Lots of companies track incoming leads, but this lead-tracking spreadsheet, used by Jeff Hunt, owner of Heritage Construction, in Houston, can tell a company much more than just which type of marketing is generating the most phone calls.

The spreadsheet details not only the number of leads versus sales for each type of marketing, but also the percentage of total projects and total revenue generated by each, as well as what percentage of the advertising budget is dedicated to generating that revenue. A cursory analysis of the numbers can quickly make clear which marketing campaigns are pulling their weight and which are eating up dollars that could be more effectively spent.

However, Hunt warns against making rash decisions based on these figures. “Looking at this data quarterly or biannually is a good idea,” he says. “You don’t want to make advertising decisions on a month-to-month basis. You have to give [your marketing] time to be effective.”

Hunt tracks and manages his incoming leads using SalesForce.com, which allows him to export this data into an easily managed Microsoft Excel file.

Lead Forecast

Once this data has been collected for a couple of years, it can be used to forecast approximately how many leads are required in a given month or year to produce a particular amount of revenue.

Return on Investment

This column tells Hunt what percentage of his marketing budget he is dedicating to each lead source. When this number is compared with the percentage of total volume accounted for by the lead source,he can tell what kind of return he is getting on his investment. "For example, look at the numbers for Color Magazine Ad," Hunt says. "We spent 21.4% of our ad budget and only got one job worth 6.8% of our total volume." Because of its poor performance, Hunt repurposed these advertising dollars in 2008.

Lead Quality

These two columns can tell a complex story. The first shows the percentage of total projects generated by a lead source in terms of quantity. Hunt is able to quickly see which lead sources are consistently feeding his pipeline.

The next column, however, shows the percentage of total revenue accounted for by this lead source. While some sources may be more consistent in terms of quantity, this column tells Hunt which are generating high-quality jobs. (For an example, see the figures for "Home Show 1.")