7 items tagged "metrics"

  • 5 Essential metrics for B2B marketing

    5 Essential metrics for B2B marketing

    In today’s technology and data-driven landscape, marketers are under constant pressure to prove the value of their efforts. But with the amount of data and analytics we have access to, it can be difficult to differentiate between the important marketing metrics and the not-so-important marketing metrics.

    If you’re struggling to report on the success of your marketing campaigns, we’re here to help. 

    Today we explain the five most important B2B marketing metrics. Keep reading.

    Lead-to-close conversion rate (CVR)

    All too often, marketing teams spend too much time worrying about the number of leads they generate, and not enough on the quality of the leads. A steady stream of sales and marketing leads is important, but unless these people eventually purchase from you, they don’t provide much value.

    Lead-to-close conversion rate measures the average percentage of leads that end up becoming actual customers. The natural way to calculate this marketing metric is to divide the number of sales made in a specific time period, by the number of leads generated within that same time period. So, if your organization made 15 sales the first quarter, but generated 100 leads, your ;ead to close conversion rate would be 15%.

    However, the average sales cycle can take weeks or even months. Meaning, a lead you generate this November may not become a customer until next November.

    That being said, simply calculating conversion rate by time period won’t give you a true indication of how well your programs convert. Here’s an alternative: look back to the same time the year prior, and determine how many leads were generated in one month. Then, determine how many of those leads then converted into customers throughout the year. Lastly, divide the number of customers, by the original number of leads to retrieve your conversion rate.

    When CVR is calculated and monitored on a regular basis (i.e. monthly) it can also provide insight into the lead-quality your programs produce. For example, when your lead-to-close rate is high for a particular campaign or initiative, you can prioritize your time and resources accordingly. If your lead-to-close rate is low for a particular program, you can make the necessary changes to attract better leads.

    Initial customer acquisition cost (CAC)

    Another important marketing metric is your customer acquisition cost. This metric indicates how much your organization must spend to successfully secure one customer.

    This metric is easy to calculate: simply take all sales and marketing costs from one period of time and then divide that by the number of new customers acquired within that period.

    Executives consider their organizations CAC as an indicator of performance and efficiency. When your calculations are consistently low, your executives can assume that your sales and marketing teams are operating efficiently. But, if CAC spikes quarter after quarter, it can indicate an issue.

    For more granular results, try calculating the CAC by program, campaign, or initiative. These numbers can help you prioritize projects and scale your success.

    Marketing percentage of your CAC

    Another marketing metric to monitor is the marketing percentage of your CAC. Again, this is another simple formula to calculate. Take your marketing spend for a specific time period and divide by the number of new customers generated within that time period.

    This calculation reveals your marketing team’s impact on the overall CAC, and can be used to help make better sales and marketing decisions. Naturally, a lower number here is preferable. If your marketing CAC is high, it indicates one of two issues:

    • Your marketing team is spending ineffectively.
    • Your sales team is not performing well.

    Tracking this metric over time will demonstrate how each team is improving.

    Marketing originated customers

    This marketing metric identifies the percentage of new customers acquired as a result of marketing initiatives. This proves the ROI of your efforts. And more importantly, can help reassure your team that their efforts are paying off.

    Again, this metric isn’t hard to find as long as you track lead source. Take the number of customers that originated from a marketing initiative, and divide it by the total number of customers acquired within the same time period. Obviously, the higher the percentage the better.

    Marketing influenced customers

    In an ideal world, all customers would originate from your marketing team’s initiatives. Sadly, this is not the case. But that doesn’t mean that your efforts didn’t help move them along the buyer’s journey. Even if your programs didn’t generate the lead, your marketing team can still have a hand in closing a sale through educational content and nurture programs.

    This metric is not unlike marketing originated customers, but it goes one step further. To find this number examine the leads converted within a given time period. Then, determine how many of those leads interacted with your marketing efforts at some point. After that, once you divide by the total number of converted leads, you’ll have the percentage of marketing influenced customers.

    B2B Metrics: key takeaways

    The key to marketing success lies in your ability to understand how your efforts contribute to your organization’s bottom line. Once you prove the value of your initiatives, your team will receive well-deserved credit.

    Author: Krysta Williams

    Source: Zoominfo

  • 9 Metrics to measure the impact of your product marketing

    9 Metrics to measure the impact of your product marketing

    Measuring the impact of product marketing is an ongoing process for many organizations. Some product marketers have found it hard to quantify their efforts and tie it to business impact. The truth is, product marketing has a significant impact on business, for both B2B and B2C companies. In fact, product marketing has an impact on the ultimate KPI - revenue. 

