Activity-Based Lead Generation

Let’s end the week with a (great) reader question:

What are some leading indicators to measure progress in habits that should generate leads?

I have a lot of thoughts on this.

First, this is similar to the concept of Activity-Based Selling (more here: That is, you’re identifying the leading indicators that correlate with “doing the work to sell more things” and then tracking them overtime to make sure you’re taking the right actions.

How does this differ when it comes to lead generation (or as I’ll call it, Activity-Based Lead Generation)?

The first difference is your actions aren’t as clear out of the gate as with Activity-Based Selling. Because Activity-Based Selling is based on moving someone forward through the stages in your sales pipeline (e.g.,, it’s easier to identify activities that move someone forward (like ‘send a follow-up email’ or ‘schedule a meeting to discuss proposal’).

With Activity-Based Lead Generation, it’s a bit more… squishy. You want to focus your time and attention on the habits that bring you more leads, but what should you focus on?

As I say in my book Get More Leads! (, if you want to get more leads, you need to do two things:

  1. Make things (e.g., content, sales pages, marketing assets, interviews, offers)
  2. Tell people about them (e.g., outreach, podcast tours, write guest articles, webinars, have conversations)

So, reader, if you’re wondering what to track, the answer is that it depends.

You and your personality, your available time, the marketing habits you want to build, your target market and niche, and your overall marketing strategy all affect what you could be tracking as leading marketing indicators.

These are a few excellent starting points to consider as you work on building your lead generation habits:

  1. How much time have you scheduled this week to work on your marketing and lead generation?
  2. How much time have you planned this week to research your target market? (e.g., read articles, listen to interviews, watch talks, read books)
  3. How much time have you scheduled this month to try and stimulate conversations with people in your market? (e.g., informational interviews, market research conversations, conversations with leads, marketing outreach, sales outreach, informal conversations)
  4. How much time have you scheduled this month to write content? (e.g., blogs, articles, guides, ebooks, social content, email templates)

And a few lagging indicators that I enjoy. These can be at the ‘quarter’ or ‘month’ view.

  1. How many pieces of content have you published so far this month/quarter? (e.g., times you’ve hit the publish button)
  2. How many outreach emails have you sent to colleagues, cooperative competitors, audience owners, or new contacts this month/quarter?
  3. How many conversations have you had with people in your target market so far this month/quarter?