12 critical B2B marketing KPIs to keep track of

December 31, 2020

B2B marketing KPIs to keep track of

Just like everything else about B2B, determining the crucial KPIs you should be measuring can be a tricky job. Even though B2B marketing KPIs can often be the same as B2C, at their core, they have their differences. That’s why sometimes B2B marketing KPIs can be challenging to marketers who come from D2C backgrounds.

Oh, and if you were wondering what KPI stands for, it’s Key Performance Indicators.

Why do we need these B2B marketing KPIs actually? Because it’s not enough to craft a marketing strategy, put it to action and let it run on itself. You’ll have to keep an eye of the progress.
Let’s say you’ve put your focus on email marketing but the KPIs show it’s not doing as good as content marketing. You’d be unaware of this if you don’t keep track of your B2B marketing KPIs. Resulting in wasting time and resources, when all you want to do is minimise expenses. So in order to know what works and what don’t you need KPIs.

12 B2B marketing KPIs you should be measuring

Of course, your B2B marketing KPIs will greatly depend on your marketing strategy and OKRs, but the following examples can serve you as a guide for what you should focus on.

First Time Appointment

Our most important B2B marketing KPI is the First Time Appointment (FTA), which is a 1-hour in-person/video meeting with a qualified prospect to explicitly discuss their technology challenges, business goals, and the ROI if their problems are solved. We know we can close a specific percentage of FTAs within 90 days.

Perryn Olson, CPSM, Chief Strategy Officer at ECS + My IT

Customer Acquisition Cost

Being a founder of a Digital Marketing Agency, I believe Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the most crucial metric in B2B marketing KPI. Customers are everything in business in order to make money, but you will need to invest resources into marketing to acquire them. CAC is your total expenses divided by the number of customers. It will give you an idea of how expensive a single customer is to acquire.

Stewart Dunlop, CEO of PPCGenius.io

First Activation

First activation i.e. the first experience a customer has with your product, is an important B2B marketing KPI that’s often overlooked. Just because someone converts to a customer doesn’t mean they’ll use it. Every moment after the conversion to a customer is important to turn them into a loyal customer, repeat customer, and advocate. Understanding the first activation can often show what are the series of steps that lead a customer to have an Aha moment. Focusing on these metrics will increase retention and revenue down the customer pipeline.

Nick Swekosky, CEO of Market Metrics

The Barrows Popularity Factor

In general, the key things that you want to know about any of your advertising and marketing are…

1) Does it sell?

2) How much did it sell?

3) Which copy and which products and which prices and which promotions worked best?

4) And how can you increase your sales, increase your profit and decrease your risk?

To do this kind of analysis, the best metric to use is some easy-to-use advertising math I developed called The Barrows Popularity Factor.

It’s math that actually lets you QUANTIFY the relationship between advertising and sales and businesses of all kinds can use the math to help them increase their sales, increase their profit and decrease their risk.

The reason the math works so well is very simple.

It reduces the relationship between your advertising and sales to its lowest possible common denominator…namely: How much did you sell? divided by/ How much did you advertise? (But the key is this, don’t do the math in dollars, do the math in units per gross impressions.)

In mathematical terms, the formula looks like this: The Barrows Popularity Factor (The BPF) = How much did you sell? (in units) divided by /How much did you advertise? (in gross impressions)

The answer you get is a rate of return on gross impressions. (Gross impressions is the number of ads multiplied by the audience per ad.) Once you can quantify your rate of return on gross impressions, then you can use some additional math to help you determine the best way to spend your advertising budget.

Robert Barrows, Advertising & Public Relations at R.M. Barrows

Time Between Social Referrals or Social Mentions

One B2B marketing KPI that many marketers either aren’t able to track—or aren’t thinking about—is the time between social referrals or social mentions. When you have a customer who’s happy with your product and service, this becomes an incredibly valuable indicator of how good a fit your ongoing product offering is for current customers, and how good a job your customer service and marketing teams are doing of keeping your customers engaged and coming back for more.

Erika Heald, Founder of Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

Website Traffic

Individuals visiting your site likely lead. Furthermore, leads ultimately convert into clients, depending on the nature of your content marketing. On the off chance that your B2B organization runs an eCommerce webpage, site traffic is a metric you should follow. Persistently observing site traffic gives you a look into who your guests are, the place where they’re from, how they land on your site – and eventually, what they need from you. The capacity to foresee what your clients hope to accomplish from your site permits you to focus on showcasing content that offers to your center crowds.

Abby, Editor at Wellpcb PTY LTD

Customer Retention

How long do people keep returning to you? Or do they just buy and say goodbye? Many fail to understand that getting new customers is much more expensive than reactivating existing customers.

The number of customers at the start of that period (S)

The number of customers at the end of a period (E)

The number of new customers acquired during that period (N)

Mariano Martene, Head of Growth at Octopush


For B2B, revenue is often overlooked as offline conversions become difficult to track and customers tend to see a long sales cycle. As such, marketers revert to tracking goals such as form submission volume or clicks to call. But the issue with tracking goals in Google Analytics is that they’re leads, not sales. At least not yet.

As we approach a new year, we hope to see a renewed focus on attributing revenue back to the marketing campaigns that influenced them. Having a full understanding of a customer journey and using marketing to influence each stage will allow B2B marketers to get more from their budget, and their time.

Dave Smithbury, Head of Marketing at Ruler Analytics

Customer Effort Score

While a lot of B2B businesses measure long-term KPIs such as Net Promotor Score (NPS) or Customer Retention, many I have worked with still do not track the effect of individual interactions of the clients with their business – one way is the Customer Effort Score (CES). It is a simple question like “How easy was it for you to get what you wanted from us today?”, immediately after an interaction. This can be a pop-up on a website or a text message. CES is important because it will enable marketing and sales together to optimise the customer touchpoints and sales funnel at every step without doing guess work when getting an overall score like NPS or other surveys. 

Riccardo Weber, Founder of True Innovation

Funnel Conversion Rates

A lot of emphasis is placed on the top and bottom of the funnel – MQL/MQAs and Revenue – but there is also a lot of value in understanding what happens in between. Identifying the highest-converting channel, campaign, or profile can improve not only efficiency throughout the funnel, but also program spend. Working smarter, not harder is the aim of any good marketer and looking at conversion rates enables better quality prospect acquisition as well as identifies areas to double down on (or reduce!) your investment. They also play a critical role in forecasting and budgeting, allowing you to work backward from a revenue target to estimate the volume needed at each stage of the funnel.

DeAnn Poe, Vice President of Marketing at ZoomInfo

Customer Lifetime Value

One of the important B2B marketing KPIs that I think often gets overlooked is Customer Lifetime Value. Customer Lifetime Value is basically the average amount of money a customer will spend on your business until they have a bond with your company. It helps to evaluate how much profit a customer is bringing to your business. Through CLV, you will know how much customers like your products and services. It will give you an idea about what you are doing right and what needs improvement. CLV is important because the higher the number, the greater the profits.

Avinash Chandra, Founder and CEO at Brandloom


Velocity is an important KPI to measure when looking into B2B marketing and setting its KPIs. Velocity KPIs are used to measure the time that a potential customer takes or spends at each step of its way when finalizing a purchase. It is on you what time duration you want to set in between different milestones as the KPI, so that you can measure the duration and judge accordingly then. Most people study MQL to SQL velocity, however, you can also measure SQL to quote velocity or quote to close.

Bradley Stevens, CEO at LLC Formations


When it comes to B2B marketing KPIs some are very obvious others are often overlooked yet extremely important. Hence we hope these examples served you right or inspired you to think of other B2B marketing KPIs that you should keep track of.

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