Key B2B Marketing KPIs to Focus on Beyond Clicks and Impressions

The age of Big Data is definitely here. We can track the behavior of potential customers down to the exact moment they click. We know how long they stay on our website and what they’re doing. And programmatic advertising and artificial intelligence now automate a lot of the process. 

This also means we have more possible B2B marketing KPIs than ever. When it comes to tracking campaigns, you have a lot of options. We’ll break them down by buyer journey stage and channel to help you decide what to track, and how.  

B2B Marketing KPIs: How Are They Different?

There are many things that make B2B marketing KPIs different from what you might measure for a B2C campaign, but they all ladder up to one thing: long, complex sales cycles. Here’s why B2B sales cycles are different:

  • Larger deal sizes: B2B transactions often involve large deal sizes, high-value contracts, and long-term commitments. That’s because many B2B companies sell products or services with higher price points, customizations, or a need for ongoing support, like SaaS solutions.
  • More stakeholders: The amount of investment that’s involved in B2B transactions means a lot of people are involved. Any given buyer group might have users, influencers, and decision-makers, all from different departments with different needs.
  • Extensive research: B2B buyers extensively research things like ROI, scalability, and integration with existing systems. Purchases are typically driven by data, numbers, and results.

All of this ladders up to extended, complex sales cycles. And that means B2B marketing needs to take the long view. Full-funnel, multi-touch attribution models to track B2B marketing KPIs across multiple channels and stages of the buyer's journey are a must. 

Two B2B Marketing KPIs to Measure at Every Stage

Before we dive in, we want to mention two important B2B marketing KPIs that, like taxes and the changing of the seasons, are always going to be there. No matter what channel or stage of the funnel you’re targeting, you’ll always measure:

  • Conversions: This is simply when someone takes an action that you want them to take. Conversions look different at every stage of the funnel, so we’ll give a few examples below. But overall, you’ll always be measuring conversions – they’re one of the biggest indicators of your marketing success.
  • Marketing-qualified accounts (MQAs): These are accounts that have shown interest in your product or service by interacting with your content. The content they interact with gives you an idea of where they are in their buying process and how you can move them further down the funnel. 

B2B marketing KPIs should prioritize much more than conversions, lead generation, and of course, sales. Lead quality, long-term customer value, and sales pipeline health are just a few KPIs that are important with a longer sales cycle. Let’s go over what to track at each stage of the funnel.

Top of the Funnel (Awareness Stage)

B2B marketing needs to build relationships and educate prospects over a longer decision-making process. That means the top of the funnel, or the awareness stage, is incredibly important. At this stage, the goal is to increase brand awareness and overall engagement. Here are the channels to use and the best B2B marketing KPIs to track them.

Top-Funnel Paid Media KPIs

Paid media is an excellent strategy at any stage of the funnel. At the top of the funnel, you might drive to low-lift educational assets like blog posts, infographics, videos, and interactive content. You can also offer longer-form thought leadership content like whitepapers and reports to help establish your authority on a topic.

However you use top-funnel paid media, measure these B2B marketing KPIs to gauge awareness and engagement: 

  • Impressions: The number of times your ad is displayed on various platforms. Impressions provide insights into the reach of your ad campaign.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click on your call-to-action (CTA) after seeing the ad. It indicates how compelling and engaging the ad is to your audience.
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM): The cost of reaching 1,000 people with your ad. CPM helps you understand your campaign’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  • Brand lift: Changes in brand awareness and perception. Brand lift is typically measured through studies that assess customers’ behavior or feelings towards a brand after exposure to advertising.

Website and Content KPIs

Your B2B website is your number-one top-of-funnel marketing asset. It’s the face of your company and the place most of your prospects are going to start their journey. Use these KPIs to measure engagement with your website, including your blog and other content:

  • Traffic: Total traffic measures the overall volume of visitors to your website, while new and returning traffic segments visitors based on whether they’re first-time or repeat visitors. It indicates the overall reach of your website and helps you understand how people are finding you.
  • Page views: The total number of times a certain page is loaded on your site. It tells you which pages are the most popular – so you can analyze what’s on them and replicate it. 
  • Time on page: The average amount of time visitors spend on a page or content piece. Longer durations generally indicate higher engagement and interest.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. High bounce rates indicate poor user experience and irrelevant content.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click on a CTA compared to the total number who view the page. It indicates the effectiveness of your content.

Middle of the Funnel (Consideration Stage)

At the middle of the funnel, also called the consideration stage, you’ve gained some interest, and it’s time to educate prospects about your services or products. You want to target them with personalized, relevant content that will help accelerate the buying cycle. Use these channels and B2B marketing KPIs.

