Presenting Your Lead Funnel - Relative or Not

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Presenting Your Lead Funnel - Relative or Not

Looking to understand what other marketing leads are doing for reporting on the standard lead funnel - e.g. Leads, to MQL, to SAL, to SQL. Possibly three different ways to do this

1. Make the funnel steps relative --- meaning for a given time period (let's say last 4 quarters), report on how many leads were added based on lead created date, how many of those converted to MQL, how many of those converted to SAL, etc.

2. Make the steps unrelated --- for the given time period, how many leads were created in that time period, how many MQLs were created in that time period (regardless of when the lead was initially created), how many SALs, etc.

3. Show actives, inflows and outflows --- this perhaps is more along the lines of revenue cycle modeler does --- for the given time period show how many are active each stage, and what the change was for that period... so how many leads sit in our database that have not yet converted to MQL, along with new leads added in that time period, and leads that moved out of that state, how many MQLs are currently active that have not yet converted to opportunities, along with adds (new MQLs added) and removes (MQLs that have moved on), etc

Seems like number 1 would provide a true view of conversions but the problem is, results are skewed based on time lag... those leads that were recently added have not had the time to convert into MQLs, etc, etc.  Seems like 3 might provide the most comprehensive view because of the ins and outs and growth or change within your database. If we don't have a revenue cycle model setup, unsure how to report on this historically.

But independent of the "How" just wondering how others are reporting this to their executives.

Champion Program

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Re: Presenting Your Lead Funnel - Relative or Not

1. Make the funnel steps relative --- meaning for a given time period (let's say last 4 quarters), report on how many leads were added based on lead created date, how many of those converted to MQL, how many of those converted to SAL, etc.

Don't track by created date. The perfectionist will tend to want closure and think "this is the most complete way to tell what leads have ended up as closed won along the way". But the data when visualised, as you noted, will always display a downward trend and you're not getting any value out of the reporting, bar your own satisfaction knowing that some day a year ago 100 leads were created, 50 got to SQL while only 10 ended up as closed won.

2. Make the steps unrelated --- for the given time period, how many leads were created in that time period, how many MQLs were created in that time period (regardless of when the lead was initially created), how many SALs, etc.

This is how I've seen all funnels done, tracking milestones the day the milestone happened which shows current insights. Like how previous method can skew by showing downward trend, this method can skew by showing an upward trend from the day you start collecting data because of sales cycle lengths. One suggestion is to start tracking your funnel a few months after your data collection starts e.g. your data starts at 1st Jan 2015, only include data from 1st Jun on wards in your model.

3. Show actives, inflows and outflows --- this perhaps is more along the lines of revenue cycle modeler does --- for the given time period show how many are active each stage, and what the change was for that period... so how many leads sit in our database that have not yet converted to MQL, along with new leads added in that time period, and leads that moved out of that state, how many MQLs are currently active that have not yet converted to opportunities, along with adds (new MQLs added) and removes (MQLs that have moved on), etc

We haven't bothered. Inflows and outflows can get confusing to digest and difficult to compare month by month. This could almost be a separate report used in complement to either of the above models.