Hungry to know which lead gen metrics to measure? We’ve pulled together the top 9 KPIs you need to know about.

If lead generation marketing is a passion project, you may have come across our inbound lead generation guide. If you didn’t – you know what to do.

How to choose the right lead gen KPIs

It doesn’t matter if it’s thought leadership lead generation, a paid-search first approach, or even influencer marketing – every lead gen strategy needs to prove performance. And how do you show if your efforts are bearing fruit? With defined success metrics.

When you’re choosing lead generation KPIs, it’s important to consider things from all angles. You want to see the full picture of your performance, not just one little piece of the puzzle. You put a lot of work into building a lead generation campaign. With budgets and resources stretched or cut and management that wants to see impact, you need to be able to measure and report on success.

Here are the areas to consider to make sure you’re picking the right lead generation metrics:

What’s worked and what hasn’t

Which channels or messaging perform best? Establish performance metrics for your channels so you can see if they’re living up to the standards you’ve set. If not, it may be time to switch it off.


Well-thought out KPIs set the standard for how lead gen performance should look at every stage of the journey — which helps teams to identify in real-time if something’s lagging and needs refreshing or redesigning.  Iterating your campaign in flight as you learn more about its performance. Maybe adding content, engaging more on social or tweaking messaging for retargeting campaigns.

Budget and resourcing

If a channel costs half your budget but isn’t hitting your lead gen targets, change it up. Keep an eye on where you’re seeing the best performance so you can focus your efforts there.


What does good look like and how will you know when you’ve hit it? Picking lead generation metrics that are easy to benchmark against others in your industry makes performance reporting much simpler. On top of that, benchmarking is a super useful guide or starting point for future campaigns.

Team morale

Ambitious but attainable lead generation KPIs motivate your team to work hard to meet the mark — and give everyone a serious boost of confidence when they hit them. High fives and cake all around.

Top lead generation KPIs and metrics to measure

1. Customer lifetime value (CLTV)

When you bag a lead, you want to know they were worth the blood, sweat, and tears you put into capturing them. CLTV calculates the revenue a customer generates throughout their relationship with you.

CLTV helps identify your best customers. It also helps you understand how effective your marketing spend is, so you can redirect it toward the best-performing channels.

How to measure it

Multiply your lead value by your average customer lifespan. Find out how to calculate lead values below.

Customer lifetime value = lead value x average customer lifespan

2. Cost per lead (CPL)

It sounds a bit like a surgical procedure, but CPL’s the big KPI around town.

Once you’ve captured leads, whether with a gated form, subscription, or meeting booked, this metric shows how much they cost – and whether it was worth all the activity.

Once you know your CPL, you can decide if your budget spend is in the right places, and what your best channels are for leads, and then optimize.

How to measure it

To work out your CPL, divide your total marketing spend by the number of leads you’ve generated.

CPL = total marketing spend/number of leads generated

3. Lead value

A good KPI to bring confidence to your B2B lead generation strategy.
Predict future revenue by looking at the number of leads that qualify in your campaign – and how many then convert.

How to measure it

Divide your total sales value by your total leads.

Lead value = total sales value / total leads

4. Cost of customer acquisition (CAC)

Perhaps it’s more fun to say than to measure. But when you calculate your CAC, you’ll be glad you did.

Your CAC helps you understand how much you spent generating a customer. So the lower the CAC, the better. Yes, we’re going to say CAC as many times as we can.

You’ll get a clearer view of how efficient your campaign is and how good your return on investment looks (more on that in a bit).

How to measure it

Divide your total campaign marketing spend by the number of new customers that came from that campaign.

CAC = total campaign marketing spend/number of new customers from that campaign

5. Cost per lead, MQL, and SQL

See the number of leads, marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and sales qualified leads (SQLs) for a clear understanding of spend throughout your funnel. It’ll help you benchmark the number of leads you need to attract and convert monthly, quarterly, or annually.

