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Performance indicators in inbound sales: which ones to measure?

Gustavo Goncalves
Gustavo Goncalves

Dec 6, 2023

The success of any sales initiative depends on the periodic analysis of performance indicators in inbound sales. If you do not adequately measure a series of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), you will not be able to draw appropriate conclusions or make necessary adjustments.

In fact, your educational institution may be making the wrong decisions without realizing it. And what's worse, you will hardly be able to defend a decision made based on faulty analysis. Firstly, because it probably won't produce results, secondly, because a careful analysis will show that this is not the path.

What lies ahead in this post will surely pique your interest:

Some considerations about inbound sales KPIs

KPIs to measure results in inbound sales

Number of qualified leads generated

Number of conversions

Cost per lead

Some considerations about inbound sales KPIs

A fundamental decision before thinking about results in inbound sales is not wanting to analyze the multitude of existing performance indicators. The person responsible for analyzing your team must understand what information is in your database and separate only what is essential.

Next, you will have to decide whether or not you will differentiate the results of Inbound Marketing initiatives from those involving Outbound factors. This may seem obvious.

However, a brief check of the number of interactions a visitor makes before converting into a customer can show that different marketing efforts tend to overlap.

In other words, it is possible that a visitor will discover your company for the first time thanks to a Google AdWords campaign dedicated to giving more visibility to your services.

However, many times, the visitor will not convert into a Lead until, after several visits, they decide to download some free material on your blog or website. Depending on the model for defining performance indicators in inbound sales that you follow, your conclusions will be different.

Exactly for this reason, in today's article, we will explain which KPIs, in our opinion, are the most relevant and representative.

KPIs to measure results in inbound sales

Number of qualified leads generated

The more leads a business attracts, the more sales it will make. Right? Not necessarily. Segmenting our database appropriately will allow us to identify real potential customers who are attracted by our proposal, but who still need a maturation process to complete a purchase, as well as those who already consider it the ideal solution for their specific needs.

This distinction is crucial when determining the personalized nurturing strategy for each lead. Other information that cannot be lost is the percentage of Leads that actually make a purchase (Leads to close ratio) and the average time that this transformation process takes from potential to actual.

That is, a qualified lead is a prospect or customer that has been researched and reviewed, first by the company's marketing department and then by the sales team, and is ready for the next step in the business process.

It is a contact that meets sufficient characteristics to be a potential customer, both in terms of the qualities of their profile and the purchasing process they are in.


Number of conversions

The conversion rate illustrates the number of people who perform a certain action. In other words, they become frequent customers, respond to a certain CTA (Call to Action), or buy a product, hire a service or reach a certain place on the website.

The most common conversion rate is sales, as generally the actions to be measured are linked to a particular benefit, but they can be any of the objectives just mentioned. To calculate the conversion rate, you need to perform the following calculation:

Conversion rate = 100 x Number of sales / traffic

As you can see, the conversion rate is quite simple to calculate, it is a division between the number of actions taken within a certain period of time and page traffic during the same interval, multiplied by 100 if you want a percentage.

The result of this inbound sales performance indicator offers basic information for making decisions. For example, if you have a high number of visitors, it means you are on the right track to attract customers. But if the conversion rate is low, you need to think about whether sales opportunities are being wasted.

This gives you an idea that you need to think about whether the page is functional, whether there are no navigation problems, whether the prices are attractive, whether the page is capable of keeping the visitor interested in your proposals.

For example, within the academic environment, your educational institution can consider the relationship between the number of enrollments x number of leads or even deepen this analysis within the commercial team and analyze the number of enrollments per consultant, as this may be responsible by establishing telephone contact, for example, and seeing which ones perform best.

Performance indicators

Cost per lead

Cost per lead (CPL) is one of the most important inbound sales KPIs. It is used to calculate the cost of generating a potential customer (lead). We can define a potential customer as a person interested in a product or service who, for example, fills out a form, registers for a newsletter, etc. The formula is as follows:

Investment / Number of Leads = Cost per Lead

In other words, depending on the expenses incurred in some action, with clear and specific objectives, simply divide the number of leads achieved by the total investment made. Whether in adwords campaigns, paid advertising on social networks or creating landing pages and associated materials, everything can serve as a basis for calculating the CPL in your analysis of performance indicators in inbound sales.


Without measuring, it is impossible to know exactly what the performance of all the efforts made by your educational institution is. This is why inbound sales KPIs are so important. You can complement today's knowledge with other material, about the as data analysis in the educational market really work. The next post!

Read: Does data analysis in education work?

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