How to Measure the Value of a Lead in a B2B Setting

If you’re looking to expand your horizons as a marketer, inbound marketing is an excellent tool to master. Marketing is equal parts art and science and now more so than ever before. In a digital environment, the tactics you learn in school and that you will apply in your future career (or your current one if you are just starting) are increasingly inbound.

Instead of blasting a message as loud as you can to every prospect in a database, you will carefully craft website content, blog posts, social media updates, and more that provide real value to those prospects. The concept isn’t new but the execution and our ability to measure the results is revolutionary in the field of marketing.

Yet it can pose a problem for a lot of marketing teams that are accustomed to measuring lead value in terms of their readiness to buy. A lead traditionally was someone who had shown very real interest in purchasing a product. It was a rare thing and a very valuable thing, often quantifiable down to the penny based.

Inbound marketing changes that by adding more steps to the top of the funnel and requiring a much larger output on behalf of the marketing team. Instead of blasting a message about the benefits of a product you sell to a list you bought from a third party broker or in a newspaper or magazine that matches your target demographic, you will now create authoritative content with little or NO selling points. Instead of convincing someone to call you, you build a level of trust in them that will eventually lead to that phone call.

When entering the marketing field or studying its continuing evolution, this can make lead valuation more complicated than it once was, and it can be a real stumbling block when starting a new career.

Measuring Value in an Inbound Environment

But despite the challenges that an inbound strategy brings to assigning value to any one lead (let alone determining when it’s okay to finally pitch your products or pass the lead to a sales rep), leads are still very much a quantifiable commodity.

While the philosophy behind inbound marketing and the new school of digital thought leadership in general forces you, to some degree, to think about value offered first and lead scoring second, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a rubric that will break down what each of those leads you generate is really worth.

Here are some things to consider when doing this:

  • Activity – How active is the lead in question? While a single “contact” form submission related to a product request is a big deal, is that the only contact the lead ever made? If it’s been six months and they haven’t responded to emails or returned to your site since, lead value is lower than if they continue to return daily to read your new blog posts, tweet at your company’s profile, and download new eBooks you release.
  • Position in the Funnel – As soon as possible, at least loosely define the funnel your company’s website uses to move a prospect into the lead cycle and closer to becoming a buyer. From offers that provide legitimate value to useful tools that solve problems for your prospects, know where someone is located and how likely a lead at that level is to convert to a buyer.
  • Decision Making Power – If a lead has downloaded five eBooks and contacted you twice, it looks pretty good on paper, but take into consideration the decision making power of that lead. Is it someone with purchasing authority at another company, or is it an intern doing research for their boss? You can’t always tell the difference, but when you can, it will impact the resources you expend to chase a lead.
  • Reach of the Lead – One of the best parts about inbound marketing is that a good lead doesn’t even have to buy something from you. Someone might download four or five of your eBooks and never once place an order or hire you for your services. But they might also share those eBooks with colleagues or recommend you to someone who WILL purchase from you. If this happens, that lead, regardless of their own buying behavior becomes a golden opportunity.

When you take these five things into consideration, you will start to understand how leads are assigned value and how you can create new opportunities when you take a new position or are studying the field of marketing.

There is no hard and fast formula and even within one company or one demographic, you might see some leads that shouldn’t be worth anything become massive opportunities. Never let yourself be blinded by the numbers on a page, but at the same time, teach yourself to see these patterns and you’ll be better suited to target and capitalize on the right leads coming through a website.

About the Author

Featured on websites in more than a dozens countries, Anthony Chatfield has consulted with business leaders, Fortune 500 companies, and entrepreneurs for much of the last decade.

Anthony founded two companies in content development and marketing. Anthony currently lives in Staten Island, NY and produces marketing and content development training on numerous websites.

For more information, visit his Google+ Page.

Top 10 Podcasts About Marketing

There is no such thing as a comprehensive marketing education. While a top flight degree and experience in an innovative environment can put you at the top of your field, there is always more to learn.

Technology continues to evolve, industries continue to adapt, and marketing strategies are advancing rapidly to stay ahead of that ever-moving curve.

Fortunately we live in an age of freely accessible information, highlighted by the sheer quality of free podcasts on all things marketing. There are dozens of podcasts on the topic – from classic academic theory to cutting edge tactics and strategies from the front lines.

