The pursuit of the perfect marketing dashboard is a noble one, if not a tad bit quixotic. It’s noble because we marketers must demonstrate the value of marketing not just to ourselves, our CEOs, and the board, but also to the world at large (who otherwise doubt our worth). It’s quixotic in that no two businesses are the same and the purchasing process for many B2B products or services look more like a bowl of spaghetti than a neat linear progression.
Yet, pursue we must, with vigilance, grit, and some smart data geeks. These fine folks will save your bacon, leaving you time to strategize and, if you’re Coupa’s Chandar Pattabhiram, to coin catchy terms like “brand-quisition.” Chandar joined Rebecca Stone of Cisco Meraki and Katie Risch of Centro on a recent livestream where the four of us tried to conjure up, yes, the perfect marketing metrics dashboard. You can decide if our efforts were indeed noble.
See More: Sales Qualified Leads
CMO Rebecca Stone always starts with net new business pipeline: “It really ties you to the Sales team and gives you a reason to align on those priorities from the very beginning. It gives Sales a desire to talk to you.” The goal here is to specifically measure the quantity and/or value of the qualified leads in your sales pipeline. “Net new” refers to prospects that are new to the business. Ideally, Marketing is driving a significant portion of these leads into the funnel and helping Sales pull them all the way through to fruition.
Win More: % of Deals Closed
After getting more deals into the pipeline, CMO Chandar Pattabhiram likes to focus on the percentage of deals closed. This keeps the emphasis on the quality of the leads marketing is generating versus the quantity. Says Chandar, “It’s about effectiveness.” More pipeline doesn’t necessarily equal more revenue. It could just equal more busy work. As such, marketing teams really need to pay careful attention to the win rate of leads they’re bringing into the funnel.
Win Bigger: Size of Deals Closed
Many B2B businesses come to the point at which they are looking to land bigger and bigger customers. These high value customers may take longer to close but because of their size, can have a huge impact on business performance. Once again this puts the emphasis on quality of the lead marketing drives as opposed to the quantity, as here we’re measuring the average size of the potential deal going through the pipeline.
Win Faster: Speed of Deal Closure
How can Marketing help Sales lead those leads to close faster? CMO Katie Risch of Centro suggests hosting a virtual event or some other marketing campaign to push those in the contract stage over the hump. You can get them excited nudge them toward that final handshake, and then you can track it. As Katie explains, “That’s going to require marketing resources, marketing time, so we then track and measure if those customers were more likely to convert than customers who did not participate in the event.”
Win Over: % of Customers Who Advocate
Are you activating your community as much as you’re acquiring new prospects? It’s up to marketers to create a flywheel of advocacy during acquisition, because there’s nothing as effective as a community of customers who will champion your brand and your product (see chapter 8 of my B2B Brand Strategy guide for more on that). Track community engagement across marketing efforts and the number of customers that turn into avid brand advocates and community members—you might be surprised at the number of new business opportunities that arise from a rich and fertile advocacy base.
Reach More: Awareness & Brand Health
There are many intangibles that impact purchase decisions that won’t show up in the above measures. If your “See More” rate drops, then there could be a brand awareness problem. If your “Win More” rate drops, then there could be a brand perception problem. As such, savvy CMOs like to have some other measures out there whether they’re share of PR mentions or more sophisticated ways of brand awareness and health tracking. After all, how will you know if your “brand-quistion” efforts are working if you’re just measuring the acquisition part of your marketing mix?
Do let us know what’s on your marketing dashboard.