Many B2B business leaders consider a marketing team a “nice to have.” When it comes to trimming budgets, it usually isn’t the operations or engineering team that’s cutting back.
It’s time to turn the tide and take control of marketing’s impact on revenue.
Turn Your Marketing Team Into a Revenue Center
To get your C-Suite’s attention, you must translate marketing KPIs to business outcomes and prove that your marketing team is a revenue center — a department that increases profitability or helps grow your client base. But if your current metrics are full of jargon that fails to show exactly how you’re reaching and engaging your buying committee, you need to pivot.
In this guide, we explore innovative marketing metrics that measure revenue impact and how to generate this data. Then, we share how to communicate your success.
Table of Contents
- Transform Your Current Marketing Metrics
- Implement These 4 Revenue-Based KPIs to Show Marketing Impact
- How To Track Revenue-Based KPIs
- Show Correlation Between Pipeline Movement and Marketing Contribution
Transform Your Current Marketing Metrics
Do you currently measure campaign success with common marketing metrics like impressions, clicks and cost-per-click? This data is important for gauging brand awareness and ensuring your campaign is running properly.
But if you find yourself wondering how an impression or click relates to real buyer intent, here are three options to further coordinate your data with revenue goals.
1. Impressions Versus Reach
Most B2B marketers at some point in their careers have asked the question: “How do we know if these impressions are building brand awareness with our target audience?”
An impression tracks each time your ad is displayed. But your C-Suite cares less about how often an ad was shown and more about if the right audience viewed it. Ad reach, on the other hand, tracks the number of people who viewed your ad at least once. Measuring both impressions and reach provides a better picture of how many times your ad was displayed within your target audience.
Takeaway: Track impressions and reach for your campaign KPIs.
2. Clicks Versus Engaged Accounts
In the scope of marketing metrics, clicks are a place to start, but do a poor job of showing real engagement.
That’s because 92% of B2B buyers will research your company, solution or product via search engines versus clicking your ad. The good news is that if your buying committees aren’t clicking, their buying intent signals will be visible through intent data.
To validate and measure beyond clicks, consider measuring engaged accounts, too. If your top-funnel marketing campaign is causing your audience to research you, you’ve engaged them even without click data.
Takeaway: Besides clicks, track your accounts and evaluate their engagement using intent data.
3. Cost-Per-Click Versus Cost-Per-Result
Does your C-Suite care about how much you spent on a click — or how much you spent on a tangible, measurable result? The main difference in measuring cost-per-result compared to cost-per-click is that a “result” is more granular and more meaningful to your business.
Examples include downloading content, signing up for a newsletter, filling out a form or following you on social media.
Takeaway: When presenting marketing metrics to the C-Suite, skip cost-per-click in favor of cost-per-result.
Implement These Revenue-Based KPIs To Show Marketing Impact
Start measuring these four metrics to prove to your C-Suite how your marketing efforts are impacting your company’s revenue.
1. Customer Acquisition Cost
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is an estimation of the total cost it takes to acquire a new customer. It includes all aspects of your sales and marketing expenses, including advertising spend, event marketing, commissions and bonuses, team member salaries and overhead costs.
Data shows that the average B2B SMB spends nearly $1,500 to acquire a new customer, while enterprise B2B SaaS companies spend more than $15,000.
CAC is important because it measures the long-term effectiveness of your sales and marketing strategies. It also gives potential investors an idea of how your business scales over time. If your CAC is trending downward, you know you’re generating market lift and leveraging effective channels for business growth.
2. Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the measurement of how valuable a customer is to your company across the entire customer journey. This goes beyond a single purchase. It represents the total worth of a customer to your business over the course of your relationship.
CLV is often used when building a customer experience program since it’s one of the best metrics to show how customer loyalty impacts your revenue.
How To Calculate CLV
The first step in calculating CLV is understanding your existing customers’ lifetime value by looking back at historical sales data. You can then adapt this data to calculate predictive customer lifetime value to help build your ideal client profile and target account list for account-based marketing initiatives.
Shoot for a 3:1 ratio between your customer lifetime value and customer acquisition cost. For example, if your customer acquisition cost is $10,000, that customer’s lifetime value to your business should be at least $30,000.
When you break down your CLV:CAC ratio, you may find that your acquisition cost and lifetime value numbers are similar. This is an important metric to determine if your business is breaking even or even losing money.
You always want your CLV to be higher than your CAC.
3. Sales Funnel Velocity
Sales funnel velocity — also known as pipeline velocity — measures the rate at which your target accounts move through the sales funnel.
While you probably review your sales funnel often, it’s best to start viewing it from the lens of how accounts have moved stages since the previous month or quarter.
