Let’s talk about some very important B2B marketing metrics, or what we call: KPIs – key performance indicators. Clients are always asking us: “How do you qualify a conversion? What do you consider a conversion?” — So today, we’re going to go over 9 B2B marketing KPIs that are best for your business, what these metrics mean, and which ones we care about most here at Directive Consulting.


Learn/retain more by reading? We got you. Here’s the video above in blog format. You’re welcome.

3 Categories of B2B Marketing KPIs

We’re going to cover 3 categories of B2B marketing KPIs:

  1. Overall KPIs
  2. Organic KPIs or SEO KPIs
  3. Pay-per-click or Advertising KPIs

Let’s dive in.

Overall KPIs

When it comes to overall B2B marketing KPIs, there are 3 things that most B2B marketers should care about:

  1. Opportunities
  2. Customer cash
  3. Conversions


We care a lot about opportunities here at Directive Consulting. In fact, we’ve spent over six months developing our own closed-loop analytics system built on MySQL that plugs right into Data Studio. This allows us to see the health of every one of our clients in one snapshot. We can also base our advertising, search engine optimization, and all of our marketing efforts on opportunities.

B2B Marketing KPIs

A lot of our competition — our whole industry, in fact — and many in-house marketers are still relying on conversions to determine if their campaigns are succeeding or not. And while conversions are one of the 3 metrics we really care about, they’re not more important than opportunities.

Opportunities are conversions that sales have accepted. These are opportunities that you actually have proposals with. These are people that you’re hoping and planning on closing that are part of your sales CRM.

B2B Marketing KPIs

If you’re in marketing, your critical and most important metric to focus on should be opportunities.

If you don’t have a system to track your opportunities within the channel that it came from, then we’d love to chat with you and introduce you to our closed-loop analytics system. Our system will allow you to depict the value of your campaigns and not just align yourself on the marketing side, but also with sales. This way,  the whole organization can truly appreciate the value you create. This is important because we want to be able to communicate the value we create for the client.

B2B Marketing KPIs

Customer Cash

Customer cash is a metric that most marketing people wouldn’t consider. We define customer cash as the money you make or lose from your existing portfolio.

B2B Marketing KPIs

Every month, we measure:

  • If a client leaves us — how much money they left in their monthly contract
  • If we get a new client from a referral or an upsell —  how much money we gained

What it lets us do, is see how our actual business — our people and our customers who are paying us — are either driving or taking away from our growth.

This is a really important one for B2B marketers to focus on. If you’re not thinking about retention as part of your marketing campaigns, then you’re not necessarily focusing on what is oftentimes the biggest driver of revenue growth:

  • Retention
  • Upsells
  • Referrals

As B2B marketers, we really want to focus on our customer cash. It’s a critical metric for the business.


Lastly, not all marketers in the B2B space have a full marketing CRM or a really robust sales CRM that they can actually track opportunities with. If that’s the case, then we do want to really focus on conversions. Conversions are still an important metric to track — but we do want to get past conversions into opportunities.

If you are tracking conversion, it’s a really nice way to see:

  • How many form-fills you’ve gotten and from what channels
  • How many phone calls were made and from what channels
  • How many people chatted with you

You’ll want to be able to track your bottom and top of the funnel conversions. These conversions are people who:

  • Subscribed to your newsletter
  • Joined your webinar
  • You’ve had marketing interactions with

It’s very important that we distinguish top and middle of the funnel conversions from bottom of the funnel conversions. It can be misleading to report on all of these conversions if those conversions aren’t bottom of the funnel.

Be sure to segment and label them properly, so that we’re accurately depicting the value we create as marketers.

B2B Marketing KPIs

Organic KPIs

When working with B2B companies, which organic B2B Marketing KPIs do we care about most? We care about:

  1. Organic traffic cost
  2. Keywords in the top 5
  3. Referring domains

Organic Traffic

There are other basic B2B Marketing KPIs, but what we really want to focus on, are the ones that are that you could be tracking through third parties and are less obvious in your Google Analytics.

Organic traffic value is a metric by SEMrush. It takes your estimated click-through rate for the position you rank for a keyword, plus the average customer click. It then calculates how much you would pay for that keyword if you didn’t rank organically and wanted to drive the same amount of traffic from a pay-per-click ad.

