50 B2B Marketing Metrics You Can Track and Improve
October 24, 2016
I need to ask you a sensitive question, one of those things we’re not supposed to talk about in polite company. Trust me that it’s important to start this dialogue. If you can be honest about this question, we can get to work on improving your answer.
Here’s the big question: How is your organisation’s bottom line compared to your goals?
If the answer to this questions is, “not as good as it could be,” you’re actually in the majority. A recent study shows that only 23% of companies exceed their revenue goals.
Here’s the kicker: Among those falling short, a whopping 74% reported they were not keeping track of fundamental B2B marketing metrics like site visits and lead conversions.
I know correlation does not necessarily equal causation, but it seems like these two statistics are connected. The old saying goes, “If you can measure it, you can improve it.” Which would imply that if you’re not measuring…well…
With the right metrics at your disposal, you are in a much better position to increase revenue – and just as importantly, to know where you’re going, how you got where you are, and where to go next.
If you had to whisper your answer to the question above, start work on joining the 23% with these 50 B2B marketing metrics you can begin tracking right now.
1. Traffic. Is your web traffic on the rise? What time of day are prospects more likely to visit your website? What do the traffic patterns look like over the course of each month? Each year? Which pages are most popular, and why? For extra insight, measure organic and paid traffic separately.
2. Impressions. This is one of the most basic metrics in online advertising. Taken alone, however, it tells very little about the value of your efforts. To be a worthwhile indicator, it must be bolstered with clear evidence of engagement and impact.
3. Page rank. A high-ranking webpage will boost organic search, helping you minimise your dependence on paid search – and helping you stretch your budget.
4. Paid search CPC. Organic search is rarely enough on its own. An intelligent, data-driven strategy for paid search will significantly extend your reach. But it’s important to understand the value of each click versus its potential ROI.
5. Referral Sources. With so many ways of reaching customers in today’s multi-channel environment, it is more important than ever to understand how and where prospects heard about you.
6. Event attendees. Even in today’s digital age, something as analogue as event attendance is still a major indicator of your marketing impact.
7. Average deal size. Once you establish this metric, try moving the needle in the right direction by working with your sales team to develop and improve your sales enablement tools.
8. Availability. Your marketing efforts will do very little good if your online content is inaccessible. Work with your internal teams to keep site outages to an absolute minimum.
9. Likes. If they like you – if they really like you – then you have a fine indicator that your content is on the right track.
10. Comments. A “like,” though valuable, requires relatively little effort from users. A comment represents a greater investment of time and energy, and is therefore an especially important indicator of engagement.
11. Shares. A user who shares content is something of an ambassador for your brand. That kind of exposure and impact is highly valuable in today’s digital environment.
12. Followers. When people like you enough to keep tabs on you, you have clearly done something right. Track followers to take them to the next step—subscription to your site or another form of lead capture.
13. Repeat visits. A prospect who visits more than once is almost certainly a lead worth pursuing.
14. Email (and Sponsored Inmail) opens. This is a foundational metric for any demand generation campaign. By analysing your open rates, you can begin to learn which tactics are most likely to grab your audience’s attention.
15. Click-through. If too many people fail to click through to an offer – whether in an online ad or an email – then you may need to take a close look at the effectiveness of your pitch.
16. Downloads. A prospect who downloads content is always worth a follow-up from sales. Make sure, however, that your download request form only requires the absolute minimum amount of information your salespeople need to take the next step – otherwise your prospect might just slip away.
17. Cross-platform behaviour. What if prospects hear about you on one platform, but engage with you on another? That happens a lot in today’s multi-platform environment, so you should have mechanisms in place to measure the impact of one platform upon another.
18. Opt-outs. Keep these to a minimum. A spike in opt-outs is a clear sign that your engagement efforts need fine-tuning.
19. Earned media impact. When you earn media coverage – whether in print, on TV, on the radio, or online – make sure to track any resulting bump in engagement, especially on social channels.
20. User forums. What trends do you see among your community of users? Is participation down? If so, what can you do to recapture your audience’s attention?
21. Bounce rate. The bounce rate is a measurement of how many people visited your site, took no action, and left immediately. A site with relevant, engaging content should have a very low bounce rate.
22. Exit rate. Often confused with bounce rate, the exit rate tells you how many visitors left the site from a particular page. Any page with a high exit rate is likely to have content in serious need of improvement.
23. Lead score. This essential metric is the primary tool for marketers to understand a lead’s position in the sales cycle. Ideally, sales and marketing will work together to create a consistent lead scoring system.
