According to the 2019 marketing measurement & attribution survey, 91% of B2B marketers say B2B marketing measurement and reporting is a top priority for their organisation.
This should come as no surprise, B2B metrics are essential.
They can detail an otherwise non-existent picture to company investors of how their assets are performing.
Through analysing key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that show exactly where their ROI lies.
This is the most important metric in the eye of the investor, CEO or CFO.
Money in versus money you can take out (or re-invest.)
The higher the ROI, the greater longevity of the investment.
Although a simple concept, there are a lot of variables involved in calculating ROI, especially across a multichannel B2B environment.
And that’s where B2B marketing measurement comes into play.
Data analytics has become an integral part of the B2B marketing landscape and with the technology available, B2B marketers have an abundance of data right at their fingertips.
Talk about a double-edged sword though.
Having access to all this information can also pose as one of the biggest challenges that B2B marketers face.
Why? Because it’s easy to get lost in the sea of analytics.
Especially when it comes to choosing the right metrics to give the best evaluation and proof of worth to the investors.
To differentiate the important metrics from the not-so-important metrics, it is important to understand how other marketers measure B2B marketing and what are they consider are the top metrics in B2B marketing.
Top Metrics In B2B Marketing Measurement
Before we dive into what these metrics are, we reached out to the B2B marketing community and asked what are the primary metrics they use to measure B2B marketing.
The following are answers we received on our subreddit that highlighted the importance of metrics such as MQLs, SQLs, CPLs, Web traffic metrics etc.
The feedback we received on Quora, showed that Unique Website Visitors and Demo Conversions are also considered key B2B marketing metrics.
This just goes to show that every B2B campaign and key indicators will vary based on the B2B organisation, their goals and industry they’re in.
The following metrics are some of the most important and essential to B2B marketing measurement.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Categorised as warm leads, MQLs are leads that have indicated enough interest to be considered as qualified. But not hot enough to be considered as Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).
Usually, an MQL is a lead that has engaged with your brand through actions like repeat visits to your website, clicking on an ad to find your site, filling out an opt-in form or subscribing to a newsletter.
Or better still, sign up for a product demo.
These are leads that are curious and open to the idea of buying.
They’ve taken the initial step in engaging with your brand.
The intent is there, but to be converted to an SQL, the lead requires more information before pursuing, i.e. whitepaper/case study downloads.
It’s important to note that not all MQLs are equal, all act differently and some will never go any further.
So how do B2B marketers identify “quality” Marketing Qualified Leads?
By defining criteria based on your other leads buying habits.
This can be done by analysing historical buyer behaviour.
B2B marketers can use existing data from previous campaigns to track the path an MQL took to become an SQL.
It’s even possible to find out what successful leads have in common by examining trends such as what ads convert the highest MQLs or what landing pages yielded the highest sign-ups.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
These are much hotter leads that indicate a much stronger intention to buy.
An SQL is a potential lead that has been researched and vetted by the B2B marketing team and pushed through a funnel to the sales team.
During this process, leads are put through a lead scoring system to determine their worthiness as leads or potential customers.
Values are attached based on their behaviour relating to their interest in products or services.
For this methodology to work, B2B marketing teams and B2B sales team need to agree on the criteria and definition of a qualified lead, for the values to mean anything.
Having these values in place allow the marketers to target serious buyers and save the sale team time in following up on the lead.
The faster the follow-up with an SQL, the higher the close rate.
The following is an example by LeadFuze, of how an MQL is moved through a sales cycle from the marketing team and depending on the criteria and actions taken by the lead, converted to an SQL by the sales team.
Now, an SQL is ready for the next stage of the sales process.
They’ve gone past the engagement stage and they’re ready to be converted into a customer.
The collaboration of B2B marketers and B2B sales personnel is vital to the process.
Sales Pipeline Velocity
This metric is another essential indicator in B2B marketing measurement.
It allows the B2B marketer to measure how quickly high-quality leads are moved through the sales pipeline.
From beginning to end.
Time is taken from first engagement to money spent by the lead.
It also allows B2B marketers to gauge how much revenue is generated from individual pipelines.
This can be filtered by duration down to monthly, weekly or daily revenue made which also enables forecasting.
