The 12 Most Common B2B Marketing KPIs to Track Your Success in 2024 (and 9 Uncommon Ones)
As a B2B marketing professional, you are swimming in marketing data. You have many tools that are all tracking different parts of the marketing investment puzzle, and as such you're likely no stranger to the world of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). However, just because you're swimming in data doesn't mean it's easy for you to track your marketing effectiveness. Ultimately, marketing efforts need to impact business objectives. This is where KPIs come into play. They help focus your efforts, and provide guideposts on what data is most relevant, so you can easily measure marketing performance. In this guide, we'll explore not only the importance of measuring marketing KPIs for your B2B business but also delve into often-overlooked indicators that can significantly contribute to your overall success.
Why Measure Marketing KPIs for Your B2B Business?
The foundation of any successful marketing strategy lies in robust KPIs. These metrics serve as your guiding light, offering insights into the effectiveness of your B2B marketing campaigns, audience engagement, and, most importantly, their impact on your bottom line. However, the challenge often lies in identifying the right KPIs that align with your specific business goals, and ensuring that you aren't tracking everything, regardless of its relevance.
How to Choose Relevant KPIs to Track?
Before we dive into the specific KPIs, it's essential to establish a clear connection between your marketing efforts and your broader business objectives. In Gartner’s Hierarchy of Marketing Metrics for Tech CEOs report, Gartner® recommends a five step plan to define marketing metrics:
- "Build consensus. Work with other senior stakeholders, including sales and services, on expectations of marketing performance. Be specific about how marketing operational plans support the marketing strategy, as well as how that strategy supports business goals.
- Socialize the metrics and identify functional contributions. Assemble your marketing team as well as representatives from sales, service and other key areas. Break down metrics into the operational levers:
- How do individual functions contribute to operational goals, and how do they ladder up to the marketing strategy?
- What are the core channels, propositions and experiences that will drive success?
- Audit and stratify available data. Build an understanding of the availability and quality of operational and tactical data. Working with your marketing team, start to map out the metric taxonomy. Know who should see what data and how often. (This will be the first step in designing the reports that will be delivered across the business. Be clear about where gaps are in the data.)
- Plug the gaps. If key data is missing, determine whether it can be substituted in the immediate term and sourced in the longer term. For example, if you cannot measure the frequency and value of transactions through a specific channel partner, can you build a proxy based on the partner’s overall contribution to revenue? In the longer term, explore how you can secure a more reliable and sustainable source of data such as automated weekly reports or KPI dashboards.
- Edit ruthlessly. Too much data impedes decision making, so be ruthless in the selection of metrics. Ensure that only those metrics material to decision making are chosen. This process should be iterative as you hone the metrics on an ongoing basis. Even the best-designed reports lose relevance if they become bloated by multiple new metrics over time or metrics that no longer add value. Marketing resources should review reports quarterly with stakeholders, pruning and adapting metrics as required."
This strategic approach sets the stage for selecting KPIs that truly matter for your business.
Essential B2B Marketing KPIs to Track for Measuring Success
Below you'll find the standard B2B marketing KPIs that most businesses use for measuring success. If you aren't yet using KPIs to track your marketing progress, this is a great place to start.
General B2B KPIs
1. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC):
- Definition: CAC measures the total cost incurred to acquire a new customer. How businesses choose to define this can change slightly. For example, some businesses will include sales and marketing costs, and some will only be marketing costs. Some will include sales and marketing team members in the cost, and some won't. What matters most if that you align the definition with stakeholders and them commit to it. The CAC is thus measured by dividing the sales and marketing expenses by the number of new customers acquired over a period of time.
- Relevance: Tracking CAC is vital for understanding the cost-effectiveness of your acquisition strategies. It helps marketers allocate budgets efficiently and optimize campaigns for better ROI.
2. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):
- Definition: CLV is a digital marketing formula that estimates the total revenue a business can reasonably expect from a single customer account throughout their entire relationship.
- Relevance: This KPI is essential for gauging the long-term value of a customer, guiding marketing strategies to focus on retaining high-value clients and fostering loyalty. Check out the below Gartner image, from Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): A Critical Metric for Building Strong Customer Relationships to learn how to calculate CLV.
3. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL):
- Definition: MQLs are leads deemed more likely to become customers based on their engagement with marketing efforts. While yes, MQLs are certainly a hot topic among today's marketers, most businesses still use this as a leading indicator to forecast close won deals.
- Relevance: By tracking MQLs, marketers can identify leads at an early stage, allowing for targeted nurturing and alignment with sales efforts.
4. Churn Rate:
- Definition: Churn rate measures the percentage of customers who stop using a product or service over a specific period.
