replicate successful content attributes across their website, bolstering engagement and conversion rates. This process aligns content more closely with user intent, ultimately fostering stronger connections and boosting the effectiveness of inbound lead generation efforts.
If you notice that there are pages that get a lot of traffic but result in little conversions, there may be some disconnect in your content strategy. For example, if you have a piece of pillar content that has a lot of traffic but no conversions, this may be because it’s more of an informational piece that isn’t intended to drive leads. However, to move more leads down the funnel, it’s important to have CTAs that encourage users to continue navigating your website to ideally convert them into leads after they’ve taken the time to trust your insights.
On the other hand, if it’s more of a conversion-focused page and there’s a lot of traffic but few conversions, there may be uncertaininty in what you want the users to do with the information you just provided them. If this is the case, take a look at the page copy to see if it’s action-oriented and make sure the CTAs encourage users to submit their information.
Social Media Engagement
Social media engagement encompasses likes, comments, shares, and interactions on social media platforms. This metric gauges audience interest and content effectiveness.
Higher engagement signifies a strong connection and potential lead interest. B2B brands should aim for an average social media engagement rate of around 1–2%. While engagement rates can vary by platform and industry, this benchmark indicates meaningful interactions with the audience, enhancing brand visibility and nurturing potential leads through relevant and engaging content.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of recipients who click on a link or call-to-action (CTA) in an email or other content. Understanding CTR is vital for inbound lead generation, particularly in email marketing, as it reflects the effectiveness of your content in driving engagement and guiding users towards conversion points.
For B2B content, an ideal average click-through rate for email generally falls within the range of 2–5%. This range indicates that the content is compelling and resonates with the audience, leading to valuable interactions and potential lead generation.
Marketing Qualified Leads
Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are prospects who have shown a certain level of interest in your products or services and meet specific criteria set by marketing. Understanding MQLs is vital for inbound lead generation—they indicate potential prospects who are likely to engage with sales efforts.
On average, small to medium-sized B2B companies generate about 80 MQLs per month. However, the exact number can vary based on industry, company size, and lead generation strategies. Identifying and nurturing MQLs allows for targeted, personalized engagement, improving the chances of converting them into customers.
Sales Accepted Leads
Sales accepted leads (SALs) are leads that marketing has qualified and passed to the sales team for further engagement. Understanding SALs ensures alignment between marketing and sales efforts. SALs indicate that the lead meets both marketing’s qualification criteria and sales’s interest for pursuing.
On average, B2B companies generate around 10–30% of their MQLs as SALs. The exact number can vary based on lead quality, sales capacity, and lead nurturing strategies. Effective SAL management enhances collaboration and increases the likelihood of converting leads into customers.
Marketing attribution is the process of assigning credit to the various touchpoints and interactions a prospect has with your marketing efforts before converting into a customer. It’s important for understanding inbound lead generation effectiveness as it identifies which marketing channels, campaigns, and interactions contribute most to lead conversions.
By tracing the customer journey, marketers can allocate resources strategically, optimize high-performing channels, and refine engagement strategies. This insight ensures that efforts are focused on the most impactful initiatives, maximizing the return on investment and improving the overall effectiveness of inbound lead generation tactics.
By monitoring and analyzing these B2B digital marketing KPIs, marketing teams can gain insights into the effectiveness of their strategies, identify areas for improvement, and optimize their efforts to generate more high-quality leads and achieve greater success.
And last but not least, there are some more general B2B lead generation KPIs that are important to track. By tracking these following metrics, you see the impact of your overall B2B lead strategy and see what’s working and what’s not for your market.
Conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action like filling out a form or requesting more information. It’s a crucial metric to track because it directly relates to how efficient you are at turning visitors into potential leads.
The average conversion rate for outbound lead generation varies widely but can be around 2–5%. For inbound lead generation, it tends to be higher, ranging from 5–10% due to the self-qualification of inbound leads. Monitoring and optimizing conversion rates enhances strategies and increases the overall success of lead generation efforts.
For detailed information on how to optimize conversion rates, read our blog here.
Cost per Lead
Cost per lead (CPL) calculates the average expense incurred to acquire a single lead. It assesses the efficiency of marketing and sales efforts.
For outbound lead generation, CPL is around $364, while average inbound lead generation often results around $135. Understanding CPL helps allocate budgets effectively, evaluate channel performance, and optimize strategies for maximum lead generation impact.
Customer Acquisition Cost
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) quantifies the average cost invested in acquiring a single customer. This helps gauge the efficiency and profitability of lead generation efforts.
For outbound lead generation, CAC can range from $500–$1500, while inbound lead generation typically results in a lower CAC of $300–$1000. Understanding CAC enables businesses to optimize marketing strategies, allocate resources wisely, and ensure that customer acquisition aligns with revenue generation goals.