    We’ve asked B2C marketing leaders which product marketing metrics are critical to their strategy. Let’s take a look at nine KPIs, covering overall business impact, customer acquisition metrics, and qualitative metrics, from B2C marketing leaders. 

    Key business metrics 


    One of the toughest metrics to measure, but one of the most important metrics, is revenue. Tying your product marketing efforts to revenue is incredibly important. There are a few ways you can go about tying product marketing to revenue, and you can also measure that impact year over year by setting a growth goal for your team.

    “At the end of the day, product marketing is in charge of making a product commercially successful. It's a great idea to track other metrics like close rate, cost per acquisition, and churn rate, but revenue should be your ultimate metric for gauging success. Not only do we track our revenue hourly against the previous year and our goal of 15% growth year-over-year, we meticulously document it by site and medium. This enables us to quickly identify the problem when sales are down and react accordingly.”

    -Joseph Piñeiro, Product Marketing Manager, 360training

    Sales conversion rate

    It’s important to measure traffic and CPA, but it’s also important to measure the conversion rate from visit to customer. This will tie into CPA, CAC (customer acquisition cost), and overall revenue. 

    “Yes, the traffic to your site might increase week over week or month over month, and your lead generation might be up 50% from last year. However, if the sales conversion generated from all these marketing successes aren’t so great, then we have a problem. It’s very important to measure our overall sales conversion rate right from how a prospect first become aware of your business through to the actual purchase. Measure each campaign’s contribution to actual revenue."

    -Mike Khorev, Growth Marketing Consultant 

    Launch impact

    When it comes to product launches, there are many KPIs you can be tracking. Depending on the scope of your launch, whether it be a feature launch or a complete product launch, you can look at these two metrics - feature impact on conversion rate, and product impact on customer value. These metrics will help you understand how new features impact conversion and how new product releases impact the overall value your customers are receiving from your offerings. 

    Feature impact on conversion rate

    “The primary goal for many new features launched on an ecommerce website is to increase the conversion rate. At minimum, a feature should not decrease the website's conversion rate. The exact metric could be specific to the part of the customer journey where the feature lives (e.g. increase in new registrations), or the website's overall conversion rate. We typically run an AB test to measure the feature's impact on conversion rate, which isolates the impact of the feature, rather than looking at overall conversion rates or a before-and-after analysis.” 

    Product impact on customer lifetime value

    “If we are launching an entirely new product, then it's very important for us to understand the product's impact on customer lifetime value. In other words, we want to understand if the new product has a positive impact on the overall value customers receive from our portfolio of products and services. It takes longer to measure changes in lifetime value, and the analysis is more complex, but it's an ideal north star metric. Typically, we'll use a 10% hold-out group for this analysis.”

    - Bruce Hogan, CEO, SoftwarePundit

    Customer acquisition & retention

    Cost per acquisition (CPA) 

    As you invest more in your marketing efforts, you want to measure your CPA, so that you can learn where to pivot in your paid strategy. 

    “The most important product marketing metric for us is the CPA or cost per acquisition. It tells us how effective our marketing efforts are compared to the number of new customers we get. In other words, if our cost per acquisition is too high, it means that our current marketing efforts are too expensive for the customers that we can get. Furthermore, that means that we need to focus on channels that are less expensive and have a better ROI. If you have an excellent product and a great lifetime value, it won’t matter much if your initial cost to acquire your customers is too high."

    - Adam Hempenstall, CEO and Founder, Better Proposals

    Attribution modeling

    Customers often take a non-linear path to conversion, and can interact with many of your campaigns, products, and content. Attribution modeling helps you get visibility into how each of those steps in their lifecycle are impacting your end goal.

    "It's important to know where your customer acquisitions are coming from. Usually you are using more than one marketing channel to acquire customers. Knowing and tracking which channel your conversion came from is called attribution modeling. For example, to market my app, I might have digital ads, billboards, a snazzy storefront, a website, social media accounts, and a great app store profile. Which of these is the most effective at getting me new customers? This is tricky because you often have to pull data together from various sources and reconcile differences in numbers. However, with a strong attribution system in place you will know where to allocate your time and other resources to more effectively build and market your brand."

    - Claire Shaner, Product Marketing Manager, ZooWho

    Subscription metrics

    Of course, you want customers to buy your product or service. But you also want to encourage a long-term relationship rather than a one-time purchase. If you offer subscriptions, measuring the lifecycle of your subscriptions can give you insight into the value, customer satisfaction, and churn rates. 

    “Subscription sign-ups is the most important thing for B2C companies conducting business online, because it represents recurring revenue. Anyone can buy a product once to try it, but signing up for a subscription is a measure of loyalty to the company, and carries a much higher customer lifetime value. It's for these same reasons that angel investors and VCs put so much weight on subscription metrics.”