- Relevance: Understanding churn is crucial for retaining customers. A high churn rate signals potential issues in customer satisfaction or product alignment, allowing for timely adjustments.
5. Conversion Rate:
- Definition: Website conversion rate measures the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.
- Relevance: A high conversion rate indicates effective website engagement, translating to successful lead generation or sales. It directly correlates with the impact of your website on the customer journey.
6. Bounce Rate:
- Definition: Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after landing on your web page.
- Relevance: A high bounce rate signals potential issues with website content or user experience. Lowering bounce rates improves the chances of keeping visitors engaged and moving through the sales funnel.
Social Advertising KPIs
7. Click-Through Rate (CTR):
- Definition: Advertising CTR measures the number of clicks received divided by the number of impressions.
- Relevance: A high CTR indicates that your ad resonates with the audience. Tracking CTR helps optimize ad content for better engagement and ensures your advertising budget is efficiently spent.
8. Social Media Engagement:
- Definition: Social media engagement includes likes, comments, and shares on social platforms.
- Relevance: Monitoring engagement provides insights into audience interaction and content performance. It helps marketers tailor their social media strategies for maximum impact.
B2B Content KPIs
9. Content Conversion Rate:
- Definition: Content conversion rate measures the effectiveness of content in converting visitors into leads.
- Relevance: This KPI gauges the impact of content marketing on lead generation. A higher conversion rate indicates content that resonates with the audience, contributing to successful conversions.
10. Top-of-Funnel Engagement:
- Definition: Top-of-funnel engagement tracks interactions with early-stage content.
- Relevance: Understanding how users engage with initial content provides insights into audience interests. It guides content creation and ensures alignment with the broader marketing strategy.
B2B Sales KPIs
11. Sales-Qualified Leads (SQL):
- Definition: SQLs are leads that are likely to become customers based on their interactions with the sales team. These are most commonly defined as any lead who has scheduled or completed a demo with the sales team.
- Relevance: Tracking SQLs ensures a smooth transition from marketing to sales. It helps in prioritizing leads and focusing efforts on those most likely to convert.
12. Upsell and Cross-Sell Rates:
- Definition: Upsell and cross-sell rates measure the success of selling additional products or services to existing customers. This is a foundational priority for customer marketers.
- Relevance: These rates indicate the potential for increasing revenue from existing clients, contributing to overall business growth.
B2B Marketing KPIs You Aren't Measuring
As mentioned earlier, every KPI you decide to measure needs to be relevant to your business goals. Here are a handful of less well known KPIs that could be used to help indicate larger business goals. Work with your stakeholders to determine if any of these are worth tracking.
1. Scroll Depth:
- Definition: Scroll depth measures how far visitors scroll down a page.
- Relevance: This KPI provides insights into content engagement. Deeper scrolls indicate deeper interest, helping marketers understand which parts of the content are most compelling to their audience.
2. Page Load Time:
- Definition: Page load time measures the time it takes for a web page to load completely.
- Relevance: A faster page load time positively impacts user experience, contributing to lower bounce rates and higher engagement.
Social Advertising KPIs
3. Social Share of Voice (SSoV):
- Definition: SSoV measures a brand's share of the overall social media conversation within its industry. To calculate SSoV you'll divide your brand's measures by the total market measures. This could be social mentions, comments, or likes. Then calculate how many mentions, comments, or likes your competitors have. Divide your measures by the total to find your SSoV.
- Relevance: This KPI provides competitive insights, helping marketers understand their brand's position in the social landscape relative to competitors.
B2B Content KPIs
4. Inbound Links:
- Definition: Inbound links measure the number of external websites linking to your content.
- Relevance: More inbound links indicate content authority, positively impacting SEO and driving organic traffic.
5. Average Reading Time:
- Definition: Average reading time measures the average time visitors spend on a piece of content.
- Relevance: Longer reading times suggest content depth and audience engagement, providing insights into the effectiveness of your content.
6. Webinar Engagement Score
- Definition: Webinar Engagement Score measures the quality and quantity of engagement from webinar attendees during a session (or sessions).
- Relevance: Higher engagement indicates intent, making it easier to qualify webinar attendees who may be ready for the next step (such as a sales demo). Webinar engagement is a key KPI in measuring event ROI.
B2B Sales KPIs
7. Deal Velocity:
- Definition: Deal velocity measures the time it takes for a lead to move through the sales pipeline from initiation to closing.
- Relevance: This KPI helps identify potential bottlenecks in the sales process, allowing for optimizations to accelerate deal closure. While marketers may think this is exclusively a KPI for the sales team, deal velocity is also impacted by quality, quantity, and timing of leads sent over from the marketing team.