At the very top of your funnel, you generate leads. These are the lowest quality of leads that become higher quality, warmer leads (MQLs) as they engage with more lead gen content. When they take actions that show they want to know more – like booking a webinar, interacting with your content, or engaging on social media, you score them as they warm up. The aim is to focus on moving them through the lead magnet funnel with content. Once they’re ready (scored to satisfy being warm enough to contact), your MQLs are passed to sales to be qualified as SQLs.

Tips: Paul Fellowes, our CRM Manager at Turtl, shares advice on email cadence, content, and CTAs to help improve your lead nurture programs.
Jenny Howe, our Head of Marketing Operations shows how to measure these leads with carefully designed lead-scoring models

Why would you work out costs for all of these? So you can work out what to spend on content for different funnel stages.

Cost per lead (CPL). These are your coldest leads, and this will be the cheapest calculation you make. It shows how much it costs to get leads into your funnel.

Cost per MQL shows how many active leads are in your pipeline, the cost will be higher than your CPL.

Cost per SQL. As the warmest leads, these are the most likely to convert. This cost will be the highest of the three.

How to measure all

The formulas are the same.
Divide your cost per lead, MQL or SQL by how much you’ve spent on activity and content to get, nurture or score these leads.

The calculation for each is the total costs / by the number of leads, MQLs and SQLs generated.

6. Revenue/Return on Investment (ROI)

The metric your C-suite wants to hear about. How much profit your campaign generated, whether your campaign made any money, and whether it was all worth it.

As well as adding your ROI in big, flashing bold font (house style permitting) to the deck you show your CEO, this metric justifies the channels you used, and sets a budget benchmark for future campaigns.

How to measure it

Take away the revenue you made from the total marketing spend. Then divide that by your total marketing spend, and multiply by 100.

ROI = ((revenue made – total marketing spend) / total marketing spend) x 100

7. Click-through rate (CTR)

No doubt your lead gen campaigns feature ads, social posts, content, downloads, landing pages, and emails. Your click-through rate helps measure the impact these have on your audience.

A high CTR shows you’ve persuaded them to click to get more information or take action. So if a piece of content isn’t getting the clicks you expected, you can look at the copy, the audience, or the format to make tweaks and increase clicks.

How to measure it

Divide your total number of clicks by your total impressions, then multiply by 100.

CTR = (total clicks / total impressions) x 100

8. Cost per click (CPC)

A key lead generation KPI for managing your budget, CPC tells you how much you spent to get each click on your website, social post, ads, content downloads, or lead magnets.

It’s vital to research the keywords you need to hit, as well as the ones that are going to cost you.

If you keep a close eye on your CPC, particularly where you’ve used paid media like social and PPC ads, you can make changes when you start to see prices creep up to keep your budget in check.

How to measure it

Divide the total amount you’ve spent by the total number of measured clicks.

CPC = total marketing spend / total number of clicks

9. Conversion rate

The number of leads that convert into customers, this lead generation metric will get to the crux of whether your strategy has worked.

Low conversion rates mean you might need to take a look at your audience again and check your content is working properly or your copy is persuasive enough. This isn’t a bad thing, it means you can work out where you might have issues and iron them out.

How to measure it

Take the number of leads generated over a specific time period, divide it by the number of leads that converted, and x100 to get the percentage.

LCR = number of leads converted to customers / by total number of leads generated x 100

Note: If you want to measure your landing page conversion rate, divide the number of leads generated by the total number of visitors to your landing page.

Landing page conversion rate = number of leads generated / total number of visitors

How to convert more leads

Let’s get more leads into your pipeline. Long-form content like interactive ebooks and engaging whitepapers are perfect lead-generation tools to capture conversions.

We surveyed marketers who put their most successful strategies down to content with 42% higher word counts, compared to less successful marketers. It’s a pretty good read.
You can watch our on-demand webinar for advice on generating more leads from digital content. If you’d like to read more about the most engaging long-form content for lead generation, we’ve got just the guide for you.

Turtl Doc titled the practical guide to long form lead generation