    - Calloway Cook, President, Illuminate Labs

    Time on page

    Knowing where customers come from and if they purchase your product or service is highly important. But, it’s also important to measure engagement through metrics like time on page. If you notice a drop on certain pages, maybe it’s time to tweak your messaging. 

    "Time on page is extremely important. It's one thing if a click-bait ad pushed a bored Internet user into visiting your website. It's another thing entirely if an interested, potential customer is engaged while scrolling through your webpages. If you can follow their journey through a number of pages, and exit page, all the better! Time on page will tell you if you have a potential customer to re-target, or a bored phone zombie you should exclude from your next ad campaign."

    - Morgan Taylor - CMO,  LetMeBank

    Customer feedback

    Voice of the customer 

    No one knows the impact of your product better than your own customer. Your customers can act as an extension of your product marketing team. You should use their voice and sentiment as a way to measure your product marketing success. 

    “In any marketing you're only guessing until you talk to your customer and know what they want. Some important questions to ask your customer are things like, How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend? or What do you like most about the product? or What do you like least about the product? Getting input from your customer gives you direction. You can make this into a metric like the number of customers we talked to about this decision.”

    - Claire Shaner, Product Marketing Manager, ZooWho

    Measuring the impact of your product marketing efforts can help you shape future projects,launches, and share results with your key stakeholders. When measuring your product marketing activities, be sure to cover a wide range of metrics from customer feedback to sales numbers to website activity. The more you measure, the more insight you have into the impact of your business. 

    Author: Emily Dumas

    Source: Crayon

  • Applying Market Intelligence in six steps

    Applying Market Intelligence in six steps

    A marketing intelligence process is like the third-eye which allows you to see all that is happening in the market. It’ll allow you to reach your target audience, learn new business tactics, understand why market leaders succeed and what they do that makes them successful, in addition to identifying trends, even the ones which aren’t so obvious. Here’s how you build a market intelligence process in 6 steps.

    1. Identify your competitors

    This seems like a simple enough step, but all is not as it seems. You likely have a good grasp on who your direct competitors are, but do you know who your indirect competitors are? Your direct competitors sell or market the same products as your business, and while indirect competitors might not do that, they still compete with your business. For example, let’s say your product is an energy drink, then your direct competitors are other organizations that sell energy drinks. However, your customer might just as easily choose a carbonated beverage instead of an energy drink, which makes the organization producing that beverage your indirect competitor. You can identify direct and indirect competitors through some market research, customer feedback, and monitoring online portals. And, of course, you can (and should) use market intelligence to do that. Once you’ve identified both your direct and indirect competitors, you can move on to deciding the metrics you wish to measure.

    2. Choose the metrics you wish to measure

    The metrics an organization chooses to measure depend on their goals, and the strategies they deploy to achieve that goal. Organizations generally fall in two categories - ones that are brand-focused, and others that are performance-focused. Brand-focused organizations give more weightage to the aspects of their brand, their category, and their competitors. Performance-focused organizations, on the other hand, give more weightage to demand generation, and their sales efforts. Naturally, it is these respective metrics that they should focus on to gain a competitive advantage.

    Brand-focused organizations should measure and pay attention to metrics such as brand advocacy, affinity, appeal, association, awareness, loyalty, perception, personality, reputation, recall, preference, strength, sentiment, salience, trust, usage and of course, competitors’ performance & tactics. Pay special attention to the kind of content your audience likes. They should use market intelligence to continuously collect information pertaining to these metrics, and deliver them to their marketing teams in the form of daily alerts and weekly or monthly reports.

    Performance-focused organizations should measure and pay attention to critical sales metrics such as their competitors’ annual recurring revenue, sales budget, average revenue per user, win rates, conversion rates, acquisition channels, sales tactics, and the like. A market intelligence process that allows your sales team to constantly be aware of these metrics should be put in place. Integrating your sales enablement tool to your market intelligence system is a great way to streamline things in this case.

    3. Understand how to use market intelligence effectively

    In 2021, almost every business uses market intelligence in some form or another. From a small company that does basic or unstructured research using the internet on their target market and competitors, to huge enterprises that pay millions of dollars for data on their competitors and the markets. Neither of these organizations is using market intelligence effectively. In fact, 50% of organizations don’t know how to use M&CI properly in decision-making. When an organization creates a market intelligence process, there are 3 things they should look out for to ascertain its ROI.

