Simple Guide to KPIs for Sales and Marketing

Laura Caveney
6th July 2021

Looking for KPIs for sales and marketing teams? Keeping these two teams aligned is easy when you set the right goals. Learn which KPIs you should consider aiming for.

When you’re racing, you measure time. When you’re jumping, you measure height.

And when you’re running a business, you measure all kinds of metrics that tell you how successful you are at achieving your goals.

The primary metrics you’ll use to measure your progress are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). But when sales and marketing are aiming for different goals, setting KPIs for both teams can be tricky.

How do you choose them? What’s their purpose?

Follow our short guide to KPIs for sales and marketing to learn what you should use them for and how they can help you track your progress more accurately.

What are key performance indicators (KPIs)?

KPIs are quantifiable metrics that allow you to measure your progress towards specific business goals. They’re specific metrics that actually support your strategy and have the greatest impact on your progress towards your goals.

There are different types of KPIs that help you determine how well each aspect of your business is performing. For example, you can establish low-level KPIs that will be more specific for each of your teams. On the other hand, you’ll have high-level KPIs that will be more general, like a 20% revenue growth.

And you’ll have unique KPIs for sales and marketing teams too. Let’s look at 9 of the best KPIs for sales and marketing teams.

P.S. Want to learn more about common metrics and conversions used by marketers? We surveyed over 200 to find out more about their habits when it comes to reporting and attribution.

9 KPIs for sales and marketing

Cost per lead

Cost per lead is easy to work out. You simply divide the total marketing spent in a set period by the number of leads generated in that period.

This metric is useful for understanding how well your marketing is working to drive new leads.

But remember, a lead doesn’t generate revenue. If you can’t attribute it to your marketing channels and campaigns or track it through the full customer journey, then you’ll struggle to use this metric to create change.

💡 Pro Tip: With marketing attribution software in place, you can track leads through their full customer journey. So, you’ll be able to see how much revenue and how many leads you’re generating on a campaign, channel and ad basis.

Cost per opportunity

Cost per opportunity is a similar metric but instead of leads, counts sales-qualified opportunities. The calculation follows the same procedure. Divide the total amount of marketing spend in a given time period by the total number of opportunities in that same period of time.

The difference between this and cost per lead is that these opportunities are more likely to convert. Comparing the two will highlight if you’re generating low-quality leads for your sales team or not.

Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)

MQLs are simply prospects that show buying intent. It essentially highlights the number of users interested in your business or your product. You could count an MQL as a person who downloaded an eBook or perhaps someone who signed up for your newsletter.

As far as your website goes, these are your leads. Of course, you’ll likely have other leads coming in via live chat and phone call. MQLs are a great judge of how well the top of your funnel is working.

Customer retention

Everyone knows it’s more expensive to gain new customers than it is to keep existing ones. Customer retention is simply how well your business works to keep existing customers and over what period of time.

This is a useful KPI for sales and marketing as it highlights your lead quality again. If you find one campaign or channel drives more customers who tend to stay for longer, then you know that’s a valuable avenue to drive more long-term customers.

This KPI will help you to understand at which point you’re losing customers and allow you to make positive changes.

Customer acquisition cost

We’ve talked about cost per lead and cost per opportunity. Customer acquisition cost is simply the cost needed to bring on a new customer. By knowing how much each new customer is costing you in making that conversion, you can determine what routes are the most efficient for your business and budget.

Marketing return on investment

Return on investment is a key KPI for any marketing team. But many marketers struggle to link their sales back to their marketing leaving them in the dark when it comes to their true ROI.

With it, you can definitively prove your success across all channels, one channel, campaigns, ads and more.

But without the proper tools in place, you’ll have difficulties proving impact. For example, if a user clicked on your paid ad but converted later.

Marketing attribution can help solve this data gap.

💡Pro Tip: Ruler Analytics is a marketing attribution tool used by marketers across the globe. With it, they can track their impact in real-time and link their closed revenue back to their marketing efforts.

Sales qualified leads (SQLs)

SQLs are similar to MQLs but they’re qualified by your sales team. They’re MQLs that show potential to close into a sale.

By knowing your MQLs and comparing them to your SQLs and then sales, you can create a clear funnel. From there, you can assess how leads drop out of the funnel and identify what causes them to drop off.

Having a full view of your funnel will allow you to instil sales and marketing alignment. This will help you strive toward the same goals and KPIs.


This is a simple one. Of course, you’re going to be tracking your inbound revenue. It can help you project and place targets for the future. This is a top-level approach to highlight your overall success. But, when viewed holistically (and on an individual basis), it can identify clear opportunities for growth. Revenue makes for a great joint KPI for sales and marketing as both play their part in driving new business.

It’s the collaboration that will help support business growth and a renewed focus on what works across sales and marketing.

Opportunity-to-win ratio

This ratio provides you with a simple value to determine your rate of success in converting qualified leads into closed sales.

This is a great KPI for your sales team as you can identify opportunities for improvement. For example, you might have a sales rep who’s great at initial contact and qualifying a lead but not great at closing. Or, vice versa!

By keeping an eye on this metric, you can ensure that your marketing team is driving consistently good leads that sales can then convert.

Keeping your teams and employees aligned

Are your sales and marketing teams moving in the same direction?

If you work towards the same objectives, you’re more likely to succeed. By identifying the right metrics you should track, you give everyone a clear idea of what they should do to grow and achieve the company’s goals.

Well-defined KPIs help you and your employees develop actionable plans and measure your progress every step of the way, so you always know if you’re on the right track.

Want to learn more about linking your marketing to your sales efforts? Download our eBook on closed-loop marketing attribution to see how you can get a definitive ROI and scale your business.

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