What Is The Cost Of A Lead?

The folks at Madison Logic just released an updated infographic that breaks down the cost of a lead across various industries. I published their research from last year as well because I think this information is really helpful for brands to benchmark themselves in their demand generation efforts.

What Is The Cost Of A LeadLead generation is consistently one of the top priorities of any B2B organization, but there is a big difference between generating leads and generating leads that actually convert to customers and revenue.

There is enormous disparity among B2B companies when it comes to lead generation practices. Many businesses waste money on unqualified leads or fail to nurture the qualified ones. And a shockingly large number have not even identified their sales funnel.

We’re deep into 2015 budget planning now, so when it’s time to finalize the Demand Generation line item on your marketing budget, do you know what content syndication should cost?  Do you know the average CPL in your industry or vertical for benchmarking purposes? Do you know how to make the most of that budget to generate leads that translate to real revenue?

What Is The Cost Of A Lead?

To get leads from us in Marketing, brands will have to pay $32 (down from $35 last year).

Healthcare leads cost almost twice that at $60 (down from $65 last year).

The Technology industry has experienced the biggest declines with a cost per lead of $31 down from $43 per a year ago.

And Human Resource leads are $38, down from $45 last year.

Madison Logic used their own database to compile the average cost per lead across several verticals, and the impact that lead filters can have on price. Not surprising to learn that the more questions we ask, the higher the cost of the lead. But those additional filters may not necessarily bring in better quality leads.

Refresher Course On BANT?

If you don’t know what BANT is, BANT is a common lead scoring technique of seeking to determine if a prospect has the Budget, AuthorityNeed and a specific Timeframe for making a decision to buy a solution. Some add an ‘S’ for whether there is a real project with a defined next Step. Lead scores will then be calculated based on a weighting for each of these factors.

So a really “hot lead” would be one where there is a budget to solve a defined need in a relatively short period of time and where the prospect has some authority in the decision process. This is a standard part of many mature organizations marketing demand generation process.

And in less mature organizations, serves as the main line of questions for sales discovery. So if you want to help sales out, answer these questions for them. And deliver them leads that are truly “ready to buy.”

Check out the full infographic below and let me know what you think in the comments below.

If you’re looking to boost conversions and revenue, don’t increase your lead generation budget, increase your knowledge of efficient, effective B2B lead generation and nurturing practices that optimize your budget and minimize waste. Here’s a handy infographic from Madison Logic to get you started.


Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

3 thoughts on “What Is The Cost Of A Lead?

  1. Thanks for this infographic, it’s great! I am intrigued by the statistic, that the B2B sales cycle has increased by 22% in the past five years. This rings true! I do wonder if it’s all down to more decision makers in the buying process though. Could it also be partially due to the ongoing homogenization of firms within highly fragmented industries? (In other words, lots of companies offering the same service with little differentiation can cause selection paralysis among buyers.)

    1. Thanks Jesse, I think the challenges are more complex, orgranizations are more complex, and solution ecosystems are more complex. So it’s really the whole ecosystem that has driven the increase in time and people involved.

  2. Unsurprising the lead costs are decreasing.

    I encourage CMOs at big advertisers and directors and chief executives at middle market ones to consider this a modern-day version of the computer hardware / consumer electronics industry.

    Only today the focus is on software applications.

    Economics dictates that supply of lead sources / technology increases faster than quantity demanded, price is driven downwards.

    This is why you see plenty of advertisers pleased to see the lead acquisition costs go down, however, who is to say – when that advertiser calculates costs per lead and follow-up the close / transact new business ratio is enough to net a suitable profit margin?

    In layman’s terms – more and more digital avenues keep bringing leads to the market place, thus driving their products (internet leads) down.

    A smarter, leaner solution exists for in-house sales lead generation. Especially in specialized B2B products / services at higher price points marketed to sophisticated end-users.

    Because of my experience having done lead gen and retention marketing for Merck & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, New York Life, John Hancock USA / Manulife and AXA Equitable Life Insurance plus over four years in consumer behavior research at Nielsen Publishing, medium-sized advertisers usually go about consulting me after they:

    1. grow disappointed with their investments in a marketing service / agency to drive sales leads / demand

    and then

    2. a marketing VP realizes how challenging / time consuming the decision to save money and manage sales lead / demand generation becomes before long.

    As the info-graphic above points out, the bigger the advertiser, the more money they want to throw at the problem.

    Many times, I assess the competitive landscape and lead acquisition cost and piece together a way to generate sales leads without writing bigger checks or abusing the client / advertiser’s Mastercard.

    It has less to do with creative ideas and brand awareness and more so with smarter, leaner lead gen programs the client / advertiser controls themselves.

    Corey Weiner, Advertiser-side demand / lead generation.
    @weinercorey (888) 913 – 1419

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