    - Data costs

    - Labor costs

    - Cost of poor decisions

    Now, the company that does basic research has no data cost, as surfing the internet costs nothing. Little to no labor costs are incurred, as there’s no team of analysts decoding data that is fetched. However, the cost of poor decisions is probably immense, which is why this company is still a small company even after being in the market for a long time.

    On the other hand, the enterprise-sized organization is paying through their noses for data, labor costs to analyze that data are probably high too, as the organization likely has teams of analysts for this specific job. However, their cost of poor decisions is really low, which explains why they are an enterprise-sized business. They do, however, hemorrhage money in labor and data which could be saved with a more effective MI process.

    A balanced approach would be to use a market intelligence software, which will incur moderate data costs, incur moderate labor costs as a modest amount of analysis is required, while saving you from the cost of poor decisions entirely.

    4. Perform a market and competitive analysis

    The next step would be to perform a market and competitive analysis. Using the insights gleaned from your MI process, design a market and competitive analysis that can be shared with your organization’s stakeholders for easy interpretation. Bear these things in mind when doing so:

    - Provide a context
    Not everyone in your organization may be used to understanding how numbers and visual representations in the analysis work. Next to every statistic in the analysis, provide some context about what these insights mean for the organization, whether good or bad. Adding a benchmark to measure statistics would be a good idea too.

    - Provide recommended actions
    Statistics in themselves are no good if you or your stakeholders don’t know what to do with them. Every statistic is either an opportunity or a threat that must be taken advantage of or dealt with. Describe a plan of action as to what should be the appropriate response to every statistic you put in your analysis.

    - Provide Proof
    Although your stakeholders are not going to doubt the information you put in the analysis, it is always better to furnish them with specific resources for better understanding. Also, they might have to explain it to a customer, client, or another stakeholder in the future, so an attached resource to any statistic or a methodology on how you reached a conclusion is a must.

    - Keep it short
    The stakeholders in your organization, particularly the leadership, are busy people who have a schedule to stick to. Lengthy analyses that take hours to comprehend will waste their valuable time, and more likely not be paid adequate attention to. So skip the granular details, and provide information that can be quickly consumed and understood.

    Keeping these things in mind when designing a market and competitive analysis will ensure your organization makes the most of it.

    5. Deliver market intelligence throughout the organization

    To ensure that market intelligence is utilized effectively throughout the organization, certain things need to be taken into consideration.

    - It gets to the right stakeholders

    - It gets to them in a timely manner

    - It is easy to understand

    Doing all of this requires figuring out an appropriate delivery process. Doing this manually is labor-intensive and prone to faults, even if you use a CMS. Markets are highly-dynamic, and the number of insights you get each day, each week and each month can be overwhelming. Then there’s the question of turning them into daily insights as well as weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly reports for the stakeholders to understand the trends better. Finally, you need to send them to the right stakeholders. Not difficult, but laborious.

    6. Transform insights into action

    The goal of market intelligence is for a business to be able to make smart and strategic decisions with the information it provides. This generally means more sales, better products or services, a larger market share, more customers, more brand awareness within the target audience, in addition to other business objectives the organization might have. For this to happen, intelligence, strategy and action need to have a direct link, in order to be defined as a process. Organizations need to establish this link on their own, as market intelligence is just one piece of the puzzle. The process should ideally look like this:

    - The market intelligence process provides insights

    - Those insights are given a context by your market intelligence team, if you have one, or by the stakeholders themselves in case you don’t

    - The information is translated into specific business questions, that need to be answered with strategies

    - Strategies should be formulated after determining the best course of action in the present and future market landscape

    - These strategies should be communicated to everyone involved in their execution

    - Actions should be taken based on these strategies

    If you follow this process from insight to action accurately, the results will speak for themselves.


    Today’s world is data-driven, and organizations that use a market intelligence process are able to take full advantage of it. Similarly, an inefficient market intelligence process, or worse no process at all, can quickly become a burden on an organization. The market intelligence process described above will hopefully give you some ideas on how to set up a similar system for your own organization, and enable you to be more competitive. Another option that can prove be invaluable, is hiring an external Market Intelligence team specialized in the ins and outs of the MI process.

    Author: Malay Mehrotra

    Source: Contify

  • Gaining real value for you company with data analytics

    Gaining real value for you company with data analytics

    Experienced business managers know that reliable data is a requirement for success. Accessing complete and accurate data can help your team determine if your business is achieving its key performance indicators (KPIs).

    Data analysis is one of the most valuable practices for measuring business performance in today's competitive market. If you’re unable to gain a clear understanding of your business through data analysis, chances are you’re working within an outdated and limited data analysis reporting system.

    Regardless of your sector, having access to timely, quality data means the difference between generating static reports and generating true business intelligence (BI) that conveys critical information about your business.