Churn rate in B2B lead generation indicates the percentage of leads or customers who disengage or unsubscribe over a given time. It reflects the sustainability of customer relationships.
For outbound lead generation, churn rates can range from 5–10%, while for inbound lead generation, they often remain lower, around 2–5%. Understanding churn rates helps refine engagement strategies, improve lead nurturing, and enhance overall customer retention efforts.
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) calculates the total value a customer brings to a business throughout their entire engagement. This guides decisions regarding lead generation, acquisition costs, and retention strategies.
CLV helps businesses prioritize high-value leads, tailor marketing efforts, and optimize customer relationships for sustainable profitability. By understanding the long-term impact of each customer, companies can make informed decisions about resource allocation, sales tactics, and nurturing strategies to maximize revenue and ensure a strong, enduring customer base.
To gain a full understanding of your customer lifetime value, it’s important to use personal company data generated from your sales data analysts. This includes capturing what the average value of the client is, and how long they stay with the company.
Average Deal Size
Understanding the average deal size resulting from B2B lead generation efforts is crucial as it directly impacts revenue projections, resource allocation, and overall business strategy. By analyzing the average deal size, businesses can tailor their marketing and sales approaches, focus on high-value prospects, and allocate resources effectively to optimize profitability. This insight guides decision-making, from lead generation strategies to sales tactics, ensuring that efforts are aligned with the most lucrative opportunities and maximizing the overall financial success of the organization.
Revenue and ROI
Understanding the amount of revenue generated and the ROI rate from B2B lead generation efforts is vital as it directly measures the financial success of these activities. It helps businesses assess the effectiveness of their lead generation strategies, identify high-performing channels, and allocate resources wisely. By tracking revenue and ROI, companies can make data-driven decisions, optimize campaigns, and refine targeting to ensure that the financial gains from lead generation efforts are maximized.
If you want to improve your B2B lead generation metrics and get a greater impact from your business growth efforts, here are some ways to do so.
- Refine target audience: Clearly define your ideal customer profile (ICP) based on industry, company size, job roles, and pain points. Tailoring your messaging to a specific audience improves relevance and engagement.
- Optimize content marketing materials: Develop high-quality, informative, and valuable content that addresses your target audience’s challenges. This can include blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, and videos that position your brand as an industry thought leader.
- A/B test content: Experiment with different content formats, headlines, visuals, and CTAs to determine what resonates best with your audience. Continuously test and refine to enhance conversion rates.
- Enhance lead scoring efforts: Implement a robust lead scoring system that ranks leads based on their engagement level, fit with your ICP, and behavior. Prioritize high-scoring leads for immediate follow-up.
- Increase personalization: Customize your communication and content based on the lead’s specific interests and needs. Personalized outreach increases the likelihood of engagement and conversions.
- Use a multi-channel approach: Use various marketing channels (social media, email, content marketing, events, etc.) to reach your target audience where they are most active and receptive.
- Consistently nurture leads: Create tailored lead nurturing campaigns that guide leads through the sales funnel with relevant content, addressing their pain points at different stages.
- Align sales and marketing: Foster collaboration between sales and marketing teams to ensure both are aligned on lead definitions, follow-up procedures, and communication strategies.
- Use a CRM platform: Leverage a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track leads, their interactions, and conversion stages. This enables efficient lead management and personalized follow-up.
- Keep prospect data clean: Maintain accurate and up-to-date lead information. Regularly cleanse your database to eliminate duplicate or outdated leads that could skew metrics.
- Keep learning and growing with the times: Stay updated with the latest trends and best practices in B2B lead generation. Attend industry webinars, conferences, and engage in professional development.
Improving B2B lead generation metrics requires a holistic approach that combines strategic planning, data-driven decision-making, and ongoing optimization efforts. By following these B2B lead generation metric best practices, you have the opportunity to engage more qualified leads and effectively guide them to the end of the buying process.
To get the most benefit from your B2B lead generation efforts, it’s important to consider a variety of metrics—from outbound and inbound to overall sales performance and outcomes from your efforts. Without taking advantage of lead generation metrics, you risk having a strategy that yields poor results.
While it may take a considerable amount of time to gather this data and interpret the results, it’s essential for having a sales, marketing, and sales development strategy that gives you ROI. And luckily, there are B2B lead generation companies out there you can outsource to, and they’ll help you every step of the way, interpreting important metrics and making data-driven decisions so you don’t have to.
Abstrakt partners with growing B2B companies across the nation to help them create a lead generation strategy that yields results, using data as our driver to make decisions on how we can further the impact of their business growth efforts. When you’re ready to maximize the way you approach lead generation by analyzing the right KPIs, contact the experts at Abstrakt!