We get asked all of the time when we onboard new customers what B2B marketing metrics they should be tracking to ensure that their marketing strategy is moving in the right direction.
There are many KPI (key performance indicator) metrics that B2B marketers need to keep track of as it relates to their outbound and inbound content marketing campaigns. There’s social media shares, landing page views, and website traffic, email marketing open rates and click-through rates, unsubscribes, bounce rates, and more.
And while these are all important to the success of your campaigns, they ultimately don’t tell us the impact that marketing is having on company revenue growth. When it comes to showing marketing’s contribution to revenue, the metrics we’re going to share below are the right metrics that we, as digital marketers, recommend you pay close attention to.
B2B Marketing Success Metrics
Names – These are the target prospects in your database that have not engaged with anyone at your company and who are targeted through lead generation activities.
# of Leads – Target prospects who have engaged with any kind of marketing campaign that has ended up with the prospect giving you some kind of information (typically email address but many times more than that)
Cost Per Lead (CPL) – The cost to generate that lead.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) – A lead that’s good enough to be handed off to the Sales team. Many times, this is done by scoring each lead based on their engagement.
Conversion rate from Lead to MQL – The percentage of leads that become MQLs
Cost per Marketing Qualified Lead – The cost associated with turning a lead into an MQL.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQLs) – The number of MQLs that gets approved by sales to work.
Conversion Rate from MQL to SQL – The percentage of MQLs that become SQLs. MQLs become SQLs when a Salesperson decided that that MQL has met the BANT criteria threshold. BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, Time.
Cost per Sales Qualified Lead – The cost associated with turning an MQL into an SQL.
# of Opportunities – The number of SQLs that gets approved by Sales to become an Opportunity. An Opportunity is typically the sales process that a Salesperson takes a prospect through after they’ve identified that they’ve passed the BANT criteria.
Potential revenue of Opportunities (also called “Pipeline” or “Sales Pipeline”) – The total dollar amount of all opportunities.
Conversion Rate from SQL to Opportunity – The percentage of SQLs that turn into actual Opportunities.
Cost per Opportunity – The cost to generate an Opportunity.
Opportunity Close Rate – (aka Win Rate) The percentage of opportunities that become Closed Won.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) – The cost of winning a customer to purchase a product/service.
LTV (Customer Lifetime Value) – The prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.
Revenue – The amount of revenue growth generated from Opportunities.
Velocity – The amount of time it takes to go from one stage to the next. The faster you can convert leads to revenue, the faster you’ll be able to see a return on your marketing strategy investment.
ROI (Return on Investment) – The return on your marketing investment is a calculation of the revenue you generated from marketing efforts divided by what you spent on marketing.
How to Track B2B Marketing KPIs
If you don’t have any specific Marketing BI tools in place, like Fortella, Tableau, Domo, Zoho Analytics, or Funnel, or your CRM reports and dashboards haven’t been built yet, then just use spreadsheets for now until you’re ready to save time managing these metrics.
While lots of companies use the KPI metrics that we recommend our clients use, many of them don’t have clear definitions for what each of these metrics represents. So if you want to leverage these same metrics and definitions below, make sure that your digital marketing and sales team have all agreed on what each of these metrics is and what they represent.
The Devil is in the Details
In addition to knowing all of these KPI metrics, it’s important to drill down further into these metrics to better understand a specific time period or lead source is positively or negatively impacting these key metrics and thus, your bottom line.
For example, we’ve seen many of our clients Cost Per Opportunity for Lead Sources that they’re introducing into their marketing mix initially yield higher costs than what the client is used to see because they need time to make that Lead Source more efficient. Knowing that that’s the case, the demand generation team is more comfortable with that outcome because they know that their more mature Lead Sources yield a lower Cost Per Opportunity.
Review Your B2B Marketing Metrics on a Weekly Basis
Now that you have our recommendations from the key business metrics that you should track, it’s important to review these metrics on a weekly basis. Whether you’re a one-person marketing team or a bigger group, knowing your numbers and how they’re changing over time will protect you from spending time on marketing campaigns and projects that won’t deliver positive results. We suggest reviewing your metrics on a weekly basis so that these numbers are always top of mind and driving you to prioritize what’s most valuable to work on for that week.