Your lead consumption rate will tell you more about your lead generation process than any other metric. It will help you focus on the quality and quantity of your leads and pipeline.

To get started, you’ll need a CRM system, and a clearly defined process where your BDR team is receiving and converting leads. To specify, I’m defining BDRs as the people in your organization responsible for follow up on those leads, whether it’s inbound or outbound. BDRs are also qualifying them, converting them and handing them over to your field sales reps.

1. Lead Creation Date

With this in place, the first step is to identify the creation date of each lead. Now, the lead may have entered your CRM system directly, they may have been fed from another system, or they may have been nurtured through a marketing automation system. No matter how they entered, you’re specifically looking to track when the lead got in front of your BDR.

2. Lead Conversion Date

The second metric to track is the point in which the BDRs convert those leads when they feel that they’re qualified, and when they feel ready to hand them off to the field reps. Timestamp the point of conversion and make sure that everybody is tracking the conversion the exact same way. Otherwise, you can’t capture that timestamp in a meaningful aggregated way.

3. Lead Disqualification Date

The third metrics is the point in which the BDR rejects the lead. Many companies want to know when they exited the cycle, and that may be a positive exit in the form of a conversion, or a negative exit in the form of a disqualification. No matter what, always capture the timestamp for a disqualified lead.

As part of the third tracking metric, make sure you differentiate between a disqualification and bad data.

  • Disqualification: I followed up on the lead, I did my job, I had a conversation, and they’re not ready
  • Bad data: Johnny is not at the company anymore, so let me get rid of this or update the data

If you don’t differentiate between disqualified and poor data in your tracking, then that poor data is going to falsely affect the tracking.

You’re ultimately after the timestamp out, minus the timestamp in. That will tell you how many days that it’s being processed.

Bringing it all together

The last piece to track is the starting time of the follow-up process. You want to know how long it took for the lead to convert from entrance to follow up. Now you’ve got three points:

  1. When the lead came into the system
  2. When the first follow-up takes place
  3. The concluding exit

If you can capture the timestamp on those three things, then you have all of the information to determine your consumption rate in terms of volume and time.

Now What?

With the lead consumption rate, you can report on:

  • Follow-Up Velocity: How long it takes to follow-up on leads after creation
  • Conversion Velocity: How long it takes to convert a lead into your sales pipeline after follow-up (this may entail multiple steps)
  • Disqualification Velocity: How long it takes to disqualify a lead after follow-up
  • Lead Qualification Rate: What proportion of leads are being converted vs. being disqualified (speaks to the effectiveness of your field marketing and inbound marketing activities)
  • Lead Consumption Rate: How long it takes your leads to convert from the point of creation

Your optimal lead consumption rate tells you how many leads you can process in a given time period before your conversion rate begins to diminish. Leads grow stale over a very short period of time, so the faster your follow up, the more likely you are to convert.

Now you have the visibility required to optimize your lead flow in a predictable way.