41 Execs Discuss Key B2B Marketing Metrics to Watch
April 4, 2018 | Robbie Richards
“In God we trust. All others must bring data.” – W. Edwards Deming
Demonstrating the value of any marketing campaign is challenging. In fact, 43% of companies list it as the biggest marketing challenge. This is amplified in the B2B marketing arena where longer sales cycles and multiple touchpoints across a range of different channels make KPI selection and attribution much more complex. According to a 2017 study, the marketing technology landscape grew 40% last year to a total of 5,381 different solutions. With so many tools out there, marketers are now able to measure anything.
Now, you’d think this would make measuring B2B metrics easier. But, it seems to have had the opposite effect. Marketers are now so inundated with possibilities, it’s hard to know which metrics to report and act on. This is evident by the number of B2B companies who are still unable to answer the most critical sales and marketing performance questions.
A recent study found that only 23% of people were exceeding their revenue goals. And, of those not exceeding their revenue goals, a whopping 74% did not know the number of visitors, leads, MQLs, or sales opportunities they needed to hit their targets.
While correlation does not always equal causation, the connection isn’t hard to argue. As the old saying goes, “if you measure it, you can manage it”. But, if you’re not measuring it, well, I think you know where I’m going with this.
It’s a vicious cycle. How can you preditably generate leads, acquire new customers, and increase revenue if you have no idea what targets to hit, or which channels and campaigns are driving the greatest ROI?
Short answer: You can’t.
This makes it impossible to determine which campaigns are filling the sales pipeline and having the biggest impact on the bottom line. This lack of insight makes it equally as hard to demonstrate the value of the marketing team, and justify ongoing investment to your CEO or CFO.
To help overcome this challenge and help you better communicate the value of your marketing efforts across the entire buyer journey, we reached out to 39 B2B marketing executives to see what metrics they use to measure and report on performance to the C-suite. The goal is to arrive at a shortlist of metrics you can start measuring immediately. We have included each of their responses below. However, if you are in a rush we broke down the most commonly cited metrics across each of the funnel stages.
The Top 10 Metrics B2B Marketers Should Measure
The goals and KPIs will vary based on the campaign and company, however the 10 metrics listed below will be meaningful to any B2B organization.
#1. Net new users (By Source)
This is the least meaningful, but often the most visible metric. It signals brand awareness, and is a much better leading indicator than total traffic. This number can be broken out by source to see which channels are driving the largest increase in traffic month-over-month.
Common tool used: Google Analytics
#2: Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
These are the warm leads. They have shown enough interest to be labeled as “qualified”, but haven’t shown strong enough buying intent to be labeled an SQL. These folks usually download a whitepaper, fill out a form or sign up for a newsletter. MQLs require more education and follow-up to be converted to an SQL.
Common tool used: Marketo
#3: Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
These are hot leads that provide a much stronger indication of lead quality. They have shown a clear intent to buy, and are willing and ready to do so. The sales team also need to verify that the lead has a problem the company’s product or service can actually solve. The faster the follow-up with an SQL, the higher the close rate.
Common tool used: Marketo
#4: Cost-Per-Lead (CPL)
This metric will provide a tangible dollar amount so the marketing team can determine how cost-effective it is to acquire new leads across each of the different channels. CPL thresholds will vary quite a bit based on the product and industry. It’s important to establish a benchmark. The goal is to generate a campaign that has a low CPL, and high MQL-SQL conversion rate.
Common tool used: Google AdWords, Google Analytics, native ad platforms
The lead becomes an opportunity when they progress to talking about an upcoming purchase decision. At this point, they are not only qualified, but actively communicating their intent to purchase. This usually means a purchase timeline has been discussed, and budget and decision have been established. You have an expected close date, and are actively working with the person to get it done.
The goal should be to increase the velocity of new opportunities in the pipeline month-over-month.
Common tool used: Salesforce
#6: Pipeline Velocity
This metric allows you to see how quickly you are moving high quality leads from one end of the sales cycle to the other. This is all about optimizing your lead time, or the duration from lead to dollars in the bank. In essence, it will tell you how much new revenue is coming through the pipeline each day. This is very helpful for forecasting.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It will tell you how many leads were actually closed into paying customers. Not only does this give you a definitive view of the lead quality, it can highlight potential weakness in bottom funnel marketing content, and/or sales close rates.
