Demos and Meetings – The Pre-Opportunity Cohort

In prior posts, we looked at lead cohorts. In this post, we look at the next cohort down, the pre-opportunity cohort.


Many sales processes include an intermediary stage between marketing generating what is considered a hot lead, and the sales team generating an opportunity. Many times this process involves a business development team that might set up meetings or demonstrations or calls.  This pre-opportunity cohort is important to measure to understand how leads and opportunities are actually flowing through the system.  For example, let’s assume marketing generates 1,000 hot leads that are passed to the BDR team.  Let’s also assume that during that same period, the BDR team generates 100 demonstrations.  Without cohorting, a marketing team could falsely assume that they have a 10% hot lead to demonstration rate.  In fact, what could actually be happening is that the BDR team is generating meetings, not from hot leads, but the team is generating meetings from their own prospecting.  Cohort reporting is critical to figure this out.

What does this cohort look like?

The pre-opportunity cohort looks at all meetings/demonstrations generated within a particular time period from leads that are passed to the BDR team.  Unlike the lead cohort, this cohort looks up and down the funnel.  Up the funnel, the cohort looks at the sources of these meetings, tracking the percentage that came from marketing leads and the percentage that came from other sources.  It also tracks the process status for leads passed.  How many leads have been worked? Not worked?  The quality of processing metrics is important to understand since a high percentage of unworked leads in the cohort means the outcome statistics are less accurate.


For meetings/demonstrations that came from marketing leads, it is important to understand the timing of when those leads were passed to the BDR team.  A percentage of leads will have come from leads passed within the quarter, but many times the yield for meetings from prior period’s leads might be higher. Examing this will help explain the delay from when leads are generated to meeting creation.

For meetings and demonstrations generated from other sources, understanding these sources is critical to understanding how to change or alter marketing resource allocation.  While digital inbound efforts are always great, what if a BDR team actually gets a majority of their meetings from outbound cold calling?

Looking down the funnel is as important as looking up the funnel.  For a given cohort of meetings set up, understanding the opportunity conversion rates is important to both understand the quality of the meeting, but also to unearth issues that might be blocking opportunity creation.  Human factors such as sales teams that are shy about opportunity creation least they have to explain opportunity loss can skew opportunity creation rates. Sales managers driving towards pipeline creation can inflate meeting to opportunity creation rates and provide a false positive to marketing.

Managing the pre-opportunity cohort correctly drives these behaviors:

  • marketing to provide quality leads that convert to meetings
  • marketing to modify their resource allocations to align with what actually drives meetings
  • the BDR team to provide timely follow-up to new leads and correct dispositions
  • sales team to maintain consistency in opportunity creation criteria

Next up, we look at the opportunity cohort.


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