OpenView’s Operational Support: Lead Generation Strategies

March 9, 2010

Today I got my hands on a great report that was recently released by The Bridge Group, Inc., a Boston-based consulting firm that works with B2B (business to business) technology companies to help build and strengthen their inside sales teams. The report, titled “2009 Inside Sales Lead Generation Metrics and Compensation for Technology Companies,” is exceptionally relevant to my work at OpenView Partners, a Boston Venture Capital firm, as I focus on developing Lead Generation programs and business development strategies for our expansion stage portfolio companies.

So how does The Bridge Group gather their data? They have surveyed over 125 North American technology companies (Hardware, Software, Hardware & Software, SaaS/Hosted) on how they have execute their inside sales implementations. Pretty impressive if you ask me!

Some interesting takeaways from The Bridge Group’s survey results:

• 60% of all companies surveyed use as the CRM of choice
• The average size of a Lead Generation team is 6 reps
• The average ration of Lead Generation Rep to Field Rep is 1 : 3.5
• The average years of experience that a hiring manager seeks for the Lead Generation role is 2.4
• The average tenure of a Lead Generation rep is 2.4 years
• The average base salary on the Lead Generation team is $47.5k base, with a total compensation of $75.3k
• The average quota for leads passed along the Field Reps is 16 “opportunities created”
• Average time on the phone a day is 4 hours, and the average number of calls made is 46/day
• 45% of calls are made into leads that were derived from marketing
• 17% of leads convert to qualified opportunities
• The average contribution of the pipeline that can be attributed to the Lead Generation teams efforts is 48%

The OpenView Labs team has implemented Lead Generation programs within five of our portfolio companies, and remarkably, most of these statistics/averages are very simliar, if not identical, to the standards that we hold our new Lead Generation hires to when they are brought on board to support their respective sales teams.

There are a couple of differences. First of all, we typically advise our portfolio companies to push their Lead Generation reps to generate 10 qualified leads a week, rather than 16 a month. Ambitious, yes, but it has worked so far! Also, none of the Lead Generation programs that we have built have been around for 2.4 years (the average tenure of a rep according to the survey), however, we have something different in mind to keep motivation high.The goal is to promote these bright individuals internally once they have proved themselves as a Lead Generator/Qualifier. I am proud to say that recently two of the Lead Generation reps that we hired, trained, and coached for one of our portfolio companies were promoted to Sales reps within 5 months.

To download The Bridge Group’s Lead Generation Report, go to Also if your role falls within the realm of inside sales/lead generation in the tech-space, whether you are a manager or a rep, I suggest following Bridge Group’s blog (in addition to mine!), as they offer a great flow of suggestions and industry information that will help you stay on top of your game.

Get more lead generation ideas here.