Top 5 reports on marketing metrics all B2B marketing leaders should have

What you will learn:

Being one of the largest cost centers in modern B2B businesses, marketing has been and always will be experiencing the pressure to demonstrate its impact on the top line number and prove it with data. In this blog post we’re providing you with actionable insights into the key marketing metrics and giving you templates that will help you look great in the eyes of your executive team or even board of directors. Our recommendation would be to look at these reports and templates as if they’re integral parts of a single story.

1. Snapshot analysis – funnel view report

If there was only one slide with marketing metrics that I would be able to provide to the CEO or Board or Directors, or anyone else to help them understand what’s going on in my marketing department this month/quarter/year (m/q/y), I would rely on that one report.

Key questions addressed by the report:

  1. How effective is our marketing department is in terms of traffic and top-of-the-funnel lead generation, lead nurturing and pipeline creation? How do the numbers in this m/q/y compare to the similar time frames in the past?
  2. What are the current conversion rates at all levels of the funnel: visitors-to-leads, leads-to-MQLs, MQLs-to-SALs, SALs-to-SQLs?
  3. What’s the marketing`s contribution to the company`s total bookings for the current m/q/y?
  4. How much marketing-sourced bookings we’ve got in this m/q/y?
  5. Is marketing hitting their m/q/y goals?

2) Dynamics analysis – trailing 12-months report

Compared to the snapshot report, this one doesn’t provide a good way of seeing how the lead generation’s going and whether marketing team is hitting their m/q/y goals or not. But, some finance experts that I’ve dealt with in my career have been persistently begging for this particular type of report. The key here is that the report provides view of the MQL-to-Opportunity trends normalized over the last 12 months – one of the most crucial marketing metrics you should be tracking.

Key questions addressed by the report:

  • How does a growth of MQLs translate into the pipeline growth – is there strong positive correlation?
  • Have there been specific point in time when the efficiency of sales and marketing went up or down? If yes, then why?
  • How many MQLs do we need to hit our top line bookings number next year?

3) Velocity analysis report

Most B2B businesses have sales cycles that are quite different from those found in B2C world. In the software business they vary from 15 to 365 days depending on the size of the organization you’re dealing with, the complexity of the procurement process and on so many other factors… It is utterly important though that as a marketing leader you are looking at the three key velocity metrics indicating the length of your sales cycle. And not only are you looking, but also making decisions based on the numbers that you’re seeing.

Key questions addressed by the report:

  • On average*, how long does it take to convert MQL into SAL?
  • On average*, how long does it take to convert SAL into SQL and bookings
  • Is our average sales cycle speeding up of slowing down?

*Always use the “median average” formula in your calculations and never the “mean average”. I am not going to focus too much on the reasons to that since there are plenty of answers online, but I’ll just mention that mathematically you’ll get much more accurate results if you follow that advice.

4) Pipeline and bookings analysis by marketing channel - 90/180/365 days report

This report on ROI by marketing channel is my personal favorite since it’s so easy to understand. You can see how the inner circle for the reports on the left and right is the same. It’s the “Spend circle” indicating how much money was spent on marketing channels within 90, 180 or 365 days. The outer circles are different – these are “Pipeline circle” and “Bookings circle” representing the amount of pipeline and bookings generated by marketing channels.

In the example below the reports would highlight snapshots based on the “Time frame”, which is 90, 180 and 365 days of data. The reason for that is we should always give MQLs enough time to convert into SALs, SQLs, pipeline and bookings in order to be able to accurately identify the effectiveness of marketing investments. My recommendation would be to take your company`s average sales cycle and define the minimum and maximum time frames for your specific case.

Key questions addressed by the report:

  • What are the marketing channels that are contributing to the pipeline and bookings the most?
  • What are the least effective marketing channels and are investments there necessary or not?
  • In general, are the marketing investments effective and what’s the ROI of each channel?

5) MQL touch rate analysis report

Like in any other business unit, there are good and bad problems to solve if you are in Marketing. The worst problem to solve is when you and your team have hit the sealing and have been missing your MQL goals for a few quarters – not fun. Quite opposite to that is the problem of low MQL touch rate. What this ultimately means is that you are generating MQLs and they are simply staying untouched by the Sales organization. Remember though, that finger pointing is never a good idea. Therefore, if you have been able to produce a report on MQL touch rate and you’re seeing that more than 10% or your MQLs are untouched, you should have an open discussion with the leaders of the sales organization. The recommendation here would be to collaborate with Sales to detect and solve the issue. In my professional career as a marketing leader I’ve seen things like poor lead routing and other process-related issues affecting the ability of sales people to actually see the MQLs they needed to see to start qualifying.

Key questions addressed by the report:

  • Do we have enough MQLs to keep our sales team busy?
  • What’s the percentage of the MQLs that are not being qualified by the sales organization? Why is that the case?
  • Are any of the leads stuck?

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