“What gets measured, gets managed.”
When it comes to running effective marketing campaigns for your B2B company and improving SaaS demand generation, having the metrics to show what’s working and what isn’t is key to generating the best results.
That’s why knowing your marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)—and measuring them correctly—is an essential task in running a successful business.
But is it enough to simply measure conversion rates, leads, and revenue? In this guide, we’re covering the 16 most important KPIs for B2B SaaS marketing to ensure you always hit the mark.
Stop measuring vanity metrics, start measuring growth.
A KPI is a measurable value that you can track in order to assess the success (or failure) of your marketing efforts. But many businesses aim for the wrong KPIs; focusing more on “vanity metrics” than actual growth.
There’s a strong chance your marketing team may be using the wrong metrics to measure marketing performance and effectiveness. Our buyer-led growth approach serves to adjust the KPIs you measure from vanity metrics to growth metrics.
Typical B2B SaaS Marketing Metrics
In this list, we include the most common B2B SaaS KPIs companies tend to measure—and why they aren’t always the best indicators of growth or success. Still, many of these are important to measure if you are tracking various components of your campaigns. Later, we will reveal the most impactful metrics your organization should be tracking if you really want to focus on growth.
If you’re tired of measuring vanity metrics, and want a growth agency with 100% of our customers achieving ROI. Book a discovery call and let us show you a better path for marketing.
Unique Website Visitors
For the typical B2B company, measuring website visitors and sessions indicates a higher conversion rate and marketing success. But more commonly we find large increases in website visitors to be a sign of wasted ad spend, poor content targeting, and a host of other issues that can actually detract from growth. So, Unique Website Visitors isn’t a useless metric but it’s not always the best indicator of marketing effectiveness.
Whether you’re measuring contacts, content downloads, or Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), we’ve found these metrics don’t typically align to actual growth. In our analysis, we’ve found that leads translate into revenue at a rate of less than 1% most of the time, and with how rapid buyers change roles and jobs, an email database is slowly losing its value.
Conversion rate indicates your ability to acquire new contacts in the database and is often measured through each lifecycle stage, but it often becomes a metric that marketing teams tend to obsess over. When you try to optimize for conversion rates by stage, the easiest lever is to reduce volume lead volume by improving lead quality, but this becomes an issue for some marketing teams that are measured on total leads generated per month.
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
Most marketing teams will report back on cost per lead, and with ever-growing lead goals, there is often a desire to see CPL decrease overtime. Unfortunately, focusing on cost per lead metrics often gets further away from finding revenue results. This is why most of our customers at Elevate Demand eventually ignore this metric completely.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
A lower cost per click means you can spend more to gain more website traffic, but we’ve found again that these metrics don’t align with real growth and revenue results. As we improve Google Ads for SaaS companies in most scenarios, reductions in cost per click are associated with broader keywords and broader targeting within social channels. In harsher words, the clicks you’re getting are essentially useless.
Measuring marketing based on “influenced accounts” became a popular KPI because of martech vendors and ABM platforms. The general theory is that marketing is influencing buying decisions by showing banner ads and other marketing campaigns, but in most instances marketing influenced revenue is attributed to view-through conversions where your target market isn’t even clicking your ads. This metric can be highly gamed and should be used carefully.
Why These B2B SaaS Marketing Metrics are Measured
Most marketing teams are aligning goals by backfilling spreadsheets from MQL targets to website sessions to determine marketing activities and tactics throughout the year.
Unfortunately, few sites have ever seen where a 2X increase in unique website sessions also correlated with a 2X increase in marketing revenue.
In fact, most marketing audits uncover 30% to 70% of wasted ad spend—spend that likely improved these vanity metrics but resulted in declining growth and sales efficiency.
We also find that agencies prefer to focus on lower CPL, CPC, and improved conversion rates because it’s difficult for them to correlate that to growth and revenue results. It’s much easier for them to show that you’re acquiring leads at a better cost than for them to show that they’re increasing your growth rate.
There’s another reason why these metrics are so heavily measured in B2B SaaS marketing teams and that’s because the team itself is structured two mainly impact two areas of the funnel: awareness and acquisition. Content specialist, paid acquisition, SEO strategist, PR, and graphic design are all built to drive awareness and leads, but there’s a lot of different ways marketing can influence growth.