Common tools used: Salesforce
#8: Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This metric is critical for B2B companies to determine the effectiveness and ROI of your inbound and outbound marketing campaigns. This is one of the key metrics that should guide the direction of investment in future marketing strategies.
If the costs to acquire new customers can be reduced, the company’s profit margin improves, and the bottom line grows.
The CAC can be calculated by dividing all the costs spent on acquiring customers (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired.
#9: Revenue Generated by Marketing
There are no guesses here. Knowing how much revenue was generated by the marketing team is one of the first steps in understanding the ROI.
#10: Return on Investment (ROI)
This is the north star metric for any company. How many dollars did you put in, and how many dollars do you pull out. The latter needs to be larger in order justify continued investment.
While the concept of ROI is simple, there are a lot of different variables and ways of calculating the metric, especially in the multichannel B2B environment.
One of the most basic formulas for calculating marketing ROI:
Gross Profit – Marketing Investment
You can also use the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) instead of Gross Profit. This formula factors in the profit generated by a customer or group of customers over their lifetime with the company.
Customer Lifetime Value – Marketing Investment
Other companies will also factor in overhead and other general sales and marketing expenses
Profit – Marketing Investment – *Overhead Allocation – *Incremental Expenses
There countless B2B metrics you can measure, but the shortlist above will show you where to invest more dollars, and allow you to build meaningful reports that sell the value of the marketing team to the C-suite.
OK – let’s dive deeper…
41 Executives Discuss The B2B Marketing Metrics They Use to Measure Performance and Demonstrate Value to the C-Suite
Orbit Media | Co-founder and CMO
Top level traffic, before and after
This is the least meaningful, but most visible metric. It’s brand awareness, so it isn’t irrelevant, but it’s too close to a vanity metric to place too much importance on.
Organic traffic, before and after
More specific, so a bit better. Changes to content often impact this, so if you look at it on the page level, it’s very useful!
Conversion rate, before and after
Changes to CTAs, design, social proof, forms often have a conversion rate impact. It’s best to focus on one specific goal and one desired outcome. Overall conversion rates are not very meaningful.
Email open and clickthrough rates
Changes to sender name, subject lines and preheader text can have a big impact on these email metrics and they take almost no work. Timing is also a factor in this metric.
Publishing deep content or big research and following up with outreach to content creators can drive links and mentions. These are super important, but hard to track without a tool. This metric is undervalued by a lot of B2B companies.
Email list growth
It’s affected by the conversion rates for signup boxes and the volume/quality of content. Although it’s an aggregate metric, it’s critical. It should be growing all of the time. If it’s not, try redesigning your signup forms or being a bit more aggressive with their placement.
Lessonly | VP of Marketing
Users – total net new users visiting our digital properties. Net new users are always a better signifier of growth than total traffic.
Total Leads – All inbound leads created during a specific time period.
MQL – All leads with an Autopilot lead score greater than 269. The lead score is automatically calculated by Salesforce and the threshold is based on a quartile analysis of our database. The top leads These leads will be manually reviewed by the inbound SDRs.
First Meetings – Inbound-sourced leads that have turned into a completed first meeting and/or demo with an Account Executive.
Closed-Won – closed business. Dollah bills y’all.
Demo rating – Account Executives are tasked with rating a demo from 1-5. Marketing is responsible for a % of total demos rating above a 3.
Forecast – We track all deals with the closed-date of the current quarter.
MQA – Marketing qualified accounts that are worked by our outbound SDR teams. The MQAs are divided out by size of company – SMB, Mid-Market and Enterprise.
Activities – Marketing partners with sales leadership to track total activity volume of the outbound SDR team.
First Meetings – Inbound-sourced leads that have turned into a completed first meeting and/or demo with an Account Executive.
Closed-Won – closed business. Dollah bills y’all.
Percentage of Total Expansion Influenced – Marketing is tasked to influence every customer that has a significant potential to expand during the current quarter. We track touches and closed-won with our Client Experience team.
The Brian Carter Group | CEO
#1 First off- I find a lot of people lack clarity about KPI’s (key performance indicators), because they have too many metrics. They look at too many things and get confused about what’s happening and what they should do next. You should be able to identify your one most important key metric for the entire effort. Until you can do that, you’ll never be able to optimize your progress toward your goal.