    If you’re looking to get more out of your data and ensure your team is making decisions based on comprehensive reports that tell the whole story, consider taking your reporting and analysis in a new direction by implementing the following practices:

    Maintain a single source of truth

    When it comes to data analysis and producing accurate reports, accessing consolidated data is one of the biggest pain points facing businesses today. The next time you touch base with your finance and IT team, ask them how many data sources that have to manually add together to generate reports. Chances are that’s a job within itself.

    This silo-based data system may have worked well when your business was starting out; however, as a business expands and its needs become more complex, outdated solutions could easily stand in the way of profit.

    For many teams, it’s often only a matter of time before there are multiple versions of one spreadsheet being passed around among colleagues, compromising data integrity. A single, modern platform can ensure your data is processed in a seamless, efficient environment that keeps everyone on the same page.

    Aim for real-time data 

    Staying competitive means understanding your business and the needs of your customers in real-time. When it’s time to run reports, where do they, and the team, have to go to access all of that data? Is your finance team searching for data, and making corrections along the way, instead of meeting deadlines and producing up-to-date, dynamic reports?

    Fast access to data means having the ability to collect and analyze critical data on demand. Enterprise Resource Planning systems are an excellent way to store data and plenty of businesses may already have a  reporting system in place that “just works".

    Of course, the job gets done, but consider that keeping your data in ERPs may also be preventing access to the full power of data analytics. This is the difference between actionable data that your team can analyze and use to generate business intelligence and static data that doesn’t reflect your business's current state.

    KPIs vs. metrics

    When it comes to KPIs vs. metrics, it's important to know what you’re measuring and what you’re missing. Every industry has specific metrics that business managers must pay close attention to in order to understand whether their business is succeeding. Different reports detail P&L, customer information and sales. A single spreadsheet can contain valuable information about a business.

    However, some business managers may not realize that they are missing the opportunity to perform deeper data analysis beyond preparing financial statements simply because they lack the most modern tools that can show them how their whole business is performing.

    Once you have a more accurate picture of your business, you and your team may decide it’s time to reset your KPIs. New intelligence could mean new goals.

    Redefine collaboration

    Over the past year, countless businesses have had to switch gears, moving into a full telework environment. Automation can help your business overcome the limits of this environment where resources may also be stretched thin.

    Most managers would agree: Scrambling to find missing data at 5 p.m. is not putting your team’s collective experience and skills to good use. Instead, hand that work over to a platform so your team can focus on collaboration and find new synergies between departments. Revisit workflow with your team to gain a better understanding of where the barriers lie.

    Aim for a truly inclusive workflow that encourages all team members to contribute rather than solely relying on a few people who seem to hold the secrets to generating reports only the finance team can fully understand and utilize.

    By capitalizing on the subject matter expertise of your individual team members across your organization, business managers can use data to gain a clear picture of not only your P&L through financial statements but also your company’s potential for growth.

    Source: Phocas Software

  • How to Benchmark Your Marketing Performance Against Your Competition's

    160225-Man-Painting-Coloured-Arrows-115378220In today's digital marketing world, competitive intelligence often takes a back seat to all the key performance indicators (KPIs) on which marketers are focused—open rates, social engagement metrics, lead-to-sales opportunity conversion rates, etc.

    That inward focus on how well you are doing with your revenue-driving marketing tactics is critical. But it can lead you to celebrate the wrong things. Don't let your KPIs overshadow the importance of knowing exactly how your digital marketing strategies are performing in relation to your peers who are competing against you in the market.

    If you forget to look at the bigger picture, you'll miss a perspective that, well, separates the best marketers from the mediocre ones.

    You can easily keep tabs on how your campaigns measure up against others in your industry without hiring an expensive third-party research firm. Of course, there may be times when you do need customer research and use a fancy detailed matrix of your competitors for in-depth analysis for identifying new products or for market sizing.

    But I'm talking about a quick and easy dashboard that measures you, the marketer, against your competitors.

    Why Spy?

    Competitive intelligence helps you...

    • Increase your chances of winning in the marketplace
    • Shape the development of your digital marketing strategy
    • Create a strategy for new product launches
    • Uncover threats and opportunities
    • Establish benchmarking for your analytics
      Most businesses do not have the luxury of having a dedicated employee, let alone a dedicated team, to gather and analyze gobs of data. However, you can easily track basic KPIs to inform decision-making at your company.

    Having analyzed the digital marketing strategies of numerous companies of various size and in various industries, including e-commerce, SaaS, and travel companies—and their competitors—I suggest the following for benchmarking.

