In the sales world, meeting your goals often determines your
bonuses. So, of course sales professionals want to acquire and convert as many
leads as possible. But, how do you know how many leads are necessary to reach
your sales goals? We built a handy calculator to break it down. Read below to
learn which pieces of information you’ll need and then try it out for yourself!
Qualified Leads Become Sales Qualified Leads
Where do most of your leads come from? In today’s
digital-first environment, the most likely source is your Web content. Most of
our population prefers to research online before making a purchase, and they
use marketing assets to do it. Whether it’s an informative blog, a helpful
spreadsheet, a downloadable whitepaper, or an instructional video, marketing
qualified leads (MQLs) are essential for both B2C and B2B sales.
A marketing qualified lead has “raised their hand” to
indicate their potential interest in your products or services. By engaging
with your high-value content, these leads provide preliminary insight into
their business challenges and goals.
Once the lead is qualified by marketing, it is passed to sales.
Sales then performs an investigation of its own. Sales reps engage the lead
directly to determine if there is legitimate interest in the product or service.
If there is, that lead is deemed sales qualified (SQL).
To calculate the number of leads necessary to reach sales
goals, you must factor in a few variables. In the next section we’ll discuss
these variables and how they fit into the equation.
Down the Variables: What You Need
We know our leads are starting as MQLs and converting to SQLs,
so part of what our calculations should uncover is how many MQLs we need each
month to achieve our sales goals. By quantifying the percentages for the
following variables, we not only reveal how many MQLs we need, but we get an
idea of how many initial presentations and proposals it will take to get there.
For example, if we know our sales goal is to acquire X new
customers each month, we must factor in the variables of the sales process to
understand how they relate. Those variables are as follows:
- MQL to SQL Conversion: What percentage of
marketing qualified leads are converting to sales qualified leads?
- SQL to presentation stage: What
percentage of our SQLs are receiving a presentation or introductory call from a
- SQL to proposal stage: What percentage of
leads that received sales presentations made it to the stage of the sales
process where they are now receiving a proposal?
- Close percentage: Of all the proposals
performed by the sales rep, what percentage of those proposals actually closed?
The most accurate results come from accurate percentages.
You can start to calculate those percentages by reporting on the historical
data in your CRM, looking at email data, and even referencing eSignature
solutions. You’ll be looking for:
- How many MQLs you’re getting each month.
Hopefully your team tracks these numbers and marks them in the CRM!
- The number of meetings/presentations/initial
discussions you had (on average) over the past few months. One way you could
start gathering this information is by looking back at your email calendar to
see what was in the books.
- Knowing how many proposals you sent out vs. how
many were returned/closed each month. If you use an eSignature solution, the
records should be available there. Otherwise, you may need to do some digging
through emails or CRM Accounts to uncover this.
How Many Leads You Need
Once you know your percentages for the above variables and your closed-won goal, you can simply plug those numbers into our calculator, and voila! We’ll automatically calculate the # of MQLs you need to achieve your closed won goals. Download our free calculator below to get started.