#2 It’s impossible for me to say what your KPI should be because it needs to come from your goal and take into account any limitations you have in your business or technology. I could say it should be ROI if your goal is profits or revenue if your goal is sales volume, but if you can’t track sales online, you won’t be able to use either of those.
A good guideline for choosing the best overall KPI is to choose the metric that best fits your goal and is furthest down the funnel, closest to the bottom-line.
#3 Every great marketing effort has multiple goals addressing multiple parts of the funnel. If you have an awareness goal, you need an awareness metric for it (like reach, impressions, or % of target audience reached). If you have an engagement goal as part of your campaign, you need an engagement metric (like cost per engagement) for that. And you may need lead gen and sales metrics (like cost per lead and cost per sale or ROI) for those two goals.
You need to know how your awareness and engagement efforts are affecting your conversion metrics. And you need to decide on one overall KPI.
The Good | Marketing Manager
I pay attention to a number of metrics through dashboards we’ve built into our Salesforce. Each of them is designed to answer a different question for us. The key metrics I follow are:
Leads by Lead Source
This answers the question: “Which channels are producing the most leads?”
Expected Revenue by Lead Source
This answers the question: “Which channels drives the highest value sales?”
Pipeline Trend by Month
This answers the question: “Is the opportunity pipeline increasing or decreasing in size?”
Lead to Conversion Ratio
This answers the question: “What percentage of leads are sales-qualified?”
Opportunities by Lead Source
This answers the question: “Which lead source drives the most amount of opportunities?”
Closed Won Opportunities by Lead Source
This answers the question: “Which Lead Source drives the most amount of sales?”
Qualified Lead Velocity By Month
This answers the question: “What is the overall lead velocity and is it increasing MoM?”
Marketing Sourced Opportunity Funnel
This answers the question: “What stage of the sales funnel are marketing-generated opportunities?”
Revenue Generated by Marketing
This answers the question: “What is the total revenue generated by marketing activity?”
Together these metrics give me a solid high level picture of B2B marketing health.
Heinz Marketing Blog | Vice President – Client Marketing Services
All of my top B2B KPI’s are focused on revenue and I look at all campaign data taken together. That said, metrics like clicks, opens, visits, lead creation, etc. all have a place to measure levels of campaign engagement. But I focus on where overall campaign performance is driving revenue and these are my key KPIs.
Sales Pipeline Velocity: This is my favorite go-to KPI because it looks at 4 critical performance attributes that each have a significant impact on overall sales. Velocity is calculated using the number of active qualified opportunities, average deal size, average sales cycle time, and average sales win percentage. Each area can help identify points that need optimization to improve overall sales.
For example, the average deal size may be low due to heavy and unnecessary discounting. Sales cycles may take too long because of training issues or inadequate deep funnel marketing support. Well-developed and executed campaigns can have a very strong influence on velocity which is why I like this for long term campaign performance.
I created a sales pipeline velocity calculator that is available from our website.
Marketing Sourced Revenue: Marketing performance and attribution tools and data capture methods are making it much easier to accurately and reliably track where leads and opportunities were sourced from. This information also identifies top performing channels and where budgets are best utilized. There’s nothing better than showing your CEO and CFO where revenue came from! Marketers commonly have a goal of sourcing 20-30% of overall revenue.
Marketing Influenced Revenue: Marketing has a significant influence on revenue performance even after a top funnel traditional lead handoff. Each marketing touchpoint through any attributable channel can help sales drive a opportunity closer to a win. This doesn’t take any credit away from sales. Measuring the touchpoints shows where opportunities were influenced especially if control data shows how deals were accelerated.
Opportunities Created per Month: Sales come from opportunities. Opportunity creation can indicate a strong campaign engine and provide a leading indicator for future sales performance, especially when used in context of sales pipeline velocity.
Nimble | Product Marketing Manager
Since Nimble is a B2B SaaS application, we are targeting the number of top of funnel leads we acquire through marketing campaigns. We want to ensure that our marketing campaigns drive more leads that convert to trials.
We monitor trial conversions from our website via Google Analytics and verify our number of trials generated with our back-end database. While these new leads are in trial, we use Intercom to send email campaigns to do the best we can to convert leads to new customers. We track this through our reporting from Braintree.
We tie all of these data sources into Microsoft PowerBI for our internal dashboard to keep track of our goals internally as a company.
