• http://www.opensourceadvisory.com Fred Holahan

    David, I've been doing quite a bit of work recently around instrumenting market engines, particularly from the demand creation point of view, so your post has some very useful insights. I agree completely that, once a critical few conversion metrics are known (or can be reasonably guessed), the best way to instrument the model is to work backwards from bookings to pipeline, pipeline to qualified leads, qualified leads to raw leads.

    I will add a few thoughts to the mix. One is that all leads are not equal in terms of the velocity with which they move into sales and the rate at which they convert to pipeline and deals. This is in part an ROI topic (as you raise) and in part an issue of making the operational model as accurate as possible.

    A second thought is that the volume model has to be pretty well designed and managed to deliver great value. For example, the act of assigning targets for different categories of leads should ripple through the model to keep reports, scorecards and charts in synch. Getting this right takes thought and effort, but it's hugely important.

    A final thought is that a well designed engine will often expose shocking insights. There are few things as alarming as having your own numbers tell you your demand generation forecast needs to be increased by a factor of 3 or 4 to hit a desired bookings target. It's cold, hard reality at its best.

    I have a post related to this topic at http://opensourceadvisory.com/wordpress/?p=1431. I hope you don't mind me posting the link, and look forward to more discussion on this in the future.

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