Middle-Funnel Paid Media KPIs

At the middle of the funnel, you might use paid media to drive prospects to product videos, webinars, competitor comparisons, demos, case studies, and testimonials. You’ll want to measure middle-funnel ad campaigns based on:

  • Conversion rate: Percentage of users who take the desired action (e.g., sign up for a webinar, download a whitepaper) after clicking on your ad. A high conversion rate means your ads are resonating with your target audience.
  • Cost per click (CPC): The amount of money you pay for each click on your ad. Monitoring CPC helps optimize your campaign to achieve your objectives while minimizing costs.
  • Quality score: The relevance and quality of your ads, as measured by the advertising platform. A higher quality score typically leads to lower CPCs and better ad positioning.
  • Lead quality: The quality of leads generated by your paid media campaigns. It’s determined based on lead demographics, firmographics, engagement level, and propensity to convert. High-quality leads improve your campaign performance and ROI.

Content Downloads and Registrations

At the consideration stage, your content should go beyond awareness and engagement and start driving conversions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean prospects are contacting sales quite yet. At the middle of the funnel, a content conversion can be measured by any of these B2B marketing KPIs: 

  • Downloads: The number of times prospects download your content assets (like ebooks, whitepapers, or reports). Downloads mean someone is interested in your product and indicate you should send them more information.
  • Form fills: The number of form submissions on your landing pages or gated content assets. They indicate lead interest and provide valuable contact information for lead nurturing.
  • Registrations: The number of registrations for webinars, events, or other assets that require sign up. Registrations help qualify leads because they demonstrate a high level of interest and commitment.
  • Sign-ups: The number of leads who sign up for trials, demos, or free consultations. These prospects have a deep level of engagement and intent, and are ready to be passed off to sales.

Bottom of the Funnel (Decision Stage)

You’ve done it – you’ve reached the stage where your prospects are ready to buy. 

At the bottom of the funnel, it’s all about sales. Here, you should be retargeting prospects based on the channels and content they’ve engaged with so far. Your B2B marketing KPIs are less about certain channels and more about cold, hard numbers.

Lead Quality and Conversions

Bottom-funnel content will retarget high-potential prospects with offers like special pricing, discounts, limited-time offers, and free trials. These B2B marketing KPIs help you know who to target, and once they sign on the dotted line, can help you analyze your sales process.

  • Sales-qualified accounts (SQAs): These are MQAs that have been further vetted by sales and identified as being likely to convert. Both MQAs and SQAs help sales teams prioritize their efforts.
  • Closed deals and purchases: At the bottom of the funnel, a conversion is typically when a prospect contacts your sales team directly or purchases your product or service. A high number of purchases indicates successful marketing. 
  • Opportunity-to-close ratio: The percentage of opportunities that result in closed deals or won customers. A high ratio indicates effective sales strategies and alignment between sales and marketing.
  • Average deal size: The average monetary value of the deals closed in a specific period. Analyzing average deal size helps businesses identify trends, segment customers, and develop targeted sales and marketing strategies.

Cost Metrics

Once you’ve been running your campaign for a while, you’ll want to start measuring your return on investment (ROI). You can do this with several different B2B marketing KPIs: 

  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): Revenue generated from ad spend, expressed as a ratio (e.g., ROAS of 5 means $5 revenue for every $1 spent on ads). The higher your ROAS, the more successful your advertising campaigns are.
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): Total marketing and sales costs to acquire a customer, measured by averaging costs and acquisitions during a given time period. This helps businesses optimize their strategies and resource allocation. 
  • Customer lifetime value (CLTV): Predicted revenue from a customer over their lifetime. By comparing CLTV to CAC, you can determine the ROI of customer acquisition and decide where to allocate your resources.
  • Marketing-attributed revenue: The revenue generated from sales or conversions that can be directly attributed to marketing activities. Proving marketing’s influence on the pipeline can help you optimize spend, improve campaign effectiveness, and maximize ROI.
  • Pipeline velocity: The speed at which leads move through the sales pipeline, calculated by dividing the total value of deals in the pipeline by the average length of the sales cycle. It helps businesses identify bottlenecks, improve sales processes, and forecast revenue.

Need Help Tracking B2B Marketing KPIs?

There you have it: a comprehensive list of the many, many B2B marketing KPIs you could be tracking. How do you decide which are most important? And how do you set up a system to actually track them? Those topics are big enough to have their own blogs – and in fact, they do. Read up on what we think are the top 10 KPIs, plus the tools and tech you need. Or just contact the experts at BOL. We’re happy to help you figure it all out.