Bulkly | Founder
I like to look past the high level metrics like form submissions, because not all form submissions are the same quality. And because of that, in B2B situations I like to focus on the quality of the form submissions. In order to do that, I pull lead data from the CRM and analyze the quality of the lead as indicated by the sales rep.
In most cases the leads are typically labeled something like “qualifying”, “converted”, or “rejected”. So I build out reporting that shows the percentages of incoming leads (form submissions) and how those break out based on the labels added by the sales rep after talking with the prospect.
And I take it a step further and then build out a report that shows how the “converted” leads are moving through the sales process. In this report, I can easily see if a certain sales rep has issues closing deals after a first call, proposal, etc.
This type of insight can allow for digging deeper into which specific channels or advertising initiatives are driving a better quality of lead than another for a more efficient price. Making it easier to see the ROI of various marketing efforts.
Most of the time, I am having to pull data from various sources so I usually dump the various data files into Excel and build out formulas that pull the necessary info from each data set. In the end, I have an easy to read dashboard that shows the ROI of key campaigns.
Jostle | Growth Marketing Director
At Jostle, marketing owns the lead until they book a demo so our primary measures of success are # of demos booked and the percentage of those that convert directly to an opportunity. Our win rate on opportunities is quite consistent so upping the volume of demos & opportunities is really what drives revenue for us.
For tracking them we use both HubSpot & Salesforce and the data from both system flows into Domo where we have a dashboard to visualize it all.
Kyle G Bradley
BIO-key International | Dir of Digital Marketing
Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA) – When determining the effectiveness of paid Search, Display, Social Media Campaigns etc. and calculating each campaigns ROI, COCA is vital. The data gleaned from these campaigns is one of the top factors that dictates the direction of our future marketing strategies.
Tracking methods used – Google Ad Words/Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, Conductor
Sales Team Response Time – This is pretty straight forward, calculating the avg response time between when a lead submission form is submitted and when our reps contact them. The data overwhelmingly suggests that when a lead is received the percent chance of conversion is at its peak if they are contacted within 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the opportunity to convert drastically decreases as the gap in time increases. Making sure that our sales reps are aware of these statistics puts them in the best position to win the sale and that is why it is given such a great deal of attention.
Tracking method used – Salesforce
Website Traffic to Website Lead Ratio – Again, pretty straight forward. What we look for is the ratio between total website visitors and of those victors how many have converted to leads. This allows us to measure the quality of our websites traffic, the marketing campaign that drove them to our site, and our websites conversion rate (This not only helps measure a campaign’s effectiveness, but also the quality of the content on site).
Leads – Arguably the most important metric to track when measuring a campaigns effectiveness. Simply put, the more leads you get the more sales opportunities you have, the more sales opportunities you have the better your chances at generating revenue. Our leads are separated into two categories Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLS). MQLs have shown interest enough to be labeled “qualified” but aren’t far enough into the buyer’s journey to be considered legitimate opportunities. SQLs are our leads that shown intent to purchase and are ready to do so.
The sales funnel breaks down as follows:
1. Website lead to MQL, 2. MQL to SQL Ratio (how many MQLs become SQL’s), 3. SQL to Quote – or in our case a “Demo” or POC (Proof of Concept), 4. Customers who participated in a Demo/POC to closed customer ratio.
Tracking methods used – The 4 main tracking tools used are Eloqua, Google Analytics, Conductor and Salesforce
Email Marketing Performance – The metrics used here to measure campaign effectiveness/ROI are the standards including Delivery Rate, Bounces, Unsubscribes, Unique Open Rate, Uniq. CTR, Unique CTOR, Forwards/Shares and links clicked on
Tracking method – Eloqua
Spiro | CEO
SQL equals “sales qualified lead”, which means there is a real opportunity associated with the lead. Of course you want to measure conversion at all steps through the pipeline, but for marketing it can’t just be “what’s the cost per lead?” It needs to be “what’s the cost per lead that the sales team will actually go after?”
Modelo | Content Marketing Specialist
Page views are important to me. As a content marketer, I like to know where people are navigating and how they’re experiencing our site. My goal is to make sure every page tells the right story, so understanding who is viewing what helps me understand where to make improvements or iterate. Google Analytics and Hotjar are great tools for these metrics.
As a marketer who has worked in lean startups, the quality of leads I’m sending to Sales is paramount. We measure that with lead scoring on our dashboard, but regularly sync up as a team to give feedback. We use Salesforce to assign lead scores. We use Moz to analyze and optimize content for SEO. Key metrics include keyword rank, featured snippets, and inbound links to name a few.