24. Lead channel origination rate. Track which channels get you the most leads so you can invest in what works best.
25. Conversion of inquiries to qualified leads. How well do you engage prospects at the beginning of the sales cycle? In most cases, a healthy programme will qualify around 10 to 15 percent of its inquiries.
26. Conversion of qualified leads to opportunities. To measure the effectiveness of your sales and nurture efforts, you must understand the success of your interactions with prospects from lead qualification to formal proposal. (This is often called the “fit rate.”)
27. Opportunity close rate. Are you able to seal the deal? Keep tabs on your endgame by tracking the number of opportunities that lead to sales.
28. Win rate. You can calculate this number by multiplying your close rate by your fit rate (see #26 for a definition of fit rate). This will help you understand how many qualified leads you need to create a customer.
29. Number of wins. Sometimes all you need is a simple measurement of how many deals you close. This metric will get you there.
30. Value of closed deals. The number of deals you close is only part of the story. The other part is the value of those deals, both current and projected.
31. Activity per salesperson. Salespeople engage in a wide range of activities to move a prospect forward – calling, emailing, presenting, proposing, and so on. This metric helps you track who does what, when, and how.
32. Average time spent per page or session. This metric helps refine your understanding of your web traffic. How much time do visitors actually invest in your online content, and what can you do to make that number go up?
33. Lead response time. Once the marketing team identifies someone as a lead, how long does it take for a salesperson to follow up with them? If you have too much of a gap here, you may be opening the door for a competitor.
34. Time from MQL to SQL. The time it takes for a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) to become a sales-qualified lead (SQL) is, in part, a reflection of the level of coordination between your marketing and sales teams.
35. Average sales cycle. Get a high-level view of your sales funnel by calculating how long it takes for a prospect to move from first contact to a sale.
36. Issue resolution. How quickly does your team address and resolve customer issues? If you are too slow on the uptake, you risk losing out to a more nimble competitor.
37. Return on marketing investment (ROMI). As any marketer knows, too many business leaders think of marketing as a cost centre. This metric helps you show, in very clear and direct terms, how your efforts contribute to profitability.
38. Cost per new inquiry. Take your marketing budget and divide it by the total number of inbound responses you receive. The result is a handy baseline measure of your program’s efficiency.
39. Cost per acquisition. You can calculate this metric by starting with your marketing budget, then dividing it by the number of new customers you acquire. Then drill deeper: what part of the sales cycle seems to be costing you the most money? How can you bring those costs down while maintaining sales performance?
40. Cost per new dollar of revenue. This is one of the most helpful ways to track how sales and marketing contribute to the growth and health of the business.
41. Sales and marketing cost as a percentage of total revenue. For new businesses, this number will often be quite high, but it should decline considerably over time.
42. Ratio of pipeline coverage to revenue. Using your opportunity close rate as a guide, determine how much potential business must be in the pipeline to achieve your revenue goals.
43. Month-over-month revenue by channel. With so many channels and platforms to choose from, marketers often need to keep track of short-term performance when trying something new. This metric helps you see if your latest efforts are working.
44. Revenue by keyword. SEO requires fine-tuning your content to connect with prospects who might be searching for particular terms. The revenue by keyword metric lets you know if your SEO efforts are worth it.
45. Lifetime value. How much is a given customer worth over the full extent of their time with you? Among other things, this metric will help you understand whether or not it might be worthwhile to pursue similar opportunities.
46. Projected ROI. This is especially important when pushing for a budget increase to support a major new campaign. Your executive team will want to know what you hope to gain from a larger investment in your marketing efforts.
47. NPS score. Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures your customers’ overall loyalty by correlating factors like retention, satisfaction, and revenue growth. It’s generally considered the best way to gain visibility into the strength and durability of your customer relationships.
48. Survey data. Surveys may be qualitative, but their findings can be codified and analysed for sharper, more actionable insight.
49. Product performance. How you measure a product’s performance will, of course, always depend on the product in question and how people consume it. But whether you track subscriptions or sales, the success of your marketing efforts will always come down to the success of the product itself.
50. Retention. Churning through customers is no way to stay in business. Make sure that the customer relationship extends well beyond the initial sale.
This list is a good start, but remember that metrics change depending on your goals, your product offering, and your audience. For a more in-depth look at B2B marketing metrics, download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Metrics & Analytics. It’s chock-full of practical, actionable ways to measure and improve your marketing efforts – and keep your bottom line moving up and to the right.