B2B Marketing KPIs

This is a critical metric to look at because, as SEOs, we can often be devalued compared to advertising in other channels which are easily trackable. Organic traffic value can start to put SEO on a similar playing field. Because of this, you can also start to compare yourself to your competition and use it as a comparative metric from where you’re at today.

Keywords in the Top 5

We know that the lion’s share of clicks from an organic results page come from results in the top five. So, it’s really important that we’re not just reporting on all keyword rankings because not all keyword rankings are created equal — they’re just not the same.

The reality is, that keyword rankings, shouldn’t be your number one metric. It should still be:

  1. Opportunities
  2. Customer cash
  3. Conversions
B2B Marketing KPIs

But as an SEO-specific recommendation — Keywords in the top five are leading indicators of keywords that could potentially drive serious business results because the click-through rate, search volume, and brand fit are all on point.

Referring Domains

Lastly, we want to talk about referring domains. We know that there are 3 core drivers of SEO success:

  1. Having a technical foundation
  2. Having the best information in your vertical
  3. Being the most authoritative in your vertical

So, it’s —

  1. Technical SEO
  2. Content marketing
  3. Digital PR

As an SEO agency, we want to track:

  • How many referring domains we’re building for our clients
  • How many new links are authoritative and relevant

This is a really critical metric to measure. To do this, we use a bunch of different tools. Here are 3:

  • Majestic — a very large index
  • Moz — smaller link index that’s very focused
  • Ahrefs — a large quality index

B2B Marketing KPIsYou can use any of these 3 tools to track your referring domains. We pay for the APIs from all of these and bring them into Data Studio.

If you’re interested in measuring organic traffic value, keywords in the top five, and referring domains — our analytics system is a great fit. We can draw correlations between increasing referring domains and what happens to your opportunities. You can also start to see the correlations between building links, organic traffic value, keywords in the top five, and opportunities to then make a case of value as an SEO.

B2B Marketing KPIs

Advertising KPIs or Pay Per Click KPIs

There are 3 that we care about most:

  1. Cost per acquisition
  2. Conversion rate
  3. Search impression share

All 3 B2B Marketing KPIs are critical for B2B marketers to understand.

Cost Per Acquisition

Cost per acquisition allows different channels and mediums to be put on a level playing field.

B2B Marketing KPIs

We see vast differences between cost per conversions and cost per opportunities — which is why we spent so much time and money building a closed-loop analytics system.

We’ve seen $20 differences in cost per conversions, but $1,000 differences in cost per opportunities. So, it’s critical that we can see which channels are driving those opportunities and then compare — cost per opportunity and cost per acquisition — so we can properly allocate time, resources, and budget.

B2B Marketing KPIs

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate can be an indicator/sign of where we need to focus our efforts on the most. If you have one keyword that’s converting exponentially higher than others, then it’s time that we start to ask ourselves:

  • Is that because we have a better answer for this search intent?
  • Is this because how our product or service is positioned?
  • Is this because of our landing pages?
B2B Marketing KPIs

Conversion rates allow us as pay-per-click advertisers and conversion rate optimizers, to start to look at what levers we can push or pull that are going to drastically affect the conversions we’re generating and, ideally, the opportunities that are being created.

Search Impression Share

Lastly, what we really care about is also search impression share.

If we’re driving revenue, it’s critical that we’re showing our ads to the right people as often as possible. If your cost per opportunity makes sense and you like your conversion rate, then it’s very important that we look at our search impression share to make sure that we’re showing these ads as often as possible and that we have the right budgets in place — Or maybe, you’re showing some ads way too often because they have a much higher cost per opportunity than others. This means we need to reallocate spend.

B2B Marketing KPIs

Search impression share should be aligned with cost per opportunity so that you’re spending money where you’re making the most. As simple as it sounds, it’s an area that’s often overlooked.

9 B2B Marketing KPIs That We Care About

In closing, there are 9 B2B marketing KPIs that we care about:

  1. Opportunities created
  2. Customer cash
  3. Conversions
  4. Organic traffic cost
  5. Referring domains
  6. Keywords in the top 5
  7. Cost per acquisition
  8. Conversion rate
  9. Search impression share

Now, good luck setting up all your event tracking. If you need help, you know who to reach out to. If you have any questions, don’t forget to leave a comment below and please subscribe. Have a great day!

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