Best Marketing Metrics for B2B Enterprise (software)

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Best Marketing Metrics for B2B Enterprise (software)

For a long time we've been going back and forth on best metrics to help illustrate the health of our funnel from top (new names) all the way through to closed $.  I'm interested what other companies are tracking, first starting with metrics for you executive staff (clearly internally metrics for marketing performance tracking will be more detailed but let's start at the top). 

We are looking at the obvious things like

- Leads (new names)

- MQLs (as determined through automated scoring)

- SQLs (confirmed opportunities)

- SQL $

- Won deals

- Won $

- and associated conversions

We are likely moving toward tracking Sales Ready Leads and Sales Accepted to help us better track throughput at the top of the funnel between marketing/outside sales. But the devil is in the details and it gets a little more complicated with longer sales cycles (for discussion sake let's assume anywhere from 3 months to 18 months).

One example question I have - when you are tracking performance with in a month, do you report on

1. The Leads created, the MQLs created from those leads, the Sales Opps created from those MQLs, etc?  OR

2. The leads created in the month, leads that become MQLs in that month REGARDLESS of when the lead was created, Sales Opps created in the month REGARDLESS of when the lead was created or the lead became an MQL

Another question

3.  are you tracking leads and MQLs as people, and transitioning to companies when you move to SQL?  Or are you tying to consolidate leads/mqls in to companies?

If you've created a dashboard that your executives love (regardless of what tool you use to create the dashboard), I'd love to see some examples to get an understanding of what other marketers in the enterprise b2b space are reporting on.  Also interested in any benchmarks around leads to MQL to SQL conversion rates you're willing to share. 

BTW this was a great article but now 5 yrs old: http://blog.marketo.com/2011/03/here-are-my-secret-methods-for-turning-marketing-leads-into-qualifie...

Thanks in advance

5 REPLIES 5
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Level 5

Re: Best Marketing Metrics for B2B Enterprise (software)

Hi Scott - We track similar metrics minus SQL's with one extra - demo requests - which are auto mql's for us.  However, this is a key revenue stream so we highlight it in particular with very specific goals.  We did start doing sales ready/sales accepted leads initially but had quite a few adoption issues with sales.  Essentially we were pushing for more steps for sales teams to take, when it was hard for them to do even a few.  We scaled back on this and have greater acceptance now of our process.  Sales can transition leads to working or straight to contact.

We report on #2 -  we get a ton of leads of varying quality and really push for very high-quality MQLs.  Thus this can take longer to nurture obviously and we are fine with a slower sales funnel at this stage.  I can of course see why option 1 is valuable though.

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Re: Best Marketing Metrics for B2B Enterprise (software)

Very helpful and Demos (and a separate form of demo call Test Drive) are two things we also track but they are currently stages in the sales funnel.  We actually track demos as confirmation of an SQL, but your recommendation of making this an MQL is very interesting and could solve some of the challenges we've been having, but need to digest more as it relates to our sales cycle.

Good feedback on the "limiting steps" for sales.  Are you doing anything special to stop the kick-backs from sales stating "this lead isn't really qualified"?  Is this a challenge within your organization? 

As for #2, I've recently been leaning this way as well.  The problem I have is those things aren't at all related - so you can't use conversion rates to figure out how many MQLs you'll get in a given month based the same month's lead generation projections.  How do you handle this?

Thanks again.

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Level 5

Re: Best Marketing Metrics for B2B Enterprise (software)

We are spending a ton of time ensuring the quality of MQL's is constantly improving to make sure they are followed up on. This includes gutting and revamping lead assignment, constant evaluation of lead scoring and lots of discussion about the status of lead queues. This is helping instill a bit more confidence in sales teams that leads are worth their time.  We are doing a lot of training explaining how a lead qualifies, that the lead demonstrated considerable interest in our brand to be where they are and to not follow up equals lost revenue.  In our communication, we explain how much each lead and MQL is worth, and how much potential revenue they have in their pipeline if they followed up with each one.  Still not perfect but we are making progress. We also auto recycle leads that haven't been followed up on in a certain period of time and this is drawing some attention as well.  When a manager sees that a lead has been active for months, and has been recycled with no follow-up, the rep has to explain why there hasn't been any communication. 

We look at historic conversion rates and try to maintain or improve them.  Projections are very difficult for us because our content marketing schedule is not the easiest to nail down and it can be very niche or very broad.  Content drives a majority of our leads.  We also just completely redesigned our website for the purpose of lead generation, meaning I have no idea what our numbers will look like once the slower summer months are behind us. Hopefully much higher!  For now, I'm more interested in historic conversion rates for all forms, to mql, to demos and to closed deals than forecasts at this point though I can see probably starting projecting at the end of this year.

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Level 6 - Champion

Re: Best Marketing Metrics for B2B Enterprise (software)

Hi Scott Kendrick​,

We measure the same KPIs, plus MQL source, opportunity source, free trials deployed, email clicks, direct requests (demos, trials), and conversion rates. We have a total of 5 reports that help capture all the KPI information. Definitely a good starting point would be to run an MQL Added Analysis. This will help you see where your biggest sources of MQLs are coming from so you can spend more money in those areas. 

MQL Added Analysis - use an MQL Date Stamp field

Every month we pull all MQLs added measure quantity assigned to each rep, the current status at the end of the month (SQL, Recycle), the lead source, the MQL source. Then we compare month to month.

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Then you can move on and do this will SQls and Opps.

For your first question....

1. The Leads created, the MQLs created from those leads, the Sales Opps created from those MQLs, etc?  OR

2. The leads created in the month, leads that become MQLs in that month REGARDLESS of when the lead was created, Sales Opps created in the month REGARDLESS of when the lead was created or the lead became an MQL

Since we use MQL Date stamp and SQL date stamp fields we can measure it either way. We have a conversion funnel report where we track the # SQLs added, the # MQLs added, the # of trials added, the # of opps added. So we take #SQLs added for August and divide it by the total # of MQLs in our system on July 31st to get out conversion rate. Same for the rest (trials added/sql total, etc.) So, we use method #2.

For your second question.....

3.  are you tracking leads and MQLs as people, and transitioning to companies when you move to SQL?  Or are you tying to consolidate leads/mqls in to companies?

We track MQLs on the lead and contact level, we do this by having the MQL Date stamp on both objects. You could also do this as a campaign then pull campaign results, but the date stamp gives so much more information.  Our preference is to have a lead turn MQL, then converted into a contact & marked SQL, then a trial/opp, then close won. It doesn't always work that way, and some SQLs can get recycled, then work their way to an MQL.

I'm happy to help more! I love the reporting stuff, so let me know if you have any followup questions.

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best Marketing Metrics for B2B Enterprise (software)

Hi Amanda!

Where are you pulling all of your data from to create the KPI reports like the one you show above? Are you pulling that data from Marketo or your CRM or both?

Thanks!

- Jamie