When it comes to content, the goal or metrics depend on the type of content and the funnel stage. On a high level, we’re tracking CTA clicks, downloads, and newsletter and blog subscriptions. Pardot, WordPress, and Google Analytics are key players here.
Full Circle Insights | Sr. Product Marketing Manager
As a product marketer, I grade the “receptiveness” of my content, in terms of consumption of it and what pipeline gets generated from it. (Demand Gen might dig more into the channel optimization)
- Email Open % (as a grade of topic, content format, subject line)
- Email Clickthrough % (as a grade of topic depth, content format)
- Landing page Conversion % (grade of quality of page)
- MQL Volume and % (of those who engaged w/ campaign)
- MQL–>SAL %
- Pipeline $ generated
- Revenue $ influence (using various attribution models)
- MQL–>Won %
- Demo–>Won % (for bottom-funnel acceleration marketing campaigns)
The above should be sliced by lead segmentations, including job title/personas, industry, etc., as well as campaign dimensions, including topic, format, and funnel stage of the education (e.g., Awareness stage webinar vs Consideration case study). This way you can pivot-table and see gaps, effectiveness, etc.
Christine B. Whittemore
Simple Marketing Now | Chief Simplifier
Ultimately, how well a B2B marketing campaign performs comes down to how many people indicate interest, remain interested and become customers. However, the specific metrics will depend based on how tightly integrated digital and real life channels are.
Digital channels provide more detail (e.g., pages visited, number of visits, pageviews, forms submitted), whereas real life channels (e.g., in person meetings, phone calls) often close deals. Digital detail, though, can be killer in closing those deals because you can hone in on what really matters to those prospective customers.
That said, I like to monitor traffic to a website, leads generated, qualified, and closed. Depending on the business, there may be critical micro and macro conversions worth tracking.
Tamara (Schroeder) Marx
Branch | Demand Generation Manager
The metrics used to measure campaign performance are specific to the goal or goals of the campaign. The KPI’s for a lead generation campaign are different than those for an awareness campaign.
For example, for a lead generation campaign, we might measure #leads captured, #sales accepted leads captured (this will have to be measured over time), CTR on the campaign, CPL and cost per sales accepted lead, amongst other factors. It’s important to not only look at the quantity of leads captured, but also the quality – hence the desire to look at leads as they progress through the funnel and the opportunities that come out of them.
Something to keep in mind, is that a higher CPL may pay off if it means you are capturing higher quality leads that translate into larger deal sizes, or leads that accelerate through the funnel.
For an awareness campaign, you might measure the impressions, clicks and overall engagement with the campaign. In this scenario, you could measure engagement through likes, shares, clicks, and conversions or click throughs to your designated landing page.
At a higher level, it’s important to keep an eye on the ratio of outbound vs. inbound leads, SALs, and sourced opportunities. And, since a B2B sales cycle tends to be long, it is rare that a closed/won opportunity or sales accepted lead will only interact with one marketing campaign, but instead will touch many campaigns along the way.
It’s important to track these touchpoints so that you can attribute success across the campaigns, as well as note which campaigns were responsible for first touch or lead conversion.
Avalaunch Media | VP of Digital Marketing
BigSpeak | EVP – Marketing
- Lead count
- Lead quality (we lead score)
Triblio | CMO
1. Account and Segment Metrics
Take the account view so that marketing metrics are aligned with sales. This way, you can track marketing impact across the funnel and through pipeline.
2. Multichannel Metrics
In B2B, each channel has its own unique set of metrics. Common campaign metrics include: email opens, clicks, and replies; ad impressions, click throughs, and view throughs; web and landing page sessions, average session duration, and return visitors. It’s easy to get into the weeds with any individual metric.
To get a good grasp on overall campaign performance, track which campaigns impact which accounts and account segments. Successful campaigns impact accounts that convert, become opportunities, and end up as customers. Pause, revamp, and start new campaigns accordingly.
3. Purchase Journey Metrics
Report on ROI by tracking account metrics across the purchase journey. Tie account-based marketing metrics to sales measures such as: outbound opens, responses, meetings scheduled, opportunities created, opportunities closed.
Then for each segment, know how many target accounts are at each stage of the purchase journey. For example, measure the number of unaware, aware, opportunity-created, and closed-won accounts within tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 segments.