    Website Performance Metrics

    To track the performance of a website, gather data from sites such as SEMRush, Pingdom, Similarweb, and Alexa. While that data is not always accurate when you compare three or four competitors at once, you can spot trends.

    Important metrics to monitor include the following:

    • Website visits: The average number of visitors per month can easily size up how popular you and your competitors are.
    • Bounce rate and site speed: Correlate these two metrics. That's how you can determine whether you need to make changes to your own website. For example, if your website has a high page-load time compared with your competitors, that will impact your page rankings, bounce rate, and overall customer satisfaction.
    • Geographic sources of traffic: Look at what percentage of visitors comes from what regions. That's critical if your company plans to expand beyond its current geographical presence. It will also allow you to spot global opportunities by finding gaps in distribution when looking at all competitors.
    • Website traffic by channel: See where your competitors choose to spend their time and money. For example, a company that has a higher percentage of visitors from email probably has a large prospect database. If you look at their website, you can examine how they collect data for their email marketing programs. Are they getting website visitors to sign up for newsletters or special offers? If not, they may be purchasing prospect data from a data provider. You can adjust your own strategy to ramp up marketing campaigns in areas where your competitors are not actively engaging prospects, or to increase spending in areas where they are outperforming you.

    Benchmarking reports from industry research reports are also helpful for tracking average open, click-through, and conversion rates.

    By putting together your newly found competitor insight and your own metrics, including your past performance, you can establish your own benchmarking.

    Mining for More Data

    Where are your competitors spending their advertising budgets? How are they using social media and PR? What jobs are they posting? Those answers are not hard to find, and they provide powerful insights.

    • SEO/PPC research: Tools are available to help you determine what ads your competitors are running and how they rank for particular keywords. Check out SEMRush, SpyFu, and WhatRunsWhere. You can also look at their overall spending for PPC campaigns. Depending on the source, however, the accuracy of this data can be as low as 50%. So use it for gauging overall direction, but don't rely on it entirely.
    • Social media: This is probably the hottest area of marketing and the hardest to assess. Mining data on social channels is especially tough when tracking consumer brands. It's best to monitor your competitors' activities monthly, and make sure to look at the posts ad promotions that companies generate. When updating or changing your strategy, you should have a solid understanding of what social media channels your competitors are using, types of posts they are making, how frequently they are using social media, and how successful they are (including number of users and levels of engagement).
    • PR: Press releases, financial reports, and thought-leadership blog posts distributed by your competitors provide great insight into their partnerships, possible marketing spending, and other initiatives.
    • Job postings: From time to time, take a look at LinkedIn or other job sites and you can get a good idea of where and how the company plans to expand.

    Frequency of Competitive Analysis

    The answer depends on the type of business that you have and the competitive landscape.

    For example, if you are selling a product in the SaaS Cloud space where you have 10 competitors, most of which are leading innovators, it makes sense to track their every move. However, if you are a B2B company and you have only one or two competitors in the manufacturing sector, you probably can get away with doing some basic benchmarking once every quarter.

    It is advisable to do a competitive analysis prior to changing strategy, launching a new product, or making tactical plans for the next quarter or year.

    Don't Be Afraid: Know Where You Stand

    Here's the bottom line: Don't get too excited about your 5% jump in email open rates, or passing a "likes" milestone on Facebook. Have the courage to see whether you are really a marketing rock star by benchmarking yourself against your competitors. Your business needs to know what your competition is doing. And I don't mean just knowing your competitors' products and pricing.

    With the insights you'll get from these tips and tools, you will be able to create a solid strategy, spot-on tactical plans, and (at the very least) a fantastic presentation to your executives or board.

    Source: MarketingProfs

  • The 7 most relevant metrics for sales managers

    The 7 most relevant metrics for sales managers

    Sales managers need to be savvy and strategic to get ahead. These are the 7 metrics every sales manager must know and be able to measure.

    We are now in an age where sales managers have a myriad of advanced data measurement and analytics options available to them. Through sales analytics software, sales managers can gain insight into their sales team’s pipeline and have a team that works more effectively and efficiently. But are you measuring the right things?

    Data analytics solutions have revolutionised sales measurement. They enable sales managers to pinpoint where their teams can generate more leads as well as cross-sell and upsell to existing customers and define customer profitability. The potential exists for sales managers to enjoy great benefits. Whether they get to enjoy such benefits depends on how you use the solutions available.

    So, are you measuring the necessary metrics to ensure your sales team are working at optimum level? We outline the seven metrics every sales manager should know and use.