Have your top-funnel efforts driven prospects from an unaware stage to an awareness or engagement stage? And have your middle-funnel efforts been effective at driving demo signups? Sales funnel velocity data answers these questions and helps guide your future sales and marketing strategy.
Plus, if you’re using an account-based approach, you can easily align funnel velocity to “target account progression” for your best-fit accounts.
4. Lead-to-Close Conversions
Lead-to-close conversions measure the combined sales and marketing efforts of converting leads to customers. This metric often uses lead-nurture strategies like retargeting, email marketing and behavior-based nurturing to drive pre-existing leads into marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), then sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and then further down the sales funnel.
However, lead-to-close conversions shouldn’t be confused with lead generation, which focuses on turning prospects into leads in the first place.
Most tactics to improve lead conversion are related to your CRM data. It’s important to understand and track your lead source, company, revenue, employee size, industry and pain points. Once you have a strong idea of which channels your leads are most often coming from and what they’re most engaging with, you can create a lead-nurturing strategy that best fits their buying behavior.
How To Track Revenue-Based KPIs: 3 Strategies
Now that you know which KPIs to track, you need the right processes to collect the data, measure it and communicate it to your C-Suite. Here are three key strategies for putting this into practice.
1. Properly Measure Attribution
Marketers have spent years justifying how the pipeline has been influenced by marketing activities. But simply having the right lead source doesn’t explain the full buyer journey. As B2B marketing increases in complexity, so does marketing’s influence over all funnel stages, not just the first or last touch.
Forrester data shows that 65% of B2B companies surveyed measure marketing-influenced pipeline, and 70% measure marketing-sourced pipeline. While it’s important to have a clear view of marketing’s contribution to pipeline, as your business grows, your team may be less focused on new customer acquisition and more on client retention.
Once you formalize your business growth goals, tailor your sales and marketing attribution accordingly. For example, it may be useful to incorporate additional attribution language into your reports, such as “marketing-influenced” pipeline as well as MQLs. Or, if you’re focusing more on client retention, you could track average customer tenure.
2. Leverage First-Party Data
Retargeting is a great strategy for increasing lead-to-close conversions. However, with the future sunsetting of third-party cookies, advertisers will need to rely more heavily on first-party data for advertising. First-party data is data that is directly collected by your business via your audience, customers and prospects. It can be sourced through declarative methods, like someone filling out a form on your website, or behavioral data, which is tracked through a pixel on your site.
Unfortunately, many B2B companies leave critical first-party data on the table via their website. They spend time and resources driving website traffic, but can’t determine which companies are viewing their site. Leveraging intent data and ABM platforms such as 6sense and Demandbase can help de-anonymize this valuable information — and show your impact on high-priority sales accounts.
3. Clean Up Your CRM
If you’re like other B2B organizations, you likely have completely different processes for how your sales and marketing teams log and report CRM data. It may be painful, but it’s critical to take the time and decide on data quality best practices across all teams who contribute to your CRM.
For example, what firmographic and technographic data is important for bucketing your leads into nurture campaigns to increase lead conversion? When you decide which data is mandatory for accounts and leads, and how often it needs to be updated, your reports will be much more accurate.
Show Correlation Between Pipeline Movement and Marketing Contribution
While you work to transition your current marketing metrics or add new revenue-based options, keep in mind that proving marketing’s impact takes time. It requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure your platforms are tracking this new information, or vetting new platforms if your current ones are less advanced.
You should also consider that some deals require more marketing engagement than others. When you can show that deals with marketing support moved faster and more smoothly compared to those without, you’ll be on your way.
The ultimate goal is to change the conversation from viewing marketing as a cost center to a pipeline supporter — and then a revenue generator.
Unsure of where to start? Connect with Goodway Group’s B2B team for more information on how to implement effective digital media strategies that generate long-term revenue growth.
Katie Hilton is the director of B2B business strategy and development at Goodway Group, bringing a passion for B2B go-to-market strategies. With over 15 years of digital marketing experience, Katie has cultivated a keen understanding of the C-Suite’s benchmarks for marketing success, as well as the importance of aligning marketing with business objectives and revenue teams to drive real business results and campaign ROI. Working across various industries and client types from enterprise SaaS to Series A startups, Katie brings a strong understanding of the B2B digital ecosystem across ABM and other go-to-market strategies, channels, tactics, audiences, tech stacks and budgets, collaborating with the right technology and platform partners to create successful marketing campaigns.
Jason Kenyon is the director of business strategy and development at Goodway Group specializing in the rapidly evolving ecosystem in digital. In his role at Goodway, Jason helps B2B companies reach decision-makers across the funnel and grow their revenue. He brings expertise in strategic sales planning, revenue, new business initiatives, elite client service, and the establishment and growth of the Goodway Group brand name. Prior to joining Goodway, Jason worked in sales and marketing roles at organizations such as CBS and Adtaxi.