How many leads do you get a month?

This was a question I asked a couple of friends on a backpacking trip this weekend. We hiked up a Southwest Washington river lined with waterfalls and camped on a sandbar at a curve in the river. We talked a lot about life and a lot about business.

They both run agencies, one small one like mine and the other a mid-sized agency with around 40 employees.

Their answers surprised me:

  • The agency similar in size to mine wasn’t sure and hadn’t checked in a while.
  • The larger agency said he was getting ~20 leads when he bought the business a few years ago. Back when he acquired it, it was also smaller in terms of team size, but still good sized in the 25 – 30 person range. Since then, both leads and head count increased.
  • For myself, we received 8 – 9 leads last month (I think we have 1 – 2 un-tracked leads.)

This tells you a lot about the agency business model we operate in.

Both of these guys have growing businesses. The smaller agency doesn’t care about leads and the larger was feeding a team roughly five times the size of my agency on only double the leads.

Reading between the lines, most revenue comes from selling existing business and not new business.

There are all sorts of ramifications that derive from this if you run an agency. But regardless of if you run an agency, what I did by asking this question was that I got a benchmark.

The etymology of the word benchmark comes from the evolution of rifles. In progressing the accuracy of rifles, both ammunition and weapon design had to be tested. This was accomplished by fixing the rifle to a bench. Then the manufacturer could test and see how changes impacted the spread of hits, the “marks,” on a target.

Benchmarking has the same value to you in telling you how your business is performing. This data is valuable in identifying hidden opportunities to address issues that are holding the business back.

For me, this little exercise has me thinking about our lead quality and elevating the priority of selling to existing and past clients.

Do you know how your KPI’s compare to similar businesses? If not, how would you find that out?

The featured image is the book cover for “The Principles of Gunnery,” an 18th century treatise on why elongated bullets were better than ball bullets. By Benjamin Robins (1707-1751) used under public domain.