What metrics matter the most for B2B marketing?
One of the biggest things B2B marketers forget about when it comes to making a sale or running a campaign is the data. They have a great product and the perfect campaign, but aren’t paying attention to how the campaign performs or how the product sells. Having the right metrics or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can give you details about performance and where you should or shouldn’t be spending your money. The key component here is that while the data and metrics are important, it’s not ALL important. Every business has different goals and needs and it’s the marketer’s job to identify what metrics matter the most. For B2B campaigns, key metrics are further complicated because the sales cycle can be so long, averaging 14-months and involving five or more decision makers.
The best way to understand what is important to your business is to take a look at the content being sent out. What is it that you hope to get from it? High click rates? High share rates? A specific sales goal? Maybe there isn’t a clear answer to that question. That’s okay too. Whatever it is, that is what you need to focus on when it comes to your data. To give some insight, an article from The Business Journals lists the top three marketing metrics to share with your CEO. After all, if it’s important to your CEO, shouldn’t it be important to you? These metrics are:
- Lead volume per source – where are your leads coming come from? Are they coming from the campaigns, trade shows or content that is being sent out? If not, that’s something to pay attention to.
- Close rate – Are you bringing in the right type of leads? The main goal here is to have these leads turn into customers.
- Time to close – Having a short but effective sales cycle is always appreciated.
There are a lot of different KPIs out there and the ones listed above may not be as important to your business, but if nothing else, these could be great talking points when discussing what to look for and what to measure. Sometimes it helps to discuss and familiarize yourself with all the data. That can help you distinguish what matters and what really isn’t that important to your overall marketing goal.
Now that you have a few examples of KPIs to look at, how do you decide what you should be looking for? Gone are the days where you just need to know the basics such as the number of inquiries and the leads a campaign as generated. Knowing those numbers is great place to start but that shouldn’t be all you look for or care about. A recent article from SF Weekly says it like this, “…you need to know your way around deeper numbers like marketing-qualified leads too, also called MQLs. And sales accepted leads – SALs – also matter.” When trying to decide what data to look at, there is no reason to complicate the process.
With that being said, the more data you can get the more successful your future campaigns will be. The important KPIs will reveal accountability and show the direct impact of your work on the bottom-line.
As you look towards future projects, take a look at previous data from old sales/campaigns. What did you miss? What about it went well? Talk with your team and figure out what was missing from your data or what you didn’t pay attention to. Also be sure to communicate all this to other areas throughout your business. Getting the sale and improving your clientele is a group effort. Remember that not all metrics are important, but you can’t improve what you can’t measure.