Pipeline velocity is usually measured by calculating the number of quality leads engaged, by lead win rate and money spent.
This is then divided by the amount of time taken to move the lead through the entire sales cycle.
B2B marketers usually rely on their CRM to give them insights into win rates and lead engagement.
There are two ways that B2B marketers can improve their pipeline velocity.
By speeding up the deals that are moving through the pipeline and increasing the number of quality leads.
Which brings us back to highlight just how important the B2B marketing measurement of MQLs and SQLs are.
By ensuring a B2B company has defined exactly what the criteria of a quality lead looks like, eliminates the number of unqualified leads being sent to the sales team.
Which in turn removes leads with zero buyer intent and time wasted.
Thus speeding up the deals in the pipeline and allowing the whole sales cycle to run more efficiently.
How We Measure B2B Marketing
We’ve shown you what other B2B marketers consider are important metrics and practices when it comes to measuring their marketing.
So, now I’m going to give you a look into how we measure the value of our B2B marketing.
If you don’t know what we do, we’re a visitor level multi-touch marketing attribution platform that tracks forms, call tracking and live chat.
We provide marketers with the opportunity to connect their marketing activities to closed-revenue.
Like any other business, we make decisions about our marketing based on it’s potential to drive more revenue.
The process we use to measure marketing also supports how we accurately calculate our ROI, LTV and ROAS.
These are some of the metrics that we consider vital to our B2B marketing measurement.
Return on Investment, Life-Time Value of a customer and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) which is the amount of revenue we receive on ad campaigns.
We use Google Paid ads to drive awareness and opportunities.
So, for this step-through, I’m going to show you how we’d specifically measure the success of our Google ad campaigns.
P.S. if you’d like me to show you how to track and measure the value of another source then send me a direct message and I can take you through it. I’ve left my social icons below for you to reach out.
Anyway, here is a step by step of how we would measure the success of our PPC efforts:
1. Ensure tracking tags are set-up
First things first, before we start to measure the success of our marketing, we need to make sure that any paid traffic coming to our website is tagged correctly.
Google Ads Landing Pages
That way we can see the exact source and other variables associated such as campaigns and keywords. This is commonly done using UTM tags.
2. Track traffic on a visitor level
We ensure that any data is captured on a visitor level so that we’re able to match any sales with the marketing source and measure the value of our campaigns, keywords and landing pages further down the line.
Ruler Analytics Visitor Level Report
More importantly, tracking visitors on an individual level gives us a more accurate look into what pages an anonymous visitor engaged with over multiple sessions before converting into a lead.
3. Track when an anonymous visitor converts into a lead
When an anonymous visitor converts into a lead, we match the user’s details to their individual touchpoints.
A lead could convert either by phone call, form or live chat but we can easily track these mediums using our call tracking and lead capturing software.
Ruler Analytics Call Tracking Report
In the example above, you can see that the visitor converted into a lead by making a phone call. They come through Google Paid using the keyword ‘call tracking’.
Without visitor level analytics, we wouldn’t be able to match our leads with their unique touchpoints.
Tracking the criteria of the converted lead allows us to verify and recognise future quality leads.
4. Send this data to our CRM
We would use internal systems or a webhook to send the conversion details from Ruler Analytics, along with the marketing data, to our desired CRM.
FYI, I previously put together a blog about how marketers are using the CRM to harness data about customers to improve understanding and create better-personalised experiences which you can find here.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
We’re going to send our conversion data to Pipedrive.
This lead has progressed through the Pipeline, although the conversion and marketing data from Ruler Analytics should appear something like this in Pipedrive:
If we were unable to connect with a CRM or application then we could turn to software such as Zapier to help bridge the gap. You can search through their integrations list here to find what you use as a marketing stack.
5. Measuring the true value of our campaigns, channels and keywords
Now that the conversion data is in the CRM, we can see exactly where the revenue is coming from.
Although, this is when it starts to get interesting.
When a sale closes into revenue in the CRM, their details will be transferred back into the Ruler Analytics dashboard.
Our software will then match up the customer with their unique touchpoints, and this will allow us to see how much revenue was generated from each source, keyword and campaign.
Below is a screenshot of our source report. You can see that Google Paid has generated over 1,000 conversions and has led to 2 sales. That said, it’s generated £10,429 in business revenue.