Ron Sela Consulting | Digital Marketing Consultant
Your marketing campaigns require that you have accurate ROI performance measurements. Here are some B2B key metrics that you can use to guarantee this:
1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
As new internet companies emerge, CAC continues to grow as well making it possible for efficient tracking of web-based advertising campaigns. CAC is calculated by dividing the cumulative costs spent in the customer acquisition process by the actual number of the customers acquired.
2. Customer Life Value (CLV)
Customer Life Value (CLV) refers to the net profit that a certain customer is likely to bring to the company for as long as the relationship lasts. However, CLV varies depending on several factors such as sophistication and accuracy. Given that CLV can predict a customer’s monetary value, in the end, it is easier for companies to shift from their quarterly to long-term profits and focus more on maintaining the health of its relationship with the customer.
To calculate CLV, you must consider the following steps: forecast the remaining customer lifetime in years, forecast future revenues, have an estimate of the costs you are likely to incur while delivering the services to the customer and calculate the net present values of the future amounts.
3. CLV to CAC Ratio
Even though both CLV and CAC are powerful metrics on their own, combining the two will give you results that are more accurate and allow your business to grow. Before calculating the ratio between CAC and CLV, you need to calculate the different metrics individually using the methods shown above.
With one metric (CAC) answering the question as to how much a customer costs your company, the other one (CLV) answers the question as to how much a customer is worth to your company.
When you combine the two, the answer asks the question “what is the true value of a customer to your business?” Given the fact that there is no magic number for calculating your CLV to CAC ratio, use your values depending on how much you use.
Inbound Marketing Agency | Managing Director
– Social Media Engagement (Specifically LinkedIn): Reach (Views), Shares, Likes, Followers / Connections, Referral Traffic (Google Analytics)
– SEO: All Traffic, Organic Traffic, Keyword Visibility
– PPC: Cost-Per-Lead, Lead Conversion Rates
– Leads: Lead Conversion Rate, Leads, Leads based on source/medium
– Sales: Cost-Per-Sale, Sale Conversion Rate, Sales, ROI
Thunder Bay Media | Copywriter and Content Geek
Historically, calculating the success of content marketing has been a tough monster for marketers in the B2B space. Content Marketing Institute showed that only 41% of B2B marketers have clarity on the success of their programs.
The main issue is they focus too much on the revenue, but revenue isn’t the only indicator for determining if content is successful. These are the top metrics to consider depending on the campaign and goal:
1. Lead Quality – If content is driving people to the next stage of the funnel, like grabbing a lead magnet or contacting you to ask pre-sales questions then the content is generating qualified leads. Setup conversion goals in Google Analytics to track which content turns people into leads in Funnel Visualization. High bounce with crap conversions means your content isn’t drawing quality leads or there’s an offer mismatch.
2. Closing Sales – If you’re generating great leads that are then being nurtured with the right kind of custom content your team is going to have a solid close ratio. Tracking the performance of your content engagement and flow to the next stage will show you where those leads drop off before a sale closes. Use that data to adjust the content used throughout your funnel to nurture your contacts.
3. Consumption – Traffic is generally seen as a vanity metric, but without traffic you have no leads and no revenue. The key is to dig deeper. Look at how content is performing over time to determine which topics are most relevant to the top of your funnel. Also look at the source of traffic in Google Analytics (check Acquisition Source/Medium under Secondary Dimension for your landing pages) so you can identify which campaigns are driving quality traffic and which are wasting your time/ad budget.
Your analytics provide some good information on content engagement to review how well individual content is doing in your funnel. Don’t just rely on bounce rates. Compare stats on session duration and the number of pages per session and how the numbers change over time.
Don’t neglect qualitative metrics – actual content engagement like comments on articles and reader feedback (including fan mail) are great indicators of success.
4. Social – Measuring content shares paints a significant picture on how well the content resonates with your audience since people share content they find valuable, educational, or entertaining. Using UTM parameters to help with campaign tracking. There are multiple metrics that can be tracked but you don’t have to track them all, just the ones that are relevant to your goals.
Relevance | Co-Founder
- Leads (Raw Inquiries)
- Closed Won/Lost/Other
Our key metrics remain the same whether it’s B2B or B2C, which we do both in the travel insurance industry. We’re still focused on the same key metrics:
– Conversion Rate
– Average Order Value
– Acquisition Cost
– Lifetime Value
The numbers however can be significantly different with B2B as they can deliver hundreds of sales a year, where a consumer is once a year at best, with travel insurance. So, whilst the metrics remain the same, acquisition costs for example can be considerably higher initially due to the relationship with lifetime value.