8. Sales Acceptance Rate:
- Definition: Sales acceptance rate measures the percentage of leads accepted by the sales team.
- Relevance: High acceptance rates indicate effective lead qualification, ensuring sales efforts are focused on promising opportunities.
9. Referral Rates:
- Definition: Referral rates measure the percentage of new business acquired through referrals.
- Relevance: A high referral rate signifies customer satisfaction and loyalty, highlighting the effectiveness of your products or services.
Tools to Track B2B Marketing KPIs
1. Google Analytics: This free tool provides detailed insights into website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. It can help track key metrics such as website visits, bounce rates, and conversion rates.
2. HubSpot: HubSpot's marketing analytics tool provides data on lead generation, email marketing performance, and ROI. It can help track metrics such as leads generated, email open and click-through rates, and marketing campaign performance.
3. Salesforce: Salesforce's marketing cloud offers tools to track marketing campaigns, lead generation, and pipeline performance. It can help track metrics such as lead conversion rates, pipeline velocity, and revenue generated from marketing efforts.
4. Marketo: Marketo's marketing automation platform provides analytics and reporting tools to track campaign performance, lead scoring, and revenue attribution. It can help track metrics such as campaign ROI, lead engagement, and revenue generated from marketing campaigns.
5. Hootsuite: Hootsuite's social media management tool provides analytics on social media performance, audience engagement, and campaign effectiveness. It can help track metrics such as social media reach, engagement rates, and lead generation from social media platforms.
6. Buffer: Buffer's social media management tool offers analytics to track social media performance, audience engagement, and conversion rates. It can help track metrics such as social media post reach, engagement rates, and lead generation from social media campaigns.
7. Demio: Banzai's data-driven engagement webinar platform provides contact level engagement data crucial for qualifying webinar attendees, ultimately allowing you to validate the value of your webinar programming.
In conclusion, measuring B2B marketing KPIs isn't just about data; it's about understanding the story they tell about your business. By choosing and tracking the right indicators, you can propel your marketing strategy to new heights, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your B2B business.
FAQ about B2B Marketing KPIs
Q: What are B2B marketing KPIs?
A: B2B marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are specific metrics used to track and measure the success of marketing efforts in B2B (business-to-business) organizations. These KPIs help in evaluating the performance of various marketing activities and initiatives.
Q: Why are B2B marketing KPIs important?
A: B2B marketing KPIs are important as they provide insights into the effectiveness of marketing strategies, help in setting and evaluating marketing goals, and enable data-driven decision making. They also aid in identifying areas for improvement and optimizing marketing efforts for better results.
Q: What are some important B2B marketing KPIs to measure?
A: Some important B2B marketing KPIs to measure include customer acquisition cost (CAC), marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales qualified leads (SQLs), conversion rate, churn rate, bounce rate, and customer lifetime value (CLV).
Q: How do B2B marketing KPIs help in tracking marketing success?
A: B2B marketing KPIs help in tracking marketing success by providing measurable data on various aspects of marketing, such as lead generation, conversion rates, customer engagement, and revenue generation. By monitoring these KPIs, B2B marketers can assess the impact and effectiveness of their marketing strategies.
Q: How can B2B marketers determine the right KPIs to track?
A: B2B marketers can determine the right KPIs to track by aligning them with their specific marketing and business goals and objectives. They should focus on KPIs that directly impact their business outcomes and reflect the effectiveness of their marketing efforts in generating leads, conversions, and revenue.
Q: What are some uncommon B2B marketing KPIs worth considering?
A: Some uncommon B2B marketing KPIs worth considering include email webinar engagement score, deal velocity, and social share of voice.
Q: How do B2B marketing KPIs help in measuring the success of digital marketing initiatives?
A: B2B marketing KPIs help in measuring the success of digital marketing initiatives by assessing specific metrics related to online activities, such as website traffic, conversion rates, email click rates, social media engagement, and digital advertising ROI. Ultimately, B2B marketing KPIs help marketers evaluate digital marketing ROI.
Q: What role do B2B marketing KPIs play in evaluating the performance of content marketing?
A: B2B marketing KPIs play a crucial role in evaluating the performance of content marketing by tracking metrics related to content engagement, lead generation from content, content conversion rates, and the impact of content on customer acquisition and retention.
Q: How can B2B companies use KPIs to measure the success of their marketing and sales alignment?
A: B2B companies can use KPIs to measure the success of their marketing and sales alignment by tracking metrics that indicate the quality and quantity of leads generated, the conversion rates from leads to customers, and the overall revenue contribution from marketing-driven activities.