9 steps to calculate your sales and marketing ROI

You may be wondering how to calculate your sales and marketing ROI. If you are not a sales manager or unfamiliar in setting sales targets this might be of value to you, especially if you are used to marketing metrics and ROI only.

For a fully aligned sales and marketing approach, you need to ensure that the ROI and metrics you are using make sense. The accountability of marketing to sales AND sales to marketing needs to be agreed upon as a vital component of the overall strategy.

We believe the only real way to ensure the sales and marketing ROI is tangible is to measure common metrics. To start the process, reverse engineer your sales objectives and flip your full funnel upside down from your desired sales (bottom of funnel) first right through to marketing (top of funnel) to determine the required marketing budget and lead activity required to help achieve your sales target.

1. What is your sales target?

What is your annual revenue target for the financial year? This can be broken down into annual, quarterly or monthly measurement for tracking.

2. What is your required sales pipeline?

Depending on the product and services you are selling, from historic performance and average trends, how many qualified deals do you need in your pipeline at any one time to reach your sales goals?

A typical rule of thumb is 3x to 5x times pipeline value in order to reach your sales quota.

3. What is your average sales cycle?

How long does an average sale take to close?

4. What is your average deal size?

What is the average dollar value of your typical sale for your product or services?

5. How many proposals and quotes do you need to deliver?

Simply divide your sales revenue by the average deal size to get an estimate of how many quotes/proposals you need to send out.

6. How many Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) do you need?sales-marketing-alignment

The definition of a SQL is based on what your sales team will accept as a qualified lead

Typically we work off a 3x times ratio for SQLs to quotes/proposals issued after sales engagement.

7. How many Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) do you need?

The definition of a MQL is based on what marketing generates from a cold lead prospect.

Typically we work off a 3x times ratio for MQLs needed to generate enough SQLs – i.e. one in every three MQLs will progress to be accepted as a SQL.

8. How many lead prospects do you need?

In order to generate sufficient MQLs, we work off an average of 3x times leads and prospects to create and qualify MQLs through the nurturing and generation process during initial qualification.

This is normally generated from digital marketing metrics or event attendance metrics like web visitors, CPC, Google Adwords or forms submitted.

9. What is the cost of your marketing campaign needed?

By working through the sales and marketing alignment process, this will highlight how much marketing budget and investment is required to support your sales team and targets, and ultimately company revenue goals.


What period of time do you need to generate a return from marketing to sales?

We typically measure and report on a quarterly or monthly basis from a starting position of your annual target or financial year target.

Working through this process will either identify an alignment or misalignment between sales and marketing, in either, or both directions. sales-and-marketing-ROI

As an example, we worked with an IT industry client through this process, where we found there was at least a 50% gap in marketing investment to support their annual sales target of $1M – the BDM didn’t have the marketing support or budget needed to hit their sales target for the year.

This alignment process is helpful to demonstrate to executive management when planning out your sales and marketing strategies with goal setting. Working with, and to, the sales and marketing ROI required for writing the business case internally will help identify and justify whether to allocate towards either sales headcount or marketing activities.

 ROI = Sales Revenue/Profit Generated MINUS Cost of Marketing Investment DIVIDED by Cost of Marketing Investment X 100%

            An example:

Sales calculator ROI example


Part 2: There are lead and there are leads, good lead generation approaches

Part 2:  From Lead Generation to Deeper Lead Qualifying and Nurturing – How to progress the sales cycle


This is the second part in extending our previous lead generation discussion Part 1: There are leads and leads. effective lead generation approaches.

Before we dive into a discussion about what effective lead generation and lead nurturing is, how to effectively qualify your leads better and what our definition of MQL (marketing qualified lead) and SQL (sales qualified lead) is, let’s ensure we’re on the same page with a quick checklist based on the new marketing and sales funnel way of thinking ( if your organisation alignment has acknowledged the purchasing and decision making process of the modern buyer )

Marketing and Sales Lead Generation

Quick checklist

  1. Has your organization defined what a lead is?
  2. Is everyone in the organisation involved in the marketing and sales cycle able to articulate what a MQL is, and what a SQL is?
  3. Is there a clear ‘point’ at which marketing hands over leads to sales?
  4. Has marketing and sales reached agreement in terms of what a lead is?