JotForm | VP of Marketing
Here at JotForm, our key metric across the board is active users. New user acquisition efforts need to be balanced with a great customer experience so that we’re not only getting strong signup numbers, but they are becoming active, and converting into paid users.
There is so much that goes into growing an active user base, including a product that solves a problem for them, a great user experience, an intuitive interface, a responsive and helpful customer support team, a fair pricing plan, staying innovative and on top of competitors, an onboarding flow that successfully encourages users to learn and use the product, and marketing messaging that encourages user adoption and retention.
We use analytics to track and analyze what kinds of content is interesting to our users, and what gets them to engage. This includes emails, landing pages, blog posts, and more.
Kent J Lewis
Anvil Media | President
In approximate order of importance and probability of tracking:
- Marketing/Sales Qualified Leads (volume # towards goal)
- Cost-per-acquisition (CPA, ideally under target $)
- Pipeline dollar value (estimated, with qualification)
- ROI (booked revenue/management + media fees)
- ROAS (booked revenue/media fees)
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- Average time-to-close (sales cycle, ideally shortening over time)
- Lifetime customer value (LCV)
Radius | Sr. Director, Product Marketing
Pipeline/Revenue per Product: How healthy is the pipeline associated with each line item? Tracking pipeline and revenue per product or add-on feature allows for forecasting by product lines and improved budget allocation based on which products are seeing the most success in-market.
Primary Campaign Source: This is essentially last touch before an opportunity is created. Understanding which programs are creating opportunities helps marketing re-invest in those programs to acceleration pipeline generation.
Pipeline Lead Score: Pipeline must come from one of the following places–Marketing, AEs, Sales Development, Partner, Customer Success. Pipeline lead source tracks which department was primarily responsible for the pipeline associated with each opportunity. Each team sets pipeline generation goals, and pipeline lead score is the metric for tracking those goals.
Content Harmony | Strategy Director
- Links – Ahrefs
- Visibility and ranking, SERP rankings – Ahrefs
- Improved traffic to key pages, site traffic – Google Analyitcs and GSC
- How people get to an interact with our site, leads generated – various CMS
Content marketing isn’t always going to be the last touch conversion point for actual sales, but it is a great way to build a list of potential and probable future customers, building an email list is a great way to start a relationship with people who might not need your product yet, but may in the future, and it keeps you top-of-mind for when they do
Velocity Digital | Founder
MQLs generated is key for me. But the qualification of those must be a constant focus of analysis. Are what we regarding as qualified still qualified in the eyes of the sales team but also the wider business?
SEMrush | PR & Content Producer
We divide up our Marketing campaign performance metrics in a couple of areas:
SEO Metrics (e.g., backlinks, organic traffic, ranking position, etc.). Of course, the endpoint of every digital marketing campaign is to get to sales, increase MRR and so on. But in order to get there, you have to fulfil your SEO goals – you cannot get more sales from your digital marketing campaign without a traffic boost and so on.
Business/Conversion Metrics (leads, sales, revenue, conversion rate, ROI, etc.). This is one of the most important parts of our analytics process as it is the part we showcase to the entire company and this is the part that helps us justify any additional budget needs for campaign promo.
Social Engagement Metrics (shares, comments, mentions, etc.). Although there is a lot of talk about “vanity metrics” and their questionable value, we still look at them, as those metrics actually indicate the level of engagement of our audience with our campaign and its real value. We are very active on Social Media, thus, it is important to us that we create a buzz and a certain level of virality with every big campaign, product or non-product related.
User Engagement Metrics (time on page, bounce rate, organic CTR, etc.). And when it comes to audience engagement, the metrics mentioned here are quality metrics we look at, as we do know that people might share our content without actually reading it, after all, brands with high authority tend to attract SM engagement just because people know and trust the brand.
In terms of tools we use to track our performance, we actually use our very own SEMrush toolkit. Although each area we keep track of has its own inbuilt analytics (Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Tableau and so on), we use SEMrush, as when we want to get a bigger picture on our entire campaign, we need every piece of data to be within reach and in one place.
