End the debate over lead source performance with sales benchmarking

This week, SalesJournal.com is pleased to present a guest blog by Greg Alexander, CEO of data analytics firm Sales Benchmark Index. Greg is co-author of “Making the Number: How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance” and “Topgrading for Sales: How to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top Sales Representatives.” In this article, he shares his insights into using sales benchmarking to evaluate performance of internal vs. external lead sources.


One of most hotly contested issues between the sales and marketing disciplines is the topic of lead source quality. Marketing believes they supply quality leads in sufficient quantity to sales who cannot seem to close them. Sales, on the other hand, believes marketing does not produce enough leads and those that are provided are of poor quality.

Organizations faced with this strategic conflict have difficulty finding a means to arbitrate the dispute.

Sales benchmarking provides such a reliable mechanism.

By revealing to an organization which of its own leads are “best,” benchmarking allows executives to evaluate performance between lead sources within the organization (internal) as well as compare performance to a peer group of companies (external). Both approaches reveal weakness and strength with regard to lead source productivity.

The formulas for deriving lead effectiveness and cost attribution, as well as lead-based revenue generation, would be revealed and are part of a sales benchmarking effort that points towards best practices adoption.

For those interested in how to apply the discipline of benchmarking to the sales function, contact Sales Benchmark Index.

2 thoughts on “End the debate over lead source performance with sales benchmarking”

  1. Greg is right on target. In general, there isn’t enough discipline, process and measurement with respect to lead generation–that critical conduit between sales and marketing.

    We’re not recommending layers of bureaucracy here. Rather, there has to be just enough order to assess where the gaps are and which should be closed first.

    Benchmarking of the sort Greg suggests is an ideal prescription for getting to the root of the issue.

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