Growth-Oriented KPIs Every B2B SaaS Company Should Be Tracking
It’s not that it’s bad to look at the above metrics, it’s just that they very rarely align with actual growth and revenue. So, in addition to the common KPIs above, every B2B SaaS company should be measuring these growth-oriented metrics to assess the true success of their marketing.
Most of our customers are often focused on growth, not marketing revenue, yet it’s amazing how many marketing teams don’t measure growth. This shift will put greater emphasis on the full funnel, as well as influence how you build your marketing team.
Marketing Payback Period
Most B2B SaaS companies spend heavily on paid acquisition, but rarely focus on how long it takes back to get their ad spend back. We actually break this down three ways to help us understand campaign efficiency: blended payback period, as well as branded vs non-branded. We lean heavily onto branded and blended as growth indicators. When you focus too much on measuring one channel specifically, you can make the wrong decision.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
CAC is another key SaaS metric companies should analyze. When we analyze CAC, we break it out across branded vs non-branded paid ads, as well as blended CAC, to determine marketing efficiency.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Customer lifetime value is the average amount of revenue you’ll receive from a paying customer during their lifetime. This metric can be misleading, especially when your company has strong upsell and cross-selling capabilities within the product. But with a CLV calculation, you essentially get a baseline of what a customer is worth to your company.
This is a great metric to help prove the profitability of your campaigns, but needs to be analyzed carefully in a full funnel approach, especially where your customers have large expansion opportunities that are not always factored into a LTV:CAC calculation. As with marketing payback period, this should be broken down by branded vs non-branded and blended.
Natural Growth Rate
Natural Growth Rate measures how much revenue comes from your organic growth. If your marketing is working, your natural growth rate should be accelerating, especially if you’re a lower ACV product. If you’re increasing ad spend and your natural growth rate is not increasing with it, you’re doing something wrong.
Going a Layer Deeper: Measuring B2B SaaS Metrics for Sales Efficiency
When you’re focused on growth and not just awareness and acquisition, you can start to influence multiple growth levers. As you start to measure your baseline marketing metrics, you can start moving towards also measuring sales efficiency metrics to determine how well you’re building awareness and the effectiveness of your brand.
This matters because, over time, if marketing is truly influencing growth, you should also be able to drive substantially more revenue, at a better win rate, and a decreased sales cycle.
Here are some additional KPIs for B2B marketing to help you measure your company’s sales efficiency:
Pipeline velocity measures how much revenue is moving through your pipeline over a period of time and whether you’re on the path to accelerating revenue growth by looking not just at how much pipeline you generate, but how fast it moves through.
When marketing is driving more right-fit opportunities aligned to growth, B2B SaaS companies typically see improvements in marketing win rate due to improved quality of inbound leads.
Sales Cycle Length
Monitoring your sales cycle is another key indicator of marketing driving more right-fit opportunities. As sales cycle length decreases, it indicates that marketing is doing a better job of educating buyers throughout the entire funnel. Elevate Demand customers see typically 30% – 60% shorter sales cycle over time.
Average MRR, ARR, or APRU is tracked at almost all SaaS companies as a gauge to determine a whole host of metrics. We track average MRR heavily to continually identify improvements as we try to move up market. Most SaaS companies have a goal to lift or raise average MRR overtime.
It’s More Than Getting the Right Metrics
The primary reason to change your marketing metrics is to change the behavior of your marketing team, and this is where most companies get stuck.
Just because you change the metrics you measure, doesn’t mean you’re going to get better marketing results. In fact, if you don’t change your behavior updating your metrics might negatively impact your performance.
When you update your metrics your marketing, overtime should look drastically different. And that’s the goal.
At Elevate Demand, we help B2B SaaS companies rethink what it means to run “successful” marketing campaigns by measuring the metrics that matter most. This means focusing on KPIs that translate into real growth and revenue.
If you’re tired of running campaigns with little to nothing to show for your efforts, it’s time to rethink your approach. Book a discovery call with us and we’ll discuss how Elevate Demand can generate real, tangible results for your B2B SaaS company.