If you can answer those questions, or at least go some way towards it in in functional maturity, let’s move forward to discussing lead nurturing!

Lead nurture is part of the marketing call process – which can be a lead follow up or a request for more information in call or email format over a period of time – if the prospect isn’t able or willing to commit their interest to set an appointment, we need to lead nurture in order to progress the prospect activity in the new business development process from marketing.

This lead is a warm lead to nurture and follow up on with further contract to progress a marketing lead opportunity or hot lead to provide to the sales team for sales engagement and then sales opportunity qualification (SQL) which is aimed to turn into a real sales opportunity to engage within the sales process to secure the sale within a timeframe.

What is our MQL and SQL process?

How we see a qualified lead appointment process – set during a marketing campaign for deeper lead qualification varies from organisation to organisation, however this is an outline of our higher quality qualification process for lead generation from marketing to sales and our approach aligned to:

  • We have reached the relevant prospect organisation and identified the correct contact relevant in the relevant audience area;
  • We are able to have an initial discussion to see how if we can assist the prospect with identifying or solving a business challenge or problem first and seeing if there is mutual acknowledgement for a brief follow up call or reason to meet.
  • We attempted to obtain at least 2 to 3 of the specific qualification questions and positive responses to minimum criteria or shown sufficient interest in a further discussion or information from company;
  • The process of data collection about the prospect’s current situation or environment is considered a warm lead that may or may not lead to an immediate firm appointment, pending timing of follow up or a lead nurture process;
  • The prospect did request to have some information sent first before agreement for a follow up or call-back before putting them into lead nurture or another marketing activity such as a subscriber to an event or company’s white paper over a period of time.
  • The lead appointment can either be phone based or face to face to handover to the sales person to further qualify from a sales engagement after the initial marketing lead has been completed.
  • The outcome of the lead appointment cannot guarantee a firm sales opportunity or a sale – this is up to the sales person to progress to determine and doesn’t take into effect any external factors that may impact performance or availability or prospect rescheduling an appointment.
  • From experience, there may be a need to engage multiple interactions (i.e a touch-point, call-back, email follow up) over a period of time (not just first call) with the prospect in order to convert the lead to a qualified appointment otherwise it will be placed to lead nurture status. This eventually leads to a defined sales opportunity that the sales person progresses through to signing an agreement to do business.

A Marketing Qualified Lead Appointment (MQL)

The type of marketing lead appointment we look at is the benchmark of a quality lead that is acceptable to the client’s specifications and we aim to bridge the gap between a traditional MQL and a SQL that requires an element or level of basic field sales experience or specific domain expertise that may/ may not uncover or qualify the lead with more depth

This applies for us typically within marketing B2B corporate complex solutions or professional services and technology campaigns such as cyber security or cloud application services to engage high level executives who are influencers, recommenders or decision makers.

A real example for Cybersecurity client lead generation campaign and appointment set:

Phone Appointment Set: October 7, 2016 10:00 AM, Date Last Called: 3rd October 2016

Contact Details: Mr GSPosition: Regional Risk Assurance Manager  Company: XYZ Pty Limited  

COMPANY NAME: XYZ Pty Limited, ADDRESS: XYZ Street, VIC, 3123

PHONE NUMBER: 61 3 123456  DIRECT LINE: 61 3 123456, MOBILE: None,  EMAIL:  gs@xyz.com.au

Marketing Qualification questions:

Q1. Do you have any identity management projects with governance and compliance process challenges ongoing or upcoming that will require preventative action?

Answer: Yes, they have an ongoing goal to enhance identity/security posture that includes identity management and access control. He declined to disclose their specific project.

Q2. Could I ask what challenges you have to provide visibility to business owners or auditors regarding access to corporate data? 

Answer: They have challenges like, how would they know who accessed the data or if it is not been compromised. He mentioned that they don’t have a control on whoever accessed their data.

Q3How do you perform access reviews, certification process and manage the enforcement of access policies today? Do you use manual Excel spreadsheets or Access databases?

Answer: Not Access DB, application revelation database depends on which application they use. It might be on the different flavors of database. Sometimes it’s integrated, sometimes not as claimed.


