Which Metrics Should Be Eliminated from B2B Marketing and Sales?
The sales and marketing function runs across all kinds of businesses and is continuously evolving. Technology, strategies, and trends never stay the same. This explains why B2B marketing teams are under constant pressure to contribute to a business’ bottom line.
Right now, major B2B marketing efforts include social media (92 percent), e-news (83 percent), online articles (81 percent), blogs (80 percent), and in-person events (77 percent). Marketers must rethink existing metrics if they want to develop a more meaningful relationship to whether the business is succeeding, moving beyond readily available numbers that we usually rely on, such as cost per lead (CPL), impressions, and click-through-rate (CTR).
These vanity metrics provide value to B2B marketers because thousands of views on a particular content mainly represent a considerable part of the target audience for that content. But the truth is, vanity metrics only give the impression of fast growth. They are not as crucial as they appear to be on the surface. That is why you need to eliminate vanity metrics from sales and B2B marketing.
# of Followers
Contrary to popular belief, the number of followers you have on Facebook and Twitter mean zilch. If you have an overwhelming number of Twitter followers, they are most likely bots trying to capitalize on your business’ success rather than prospects hoping for “brand engagement.” On Facebook, clicking the thumbs-up button is not indicative of a sales opportunity. So, stop obsessing over the number of your likes and follows.
For a more accurate measure of the success of your social media strategies, measure converting traffic from social platforms with the right tools. Consider stats like the number of page views and the number of Twitter users who clicked-thru and filled a form.
Also, implement a multi-touch attribution model to understand how your social campaigns generate ROI and compare that to different channels.
# Of Clicks from Your PPC Campaigns
Do you value PPC campaigns based on leads generated? Then you have it all wrong because that hardly tells you anything about the campaign’s actual ROI.
Start counting the opportunities sourced by your business’ PPC campaign. Create a comprehensive report to get a better idea about quality. Get a better idea about how much revenue the campaign influenced by measuring ROI with a multi-touch attribution model.
Use a weighted sales pipeline to depict a realistic scenario of your sales pipeline’s overall value. Acknowledge that not all opportunities lead to a sale. Remember, a detailed sale forecasting method assigns a value to each deal based on its current position in the sales funnel.
# of Visitors/Badges Scanned in Events
Events get a bad rep of offering less-than-satisfactory ROI at a higher price point. But that’s mainly because marketing teams measure the success by the number of badges scanned and opportunities generated. If you start labeling your metrics, you’ll be shocked to know that most leads from events end up being individuals interested only in the free goodies.
It is better to track how many meetings the sales team attended with current prospects during the event. The true value of events is mid-funnel. With a first-touch attribution, events tend to be undervalued. But monitoring funnel progression based on event touches indicates how many existing prospects move further along the sales funnel due to the event touch.
Most B2B marketers use form completions as a way to generate new leads. But this is a weak buying signal. In most cases, a person filling out a form on your site is not expressing interest in purchasing your product. They are merely indicating interest in the content behind the form. Moreover, form completions do not give you any data about the quality of the incoming leads.
Try using the SQLs sourced by the online forms to show that not only are you drawing qualified leads, but those parties want to interact with someone in your company.
Find out how much sales pipeline got touched by your forms at any stage in the funnel through multi-touch attribution. This provides a better idea about your demand waterfall and offers complete visibility about the way web forms source new leads and effect prospects already on the buyer’s journey.
Search Engine Ranking
Paying attention to just the search engine page rank is the wrong way to go about your content marketing efforts. Search rankings provide a false measurement since Google’s algorithm updates ensure that two people won’t see the same results.
Take the example of iCustomLabel; it ranks on the 1st page of Google Search results for “water bottle labels” you’d see it scores much better on user reviews (rated 4.74 after 900+ reviews on reviews.io), and has a lot higher Facebook following than most of the competing websites that may have a higher search engine rank.
Also, the search engine ranking pages have almost no effect on the quality or quantity of traffic, not even revenue. The matter is complicated by the fact that Google offers little keyword data in their analytics, making it difficult to determine which keywords are effective.
Organize your website’s landing pages by themes and monitor the ones receiving the highest amount of organic traffic. This provides a better idea about the topics that resonate with your target audience and bring in satisfactory results.
Tag your campaigns and content by topic. Measure them by revenue or pipeline influenced, and take decisions on what themes to invest in depending on the outcome.
Time’s Up for Vanity Metrics
Yes, vanity metrics are great for making B2B marketers and sales teams look good at the next board meeting. Plus, they are useful for charting the course of the business. But if marketers wish to take analytics seriously, they should not only report on data.
To be truly data-driven, they must use the data to drive decisions that lead to pipeline and future revenue. Unless you realize the impact of marketing on sales, you will miss out on a big opportunity to stay on top of your campaign ROI.
Ad campaign impressions are great, but they should not come at the cost of meaningful sales results. Focus on measuring what actually matters to your business to show your value as a B2B marketer. This will also help you collaborate more effectively with different business units and drive higher attributable revenue for your organization. Not only will you win more, but you will be aware of why and how you’re winning.