We’ve narrowed that list down to just 10 podcasts anyone interested in a career in marketing should be listening to.

Harvard Business Review IdeaCast

Harvard Business Review IdeaCast

The Harvard Business Review is one of the best known publications in the business education community.

Their IdeaCast podcast is loaded with interviews, emerging trends in digital and traditional marketing, and discussions on the most effective tools and tactics currently being used. It’s a must download for anyone in or soon to be in the marketing field.

Wall Street Journal on Small Business

Wall Street Journal on Small Business

Along the same lines is the Wall Street Journal on Small Business podcast. While the WSJ podcast is focused more towards small business trends and topics in general, there are a lot of useful insights here about market conditions, consumer behavior, and more.

Again, there are quite a few interviews with industry thought leaders, as well as recent news on small business topics.

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

John Jantsch’s philosophy is one that can be applied by any sized business in almost any industry. His grass-roots style marketing strategies can give you insight into how effective marketing campaigns are being scaled at all stages of business growth.

It’s a way to hear case studies from outside of a textbook and imagine how to implement those strategies yourself.

AdAge Outlook


Ad Age Outlook is focused heavily on news in the marketing industry. It increasingly skews towards digital marketing, but Ad Age has long been a solid source of information for traditional marketing channels as well.

Social Triggers Insider

Social Triggers Insider Podcast

Derek Halpern is known for mining gold from social psychology to show how people think, why they react the way they do, and how those insights can be used in your marketing campaigns.

Whether you are studying marketing or hoping to move forward in your career, Halpern’s insights are unique and incredibly powerful for numerous industries.

Social Media Marketing Podcast

Social Media Marketing Podcast

Social Media Examiner produces this podcast almost exclusively about social media. What was once a niche concern is now the focal point of most digital marketing campaigns.

With the Social Media Marketing Podcast, you’ll get insights into how social strategies are evolving, how new product and platform updates will affect you, and what strategies – both in content marketing and advertising – are gaining steam. This is the kind of information anyone seeking a career in marketing should know.


The BeanCast

Now owned by Evol8tion, the company behind, Beancast has been around for a long time, discussing important topics in marketing, from advertising platforms to Google’s SEO updates, to the future of traditional media buys, and paid promotions both in social and offline.

This podcast will not only give you ideas; it will provide real world insights into how what you’ve learned in school or in your career can be applied across multiple verticals.

David Allen Company Podcast

DavidAllen GTD Podcasts

David Allen is the visionary behind the Getting Things Done series of books on productivity. He currently does speaking engagements on that very topic and runs this podcast.

While not precisely about marketing, the concepts here are ideal for anyone seeking a fast paced marketing career. From organizing and prioritizing tasks to analyzing results, Allan’s GTD podcast covers it all.

Game Theory

GameTheory Open Yale Course

Game Theory is one of the fundamental concepts of modern economics and it lays the foundation for much of what we know about how marketing affects its audience.

While you won’t find a lot of direct tactics or strategies in Ben Polak’s course, you will find a lot of very useful insights into how people think and why they act the way they do. Combined with fun examples, an exuberant instructor, and grad-school level discussions, this is a must for any future marketing professionals.

Marketing Over Coffee

Marketing Over Coffee Podcast

Recently relaunched, Marketing Over Coffee features John Wall and Christopher Penn discussing recent news in the new media marketing field along with specific examples of how tactics are being utilized, mostly online but not exclusively. It’s a fun one but also loaded with useful insights and actionable tips.

These are only 10 of the many podcasts that cover marketing topics every week. Let us know what your favorites are, whether it’s one already on our list or one we missed.

There are so many ways to learn and marketers eager to share their successes and ideas – listen carefully and you can walk away with powerful insights that will prepare you for a career in the marketing industry.

About the Author

Featured on websites in more than a dozens countries, Anthony Chatfield has consulted with business leaders, Fortune 500 companies, and entrepreneurs for much of the last decade.

Anthony founded two companies in content development and marketing and currently provides private consulting services for the online-side of small and medium sized business’s marketing campaigns.

Anthony currently lives in Staten Island, NY and produces marketing and content development training on numerous websites.

For more information, visit his Google+ Page.