With so much B2B marketing energy focused on metrics, metrics, metrics, it’s no wonder that plenty of marketing pros are throwing lots of energy into obsessing over the data. So much of that energy is wasted if you’re measuring the wrong things. You need to focus on revenue-based marketing metrics.
Knowing how many people are visiting your website isn’t that useful unless you also have insight into where they’re coming from and how relevant they are. In a world where 80% of CEOs don’t trust marketers at all, the trend toward revenue-based marketing makes a lot of sense. They don’t want to know how many Twitter followers you’ve amassed. Prove that you’re delivering bottom-line results to demonstrate your value to the business.
Read the Boardroom
To be fair, CEOs have some valid reasons for not being able to see the value of marketing results. Many marketing teams pour their energy into grabbing as many leads as they can—quantity over quality—that may have little or no intent to buy. Clearly, these aren’t leads that contribute to the bottom line.
Build their trust instead by building your brand and growing demand with campaigns that tell your audiences who you are, what problems you solve and what solutions you offer. Buyer-focused campaigns help contribute to better quality leads that you can quantify for improved ROI.
Many of your efforts in the awareness stage won’t generate revenue-based marketing results that you can track. You can’t draw a straight line from, say, a podcast listener or a social media follower to the revenue you’re generating. But these efforts are still valuable in driving direct web traffic and organic traffic that you can monitor.
While they won’t show up in your attribution reports, you can see the channel-sourced revenue. This information can help you learn what is and isn’t working as these early-stage prospects make their way to the things that will demonstrate a clearer correlation to dollars earned.
But when you’re talking to the C-suite, focus on the metrics that demonstrate marketing’s value in terms of revenue generation.
5 Revenue-Based Marketing Metrics
These five revenue-based marketing metrics can help you show them that you’re making a clear impact on sales and the bottom line.
Draw Direct Lines to Revenue
Wherever you can point to the revenue you’ve generated though your marketing activities, you’re making your case. Marketing-influenced revenue plays a good supporting role, but you’re best positioned if you can draw a direct line from inbound marketing opportunities that convert to closed deals. Use attribution reports to compare these numbers to total revenue generated.
Pump Up the Pipeline
When qualified opportunities offer a better-than-20% chance of converting to customers, you’re feeding your marketing-sourced pipeline. Calculate the number of marketing-sourced sales-qualified leads (SQLs) that develop into qualified pipeline to document your conversion rate from SQL to sales-qualified opportunities (SQOs).
Let’s Close a Deal
Prove that marketing is pulling its weight in closing deals by tracking the sales win rate. Divide the percentage of opportunities that have closed by the total number of opportunities in your pipeline. A solid sales win rate will help win over the C-suite (and help build your credibility with Sales at the same time!)
Timing Is Everything
When you have the data to track your sales cycle, you can benchmark the time it takes for a lead to travel through the sales pipeline and become customers. That benchmark can prove valuable for measuring whether your campaigns are helping to shorten that cycle.
At What Cost?
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) tell you how much it costs the business in sales and marketing resources to acquire a customer over a defined period of time. At a basic level, you divide what you’ve spent on sales and marketing over a given time period by how many new customers you’ve acquired. You can do this as an overall calculation or for a specific campaign. For a campaign CAC, divide the dollar amount you spent on the campaign by the number of new customers that campaign generated.
Winning the Numbers Game
Tracking your progress makes good sense, and by all means continue to monitor things like LinkedIn followers and podcast listeners. But when it’s time to talk to the folks in the boardroom, come prepared with the revenue-based marketing metrics that prove how important you are to the business.
Now that you’re already focused on data, you might want to learn how intent data is likely to shape the future of marketing. Content4Demand gathered 10 of the brightest minds in the intent data space to share their perspectives about how and why to integrate intent data with content. Read their tips and insights in The Content + Data Connection.
Holly Celeste Fisk is an accomplished marketing pro with 20+ years of experience in B2B and B2C. She’s responsible for Content4Demand’s internal marketing efforts, managing everything from content creation and email marketing to events and sponsorships, blog publishing, website management and social media presence. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sliding into third at softball, buried in a book or practicing her Italian.