  1. It is important to capture the context and content and work with a marketing agency or lead generation company who understands deeply the subject matter or concepts of the products and services when running a marketing campaign. It’s more effective if they have knowledge of how to attract and speak to the right audience (i.e IT level or C-Level executives) with field sales experience or some awareness.
  2. Please keep this in mind when partnering with an appropriate marketing agency or lead generation company.  Look out for marketing agency differentiation who can  run an integrated sales driven marketing campaign who understands how to execute the full marketing and sales funnel with deep Industry sector experience (for example with professional services and ICT sector domains with (SME – Subject Matter Experts on hand)


The current competitive and dynamic business environment, combined with a shift in traditional buyer behaviour, demands an understanding and respect of the importance of lead generation and nurture. An overall focus on ROI needs to guide exploration and investment, particularly in this time of shift from traditional marketing methods towards digital marketing automation in a go to market strategy.

If you are interested in a progressive or different way to address effective lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns; thinking about how the use of marketing automation tools such as Hubspot will assist to close the gap between sales and marketing and increase ROI for lead generation.  If you are open to exploring further specific lead generation strategies, methods and processed from both a sales and marketing perspective, please contact us for a confidential discussion.

ICT Vendor marketing automation process bridges the gap between Marketing and Sales Qualified Leads

Business Problem

The APAC Marketing team has limited resources spread between Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney for driving and executing the global marketing strategy and go to market for a specific campaign that isn’t generating enough lead generation from warm lists via events and other outbound material

So being people resource short and reactive as opposed to proactive, the existing use of globally developed content and use of existing Salesforce CRM and Eloqua Marketing Automation Tools.

In reality the use of tools, alone without people, process and sufficient time is a common cause of lack of ROI from the use of an Enterprise marketing automation tool to drive the correct results. Typically it’s the complexity of maximizing the functionality and investment in training required to get the effectiveness out of the solution.

In speaking to the Regional APAC Event and Campaign manager, provided some depth of insight into the challenges internally encountered.

Current Situation

A global campaign needs to be executed at APAC level, and the content is ready, however two older lists went cold and needed to be warmed up for exploring leads to hand across to the sales team.

All current MQLs and SQLs activity are being performance reported back to global management via Salesforce CRM and Eloqua marketing automation tools.

Primarily the challenge was a poor level of qualification with MQLs (marketing qualified leads) and handover to the sales team.

So what was happening was that the digital landing page asset for a white paper was being downloaded from one touchpoint and then automatically tagged as a MQL. This MQL was then passed onto the Sales Representative to follow up on.

The desired outcome was to accelerate the sales process with the marketing assets and prospect lead conversation through inbound marketing automation.

There are two other assets that ideally the qualification requires interaction or content marketing engagement for a benchmarking survey.

The request was to warm up the list and increase engagement with MQLs from promoting through outbound calling and inbound content engagement from the prospect with a list of about 500 contacts.


After some initial consultation, we very quickly uncovered the business problem for the client’s marketing process was a gap in not mapping the extensive specific content catalogue developed to the buyer’s persona and aligned to the buyer’s journey.

We proposed a marketing consulting exercise to review the existing campaign content pieces and map that to the buyer’s journey of Awareness, Consideration and Decision stage to enable a stronger lead nurture campaign.

The objective was to try to accelerate the MQL to SQL process and phases with sales process improvement.

Buyers Journey for MQL to SQL


We deliver a trial campaign to warm up the old leads but we are providing a HubSpot based service to track the marketing and sales funnel from developing a separate campaign landing page and form to be able to access the key three digital assets with white paper, e-book and benchmarking survey participation with prospects.

This project was to run over three months initially.

We have managed to provide more visibility depth into the MQL and SQL activity to connect closer to obtaining more prospect engagement through a consolidated and customised reporting from HubSpot and use its CRM as a lead generation outbound activity tool.


Once budget in the new financial year will be approved to complete the buyer’s journey content mapping project in order to increase the quality and lead scoring for the lead generation and prospect engagement.

This was setup and ready to commence within two weeks of approve to start this project.

This case study highlights that typically a solution to a marketing challenge such as this involves a holistic approach with People, Process and Systems to address this issue and allow for more effective integrated marketing and sales engagement focused on the sales outcome.

For a more detailed appreciation of what we provide in a digital readiness assessment, please read the following Digital Readiness Assessment services description

If you are exploring a digital marketing automation system or process improvement , contact Alchemise Consulting for an obligation-free discussion.