If you look further down, you will see that although email has only generated 123 conversions and has led to 1 sale, it’s still managed to drive £9,462 revenue for the business.
Ruler Analytics Source Report Last-Click Preview
The example above is based on last-click attribution. We can also attribute revenue back to first click. This is specifically useful for channels operating TOFU campaigns.
Ruler Analytics Source Report First-Click Preview
In the past, if we were to look at those figures in Google Analytics it would make complete sense to put the majority of our marketing budget towards Google Paid, as it’s generated the most ‘goals’. We’d probably keep email running in the background but would keep changing our strategy to inspire more goals, even though email is already leading to revenue. We wouldn’t know this as we would be using Google Analytics in isolation.
If we wanted to, we could drill down and attribute value directly to the keyword level.
Ruler Analytics Keyword Report
In the example above, you can see that the keyword ‘call tracking‘ has the highest conversion rate of 6.21% and drives the most enquiries.
Although, the keyword ‘call tracking software‘ only has a conversion rate of 1.12% but has pretty much generated the same amount of revenue as the ‘call tracking‘ keyword despite the difference in enquiries.
This insight is really useful when it comes to allocating budget.
Instead of depending on the number of goals in Google Analytics, we’re optimising our keywords based on how much revenue they’ve generated.
6. Send offline revenue data to the Google Reporting Suite
As previously mentioned, part of our solution is dynamic call tracking. This allows marketing teams to measure the impact of digital marketing on inbound calls.
Side note: if you’re not taken call enquiries into account when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, then you’ve probably got a gap in your insight when it comes to calculating the ROI of your marketing activity.
As you may already be aware, Google Analytics does provide its call conversion tracking.
Although, the issue with Google’s call tracking is that it can’t measure the value of conversions. You can only assign one Google tracking number per landing page and it doesn’t offer call recording or visitor-level metrics. So, you can’t tell which calls from ads led to revenue.
In addition to all this, Google’s website call conversions will only track calls generated from its advertising network. It’s unable to track calls influenced from other traffic sources.
The bottom line here is that Google’s call tracking feature is restrictive. It’s not effective for anyone operating multi-channel marketing.
That said, I’m going to show you how we would send call conversion data to Google Analytics along with the revenue.
Despite being in the SaaS industry, we do get users who prefer to contact us over the phone. So, dynamic call tracking is vital for us when it comes to measuring our marketing success.
In the screenshot in step 3, we saw a visitor convert into a lead by making a phone call enquiry. They converted through the source ‘Google Paid’ using the keyword ‘call tracking’.
We would send this conversion to Google Analytics by setting up a custom goal. Ruler Analytics is an official technology partner of Google, so it’s really easy to set up.
Google Analytics goal setup
I won’t go into the whole setup process here as Alex has already put together a step-by-step on how you can do this. You can read that here.
Anyway, if everything is set up correctly, call conversions from Ruler Analytics should look something like this in the Google Analytics goal overview:
Google Analytics goal overview
Once the lead in the CRM converts into a sale, this data is transferred back into the Ruler Analytics dashboard and then passed onto the Google Analytics reporting suite.
As you can see below, any sales that have been attributed to a Ruler Analytics dynamic number have been allocated closed-revenue.
Google Analytics acquisition report
This is just a basic overview so you can understand how we track our marketing. We do offer live demos of the product and can explain how the integrations work in more detail. As mentioned above, I’ve left my social icons below so you’re welcome to get in touch.
B2B Marketing Measurement Is Vital To B2B Marketers
Today’s ever-changing tech landscape depends heavily on data-driven results and forecasts.
Depending on the goals of your business it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to figure out what data you should (or should not) be analysing for your B2B marketing measurement.
We’ve gone through what other B2B marketers consider as key metrics and we’ve shown you how we measure our B2B marketing here at Ruler Analytics.
It just goes to show that with the right tools in place you can easily track exactly which sources are driving higher levels of revenue. Right down to the very keyword that the customer engaged with.
By measuring all of this B2B marketing data you should be in a better position, moving forward, to apply it to future campaigns. While streamlining your B2B marketing efforts with a stronger certainty based this historical data.