B2B Marketing Measurement & Sales: What Needs to Change

B2B Marketing Measurement & Sales: What Needs to Change

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Did your mom measure your height against the kitchen door, marking your progress on the doorframe with a pencil, writing your age and the date for every growth spurt? Mine certainly did, and I’m relatively certain that most of your moms did too. Moms do this because they want to know –and they want to remember– making the practice simultaneously both practical and sentimental.

As a B2B marketer you are hopefully not sentimental about your marketing practice, but like my mom, you want to know how your marketing campaigns are performing. According to a newly release report by Demand Gen Report (DGR), 91% of the B2B marketers participating in this survey agreed that measurement and reporting is a top priority for their organizations.

However, despite this, only 13% claim that their ability to measure and analyze their marketing performance and impact is “excellent,” while a whopping 40% say it “needs improvement.”

Everybody’s Doin’ It

When it comes to measurement tools, the DGR survey revealed that B2B marketers rely on a variety of reporting tactics at the same time. Most marketers (70%) get reporting from their CRM instances, followed closely by web analytics tools (68%). A surprising 51% of them are still going the manual route with Excel-based reporting.

Ultimately, while there are a wide range of ways to meet the challenge of reporting, nearly every B2B marketer is doing it. Just 2% said they aren’t reporting at all.

B2B Measurement: The Sales & Marketing Divide

The fact that only 13% of marketers claim they’re “excellent” at measuring marketing’s impact begs the question, what could be going wrong? The answer may tie back to the fact that marketing and sales expect different things and therefore measure different things.

When asked about what data they are tracking, 95% of the B2B marketers surveyed cited web traffic; 94% said they are measuring “email click-throughs and open rates; 78% are measuring search; and 60% are measuring social engagement. By contrast, 28% of the same group said they are tracking pipeline opportunity and 21% said they are monitoring SQLs.

These numbers stand in stark contrast to sale priorities. According to the survey, the top metrics sales uses to gauge marketing impact are closed/won deals and SQLs (both 51%), followed by pipeline influenced (47%).

Measuring Account Based Marketing

The DGR survey points to account based marketing as a way of narrowing the sales and marketing divide. When asked about the primary metrics for account based marketing we can see the goals of the two teams beginning to align. Just under 50% of respondents to this question put “the conversion of engaged account to opportunity” in the number one slot, while “influenced pipeline” came in third at 37%.

Challenges to Measurement

The report also addressed the challenges to measuring marketing programs, with typical results. The lion’s share of complaints revolved around technology issues (54% cited the inability to measure across channels/campaigns; 51% said it was difficult to track activity at specific buyer stages).

Other challenges include the lack of resources (43%), messy data (42%). But the survey results reveal a deeper issue that its questions do not indulge. The fact that marketers and sales priorities remain different indicates the need for a cultural shift. Against all evidence, clicks and opens remain important metrics for B2B marketers.

As we have written in the past on this blog, metrics like CTR, CPL, CTO are little more than alphabet soup to the sales team. As this survey evinces, account based marketing –when implemented correctly— is a framework for a set of discrete tactics that work together to impact pipeline. It’s up to B2B marketers to deprecate those legacy metrics, and emphasize what’s really working. To do this, account based marketing should be made a priority.


To learn how you can implement account based marketing at your organization, download Madison Logic’s How to Get Started with ABM ebook.

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