    1. The sales pipeline

    This is a great way to gauge a company’s health. Sometimes presented in a graphical format, it shows the sales opportunities the company currently has and an estimation of the amount of revenue the sales team is going to generate in the coming months. If the opportunities within the pipeline are managed well, the sales team will stay organised and feel more in control of their sales figures, giving the sales manager more confidence in the targets that can be achieved.

    What metrics should be measured in a sales team’s pipeline?

    • Number of potential deals in your pipeline
    • Average size of a deal (in €/$) in your pipeline
    • Average percentage of deals that are converted from leads to customers
    • Average time deals are in the pipeline (measured in days)

    2. Sales revenue

    Measuring the revenue a sales team brings in, instead of only their profit margin, gives a sales manager more insight into the business' performance. If a company experiences steady “top-line growth”, it could be viewed that the performance in that period was positive even if the earnings growth or “bottom-line growth” didn’t change.

    Measuring revenue allows you to to identify the profitability of the business. By calculating the profit ratio (divide net income by sales revenue) businesses can reveal how much of every dollar brought in by sales actually makes it to the bottom line.

    3. Forecast accuracy

    Forecasts will never be exact, but there are tools available that will assist a business in creating the most accurate forecast as possible. The accuracy of a sales team’s forecasts needs to be measured on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are continually reaching their predicted targets or at least getting closer to them as time goes on. Producing accurate forecasts enables a company to reveal issues threatening the business as well as opportunities available.

    4. Sales funnel leakage

    No sales team wants a leaky funnel but sometimes with limited technology and man-power this can happen. It’s imperative to know where the holes in your funnel are, how they occured and how you can essentially ‘plug’ them. Things to review include:

    • Lead response time: a business that responds quickly to a sales qualified lead is more likely to win the sale
    • Rate of follow up contact: persistence is key, a sales teams should be continually following up with a lead via phone calls and emails until they are deemed no longer qualified

    By constantly monitoring this data and putting means in place to avoid opportunity leakage, the overall sales numbers will improve.

    5. Win vs loss rate

    It’s important to understand the reasons why leads buy or don’t buy a company’s product or service. This information is crucial as it can assist in improving a sales team’s close rate thus gaining more market share for the business. 

    6. Cross-sell and upsell opportunities

    Cross-selling and upselling can be complex and risky. However, with the challenges around new customer acquisition, businesses must find ways to improve sales from existing customers. With the right analytics tool, businesses can identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities in the organisation and ultimately, generate more sales for the business.

    7. Closure rate or “win rate”

    It’s important to be aware of how many leads or opportunities are being converted into customers. This metric focuses on the final stage of a sales team’s pipeline. By this point a sales team would have invested a lot of time and resources into the lead so this rate should be as high as possible.

    A low or constantly changing closure rate signifies lack of competitiveness in the market, it means the value proposition being offered to the leads is not good enough. It may also mean that the sales team requires additional training.

    Measuring a sales team’s performance has evolved from the simple spreadsheets used back in the 20th century. There are now advanced business intelligence software options that provide dynamic reporting capabilities with dashboards to help automatically track key metrics. This gives a sales manager the ability to become more proactive as well as make more insightful and strategic decisions that will benefit the company.

    Source: Phocas Software

  • The art of looking beyond vanity metrics

    The art of looking beyond vanity metrics

    B2B marketers beware: Marketing vanity metrics are easy on the eyes but only skim the surface when it comes to actual value. Although vanity metrics may make you feel good about your marketing efforts, these surface-level metrics only reveal part of the story.

    But, fear not dear marketer! If you turn your attention to the metrics that matter, you can improve your marketing strategy and communicate the important insights to leadership.

    Before we get into it, here’s a quick definition of a vanity metric: a vanity metric is data that looks good at first glance, but provides little insight into business success, company revenue, and ROI.

    So, which data points are the common culprits? Examples of marketing vanity metrics include:

    • Page views
    • Downloads
    • Facebook likes
    • Twitter followers

    An alternative to marketing vanity metrics

    In order to communicate the value of marketing initiatives, marketers must hone in on actionable metrics: metrics that can guide decision-making. These types of metrics are often referred to as engagement metrics. Engagement metrics can tell you more about what’s working, what’s not working, and what information you need to test further. In fact, 91% of marketers named engagement metrics, such as social media interactions, time on site, and bounce rate, as the number one way to measure success.

    But let’s face it, executives and board members can get stuck on marketing vanity metrics. So, how can you manage the ever-increasing expectations around marketing vanity metrics? Today, we take a closer look at three common marketing vanity metrics and explore the different ways to steer the conversation towards more meaningful metrics. Let’s jump right in!

    1. Social media followers

    Many marketers rely too heavily on their social media followers to measure their social media success. And we get it! All marketers want to see an increase in social media followers, but, these numbers don’t necessarily equal an engaged audience.