HealthJoy | Chief Marketing Officer
I would say the top three KPIs that someone should track with their marketing campaigns would be as follows:
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) for paid media campaigns (CPC, Social, Email, Retargeting, Content Promotion.)
Landing Page Conversion Rates that you are driving traffic to via paid media.
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) so you can understand what a customer is worth to you in revenue.
wakabayashi.us | Vice President of Digital and Integrated Commerce
- Sales Metrics
- Advocacy Metrics
- Ratings and Reviews
- Impressions or Awareness Metrics
Mercurygate.com | CMO
Revenue attributed to the campaign!
Emagine | VP of Digital Marketing Services
For paid B2B marketing campaigns, I look at impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate, conversions, cost per acquisition, and ROI.
For content driven campaigns, I look at referral and organic traffic, unique referral and organic visitors, how many pages they view (how engaged they are), bounce rate, exit rate and goal completions.
Platformly | Growth Marketer
For a SaaS Company like ours that rely entirely on marketing and customer success to convert customers and drive revenue, we break down our key metrics in following two categories:
1) Marketing Metrics
2) Customer Success Metrics
The objective of a campaign plays a significant role in deciding the metrics that we are going to track to measure the performance and ROI.
For most the campaign wherein the end objective it to improve the bottom line for the business, here are the metrics that we measure:
1) Total Traffic
2) Total New Leads
3) Lead Conversion Rate
4) Total Qualified Leads
5) Qualified Lead Conversion Rate
6) Lead Acquisition Cost
7) Qualified Lead Acquisition Cost
Note: To qualify a lead and differentiate it from an average one, we set a few parameters at the start of the campaign.
Customer Success Metrics
1) Total Paid Customers
2) Lead to Customer Conversion Rate
3) Qualified Lead to Customer Conversion Rate
Another two metrics that we focus on as a part of customer success are:
1) Retention Rate
2) Churn rate
Every quarter, at the campaign level, we assess how many users are still sticking with us and how many have churned.
Chili Piper | CEO
- Amount of Meeting Booked at Events (using Chili Piper + Salesforce)
- Amount of Inbound Demos Scheduled/month (using Chili Piper + Salesforce)
- Facebook lead Ads (measure amount of demos booked via form fill)
- Customer Success Stories (measure views on LI and form fills from UTM parameters)
- Email Campaigns to customer base (opens & clicks using Intercom)
Reduxio | Chief Marketing Officer
Email Marketing: emails sent per week, open rates, website visits by source, number of touch-points per nurturing workflow, open rates pr week, CTR per week, contacts enrolled in nurturing workflows, contacts lost per week, etc
Paid Advertising and CRO: cost per lead(CPL) , impressions, clicks, click through rate (CTR), number of conversions, conversion rate, etc.
backstitch | CEO & Co-Founder
Number of engagements across different materials.
Ad Reform and Userfeed | Co-founder
Zeal Technology | CEO
This list contains the most important metrics. We track more, but want to keep our team focus on the most important ones.
- Dollar amount of new sales. Ultimately, new business is the most important metric and it also is the basis for doing and ROI calc. For us, we measure $ of ARR/MRR.
- Dollar amount of sales pipeline added. We want to make sure our marketing campaigns generate leads that the sales team agree are real sales opportunities.Dollar amount (estimated) and number of marketing leads, aggregated and from each campaign.
- Product trials: number of new free trials and free trials conversions to paying customers. We are focused on scaling, so look more closely at the number of trials, rather than dollars (at this time). For each of the above metrics, we track conversion rates too.
Rules for Measuring B2B Marketing Performance
There you have it. We just looked at the top 10 most important B2B marketing and sales metrics you should be measuring in 2018.
Here are a few additional guidelines to follow when selecting the right metrics for your business:
- Start with the most important metrics. Don’t get lost in the data. Start small and scale out over time.
- More technology and tools does not mean cleaner reporting. Often, it will just needlessly complicate the process. Start by identifying your shortlist of key B2B KPIs, and then find the tools that will allow you to measure them. Not the other way around.
- The closer the metrics are to revenue, the more executives will care.
- When it comes to presenting the metrics, try to work everything into a dashboard rather than a long detailed report or presentation deck. If your boss won’t read the entire report, don’t create it.
- Make sure you are segmenting KPIs by traffic and campaign source.
Which B2B metrics are you measuring in your business? Let us know in the comments below.