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!

Marketing 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.

Breaking 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 sales rep?
  • 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?
sales lead calculator

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:

  1. How many MQLs you’re currently getting each month. Hopefully your team tracks these numbers and marks them in the CRM! You'll need to know this to estimate the MQL to SQL conversion percentage.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Calculating 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.

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