    Think about it this way: you may have thousands of Twitter followers but if only one of them engages with your social content regularly, what is your following really worth? On the other hand, you may have a small but dedicated following on LinkedIn with your social posts often leading to big sales. Yes, your LinkedIn audience is smaller, but it turns out these users engage more with your content, ultimately bring in more value. Just by digging into the data, you’ve zeroed in on actionable information to guide your social media efforts.

    The next time higher-ups inquire about your social media following, be sure to shift the focus to more important engagement metrics. It’s important to note that your marketing and business goals will dictate which metrics are most important to your executive team. Here’s what we recommend:

    Brand awareness:

    An easy way to show brand awareness on social media is through the number of brand mentions or tags you receive. During your next marketing campaign or product launch, keep a close eye on branded keywords. Next, keep an eye on the competition’s branded keywords to reveal how often social media users interact with competing businesses. Use this information as a benchmark to measure and understand your own performance.

    Lead generation:

    When tracking lead generation, focus on conversions for maximum impact. As you review conversion data in your preferred analytics platform, take note of the social networks that deliver the highest number of qualified leads.

    Website traffic:

    If your goal is to generate website traffic from your social presence, look closely at metrics that demonstrate real social engagement. For instance, check out where your social media leads enter your website, track the pages you visit, and where they drop off. Also, take a look at the specific posts and channels that garner the most clicks so you can scale your success and serve more content that resonates with your followers.

    Customer experience:

    If you use social media as a customer support channel, the number of followers you accumulate won’t give you any information about how you are doing. Instead look at metrics like the ratio of questions asked to questions answered or responsiveness. Then, work to improve how many cases or complaints you solve.

    Event or webinar registrants:

    If your goal is to generate event participation, break your reports down by social channel. This shows you where users are the most active and engaged in your webinar or event. Simply include campaign tracking information in your social links.

    Content downloads:

    Not all content is created equal. For instance, a high conversion on gated content signals a high-quality piece of content. Use this metric to strategize on future content offerings and bring those insights to leadership.

    The list above is a good starting point to show the senior team how your social efforts meet specific business goals. Roll up your sleeves, and start tracking!

    2. Total app, product, or software downloads

    Total downloads. This number can be impressive on the surface but it isn’t a clear way to gauge the impact your marketing efforts have on product adoption. Instead of looking at total number of downloads, look to yearly and monthly download trends to reveal if downloads are increasing or decreasing over time. Then, look at this timeline in comparison to a timeline of major marketing campaigns. That way, you can pinpoint which efforts had an impact on downloads and which did not.

    Another issue with total downloads, is that it doesn’t paint a complete picture of product usage or adoption. Instead, look at these key usage metrics for a clear understanding of how your customers and prospects engage with your offers:

    • Uninstall rate
    • Renewal rate
    • Trial conversion rate
    • Time users spend using the software

    Although higher-ups and executives may only express interest in total downloads, it’s your job as a marketer to paint a more complete picture for them. For example, you could explain that total downloads are up after a recent marketing campaign, but usage metrics stayed level. This indicates that your campaign was faulty in some way. Maybe you didn’t give an accurate description of your product, or maybe it was too difficult for users to figure out. These are important insights to highlight to upper management.

    3. Website pageviews

    A high number of pageviews is an ego boost, but pageviews are another metric to be wary of. When you report this data to management, it’s important to provide pageviews along with actionable engagement metrics to fully show user behavior. Focus on how users engage with your website content rather than how many pageviews each webpage garners. Important engagement metrics include:

    • Time spent on site
    • Unique users
    • Bounce rate
    • Pages per visitor
    • Conversion rate

    Some questions to think about when reviewing website analytics:

    • Which pages keep people engaged, and which ones do users abandon quickly?
    • Which elements and CTAs convert best?
    • Can you identify which traffic sources perform best and why?
    • Or, can you determine which campaigns generate the most traffic and why?
    • Is your website content mapped to your sales journey in a way that makes sense?
    • Can you pinpoint at which stage of the buyer’s journey users leave your website?

    Take an in-depth look at these engagement metrics to really focus your online marketing initiatives on engagement over pageviews. Use your findings to build best practices and reduce bounce rate to ultimately keep users coming back for more great content.

    Final thoughts on marketing vanity metrics

    While higher-ups may ask for marketing vanity metrics, it’s your job to refocus on data points that correlate to sales and revenue, improving your business' KPI's.

    Know that you can still report on vanity metrics to management, but don’t spend much time there. Instead, focus the conversation on more actionable, advanced metrics, highlighting the value they offer your company.

    Source: Zoominfo

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