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Lead to Opportunity Conversion Rate: Optimizing for 2022

Are you looking to track and benchmark your lead to opportunity conversion rate?

You’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What lead to opportunity conversion rate is
  • How to calculate lead to opportunity conversion rate
  • What a good lead to opportunity conversion rate is
  • Tactics to improve lead to opportunity conversion rates

Let’s get started.

What is lead to opportunity conversion rate?

Simply put, lead to opportunity conversion rate is the percentage of leads that convert to opportunities. 

It’s an important metric — one you should be constantly optimizing. 

Monitoring opportunities in your sales data helps you assess and improve your performance. It’ll help build your pipeline and contribute to your forecasting efforts. 

Note: The definition of “opportunity” is different for every organization, but essentially, an opportunity is a qualified prospect with a high chance of closing. 

How to calculate lead to opportunity conversion rate

To calculate lead to opportunity conversion rate, divide the number of leads converted to opportunities by the total number of leads and then multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage. You can use the following formula:

Lead to opportunity conversion rate = (leads converted into opportunities/total leads) x 100.

For example, if you had 200 leads and 80 of these converted to opportunities, your lead to opportunity conversion rate would be:

(80 / 200) * 100 = 40% 

Not rocket science, I know, but still very important to measure and keep track of.

What is a good lead to opportunity conversion rate?

This is a good question.

The truth is, it varies depending on your industry, type of business, or your marketing strategy.

Still, a benchmark I’ve seen on most sites is from an outdated Salesforce report and it shows the average lead to opportunity conversion rate across different industries is 13%.

In an effort to provide more up-to-date information I asked around in a couple of Marketing Slack groups I’m in and the results weren’t surprising either. 

Most lead to opportunity conversion rates were around 12%, except one which surprised me at 26%, from Ashwin at Optmyzr

It’s not bad, but if you ask me, that can be improved. Big time. 

Here's an example from our own dashboard at Chili Piper. 

As you can see from the screenshot above, our conversion rate of qualified prospects that filled out our demo form and booked a meeting was 74% for last month. 

That’s a 400% increase from the B2B average!

If you’re wondering how we’re able to see such high numbers, it’s because our approach is very much non-traditional. 

Our marketing efforts do not focus on generating MQLs (or MQOs or MQAs), we don’t gate content, we don’t score leads, we don’t nurture leads, and we don’t believe in the traditional marketing funnel. 

We actually don’t really track lead to opportunity rate.

We focus on intent.

We focus on hand-raisers and how many of those become qualified-held meetings (QHM). A QHM for us means that a lead booked a demo, showed up for it, and was not disqualified by the rep.

The traditional marketing funnel aimed at amassing leads and nurturing them is now close to useless. Chasing after these leads via email campaigns is a losing proposition. The yields are long gone. 

I love this quote from our very own CEO, Nicolas.

“If a prospect is kind enough to grace your site with a visit, return the favor and roll out the red carpet to book a meeting!”

It’s what we call the “straight to meeting imperative.”

This is one of many tactics you can apply to increase your lead to opportunity conversion rate. 

Let’s dive into a few others.

Tactics to improve lead to opportunity conversion rates

1. Stop prioritizing MQLs and ungate your content

In order to ungate content, you need to fundamentally change how you measure and optimize marketing. 

Stop prioritizing MQLs as a primary marketing metric and shift to driving high intent qualified accounts that are ready to buy and ask to talk to your sales team. 

Help buyers empower themselves to complete a majority of the sales process on their own. 

Instead of driving people to your website to download a gated PDF like it’s 1999, focus on creating better, more contextual content and distributing it more effectively in places where your prospects already spend their time. 

Editor's note: in case you're using MQLs, at least use Distro to assign leads to the right reps. 

2. Skip the inbound SDR

You really don’t need an SDR to “qualify” your prospects when they’re the decision-maker at an account that’s already qualified to buy from you. Especially when they come to you and ask to talk to a sales rep about buying your product. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve signed up for a demo, landed on a “thank you” page, and waited for days until someone got back to me. 

On top of that, those that did get back to me were SDRs who weren’t allowed to show a demo or “checked the box” with unnecessary qualifying questions. 

It’s wild.

Let’s change that. It's as simple as using a tool like Form Concierge to let qualified hand-raisers book a meeting time with an AE immediately after submitting. 

There’s no wait time and no thank you page telling them they’ll “hear back shortly.”

Plus, you can save your sales team’s time by automatically disqualifying leads that aren’t a good fit for your product. Instead, they can be instantly routed to either watch a recorded demo or sign up for a free trial of your product. 

More booked meetings mean more opportunities created and more revenue from inbound sources. 

Want to see what Chili Piper would look like on your site? Get a preview

3. Focus on website conversion rate optimization

Very few companies have any real process for website CRO. 

Focus on optimizing the path and pages for buyers to book a demo with a rep. Fix those forms, make them easy, reduce friction, ask qualifying questions. Have the right CTAs. Leverage lead enrichment tools.

We use Clearbit at Chili Piper and it allows us to keep our forms nice and short — we can backfill in the background and supplement a lot of information that our sales team needs. 

Optimizing this clear conversion path could increase your qualified pipeline 4x overnight

This is fundamental, simple, common sense optimization that can get you the most tangible, fastest impact. 

Wrapping up

If you’re serious about increasing your lead to opportunity conversion rate, it’s time to build a more buyer-centric process. It’s time to audit your lead follow-up strategy.

You’re losing deals you should be winning. 

I can tell you that for us, we drink our own champagne and it’s been better for buyers and better for business.

Buyers are happier because they get to speak to someone that’s knowledgeable and can efficiently get the information they need to make buying decisions. 
 
Business is better because we’ve boosted our lead to opportunity conversion rate and closed more deals. 

Schedule a demo to see how Chili Piper can help you more than double your inbound conversions. 

 

About the Author

Carlos Silva is an SEO Content Manager at Chili Piper. He's passionate about the craft of writing and the power of storytelling. You might find him trail running through the mountains of Valencia, Spain, or writing in his journal at home, but you'll always find him reading something new!

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