A lot of companies are using lead generation. We previously reported that 74% of the B2B marketing professionals that responded are at least moderate participants in lead-gen practices. The MarketingSherpa "2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report" took a look what the top strategic priorities are for CMOs in the next twelve months. What they found is that these senior marketing executives all have a few things in common. Over half (52%) of the respondents cited achieving or increasing measurable ROI as their top priority (Tweet this!) followed by 51% citing optimization of the marketing-sales funnel and another 51% noting their focus on gaining greater insight of their audience. Here are the top 5 priorities for many marketers and quick tips for addressing each. Related: Hipsters Beware: Lead Generation Becoming Mainstream Increase Measurable ROI To increase the ROI of your lead generation campaigns, you have to have a solid lead scoring and nurturing system in place. An established, automated marketing system can also help you measure your lead generation efforts more accurately. As leads come in and move down the funnel, your automation software, as well as your scoring and nurturing system, can help you measure the ROI per lead and per lead generation source. Optimize the Funnel There's no longer differentiation between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel. These two have integrated as a combination of efforts from both these teams lead to conversions. Your sales-marketing funnel is dependent on a few things. As you look to optimize your funnel, make sure you are including: Lead Source Average Purchase Timeline Content Relevance and Delivery Timing Gain Greater Audience Insight Do you know what information is the most valuable for your sales team? Ask them what data points can help them close more sales and optimize the forms on your site to include as much of the information as possible, without lowering conversion rates. For third-party efforts, communicate with your lead generation provider about the insight you are most interested in. If many advertisers are interested in the same thing and request it, changes in form fields or lead qualifications could be on the horizon. Related: Get more information about pay-per-lead advertising. Maximize the LTV of Customer MarketingSherpa found that the LTV (lifetime value) of a customer is an important number for many marketers (47%). After all, we've all heard that it's easier, and more cost-effective, to keep a current customer than it is to go out and get a new one. Businesses want to keep customers coming back to boost their recurring revenue. To start with maximizing the LTV of your customers, send out feedback questionnaires to find out what they like and dislike most about your business, products and the customer experience you deliver. Implement Lead Tracking Systems Understanding how customers move down that sales-marketing funnel we discussed earlier is crucial in its optimization success. A lead tracking system may be a top priority for many marketers because having one in place will allow them to see the steps leads take before finally making a purchase. Understanding what types of content are requested at each stage and what the average purchase timeline is for leads coming from different sources can help. In order to implement a lead tracking system, consider how you can integrate your current software solutions with one another to acquire a 360° of leads. Related: How to Nurture Leads with Auto-Response Emails Lead generation isn't a one or two-step process. It requires lead generation acquisition efforts, scoring, nurturing and a strong sales-marketing funnel. Communication among your organization, software utilization and conversations with your third-party lead generation companies can help you be more successful with your lead generation efforts.