1. Identify How Much Revenue You Need to Generate from Your Inbound Marketing Efforts
This is easy. Say your business did $2,000,000 in sales last year. Your CEO just said that he wants to grow the business 30%. You know that you already have $1,800,000 on the books for next year and expect another $200,000 from other marketing efforts, such as trade shows. That leaves you with a gap of $600,000 that you need to close within the next 12-months.2. Determine How Many Sales You Need to Hit Those Revenue Goals
Take your revenue gap and divide it by the value of your average sale. For example, if the revenue needed is $600,000 and your average sale is $50,000, then you need 12 new customers.3. Identify Your Closing Rate and How Many Opportunities You Need
We'll continue working backward to identify how many opportunities you need. For example, if you need 12 customers and your closing rate is 50%, and 50% of your opportunities go for a close, then you'll need 48 opportunities in order to hit your business goal.4. Identify How Many SQL You Need
A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a lead that will be passed to the sales team. If this is your first inbound marketing campaign, then you may not know this number, so take your best estimate. I often find that 50% is a good number to start with and adjust over time. For our example, we can estimate that we need to pass 96 SQL's to our sales team.5. Identify How Many MQLs You Need
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead that is qualified, but not sales ready. MQL's need more marketing such as lead nurturing to become more sales-ready. Again, 50% is a safe number if you have no history and you can always adjust this later. Going off our example, we'll need to generate 192 MQLs within the next 12-months.6. Identify How Many Leads You Need
We define a lead as a visitor that has converted on one of your offers. Not all of your leads will be qualified, so it's important to estimate a number that will provide you with enough MQL's to achieve your goals.
The more attractive your content is for your qualified leads, the higher your conversion rate from lead to MQL will be. To generate 192 leads, in this example, I would estimate that 500 leads will need to be generated to achieve your revenue goals. Monitor this closely and make the necessary adjustments over time.7. Identify How Much Traffic You Need to Achieve Your Goals
Based on our experience, we would estimate a traffic to lead conversion rate of 2.5% over the next 12-months. We'll plan on this being lower in the beginning as the content is being created and higher in the fourth quarter of the program. In our example, you'll need 20,000 website visitors within the next 12-months.8. Implement Your Other Key Business Goals
It's also important that you put emphasis on other key business goals. Here are some examples of other business goals you may need to create metrics for:
- Sales for a particular product line
- Revenue from existing customers
- Increase retention rates for current customers
- Number of job applicants (May be important if your business is growing)
- Downloads of a high lead-to-customer converting offer
These types of business goals will certainly depend on your business' needs.9. Set Quarterly Benchmarks
If you're just getting started, remember that results will take some time. You'll get a lot more traction in the 4th quarter than you did in the 1st. Set your benchmarks for the fourth quarter much higher than your benchmarks for the first quarter.
For our example, our quarterly benchmarks may include generating 1000 visitors in the first quarter and 8000 visitors in the fourth quarter. Set benchmarks for all metrics all the way down to new customers. Make sure you include metrics for your other key business goals.