Most confusion in B2B marketing and lead tracking comes from not understanding what B2B marketing and sales really are.
A business or an organization is an entity. Entities do not buy anything. Whatever you are selling, even if you are selling the most complex product or service to a business, there is a person or a group of people that are making a buying decision. An entity doesn’t make a buying decision.
The difference between B2B and B2C marketing, selling, and, ultimately, lead and conversion tracking is that there are a lot more factors in the business environment that have an impact on buying decisions compared to the B2C environment.
An organization may need your product. People on the board may want your product but can’t buy it at the moment because of the budget restrictions.
An organization may also be making decisions based not simply on performance but also on the image it needs to have. Next, there are all kinds of issues that have to do with the training of the employees and integration of new systems, products, and technologies into how the organization currently operates.
Specific factors and circumstances are different for different organizations, but that’s what you have to think about and track if you want to successfully sell in a B2B environment.
Now let’s dive into some advanced B2B conversion tracking methods.
#1: Track What Happens at All Stages of the Sales Funnel
A typical funnel tracks what happens when someone first gets in touch with your organization up to the point when they become a customer. It often looks this way:
Opt-ins – those who have requested more information from your company. They may have downloaded a white paper or signed up for your newsletter.
Leads – those who have purchased something or provided detailed information about their company.
Warm Leads – those who have bought one entry-level product or requested a live demonstration of your products or services.
Customers – those who signed a contract paid you money.
This is where most companies stop at developing their funnels. If that’s where you have stopped, you’ve made a big mistake. Here are other categories of interactions and prospective buyers that you need to track.
Appointment no show – these are the companies that request a live demonstration but then cancel or reschedule and never show up. There can be a lot of reasons for why something like this may happen and not all of these reasons mean that the company won’t buy from you in the future.
For example, the person in charge may have left his or her job and the new person does not see interacting with you as a priority. You want to have a follow-up system for such a scenario, reintroduce yourself and make an offer for a demo again.
Appointment no sale – this is what happens when your sales reps demo your product or service, but a sale doesn’t happen. In many industries, a sales cycle can be very long and executives are looking at products several months before they can make a buying decision. Your goal here is to find out the length of a typical sales cycle and follow-up during the entire cycle, not give up after one demo.
Lost customers – according to research, many customers switch to different providers because they do not feel that their partners value and appreciate them. Your clients may also leave after an incident, a glitch in the system or some other mistake on your part. The best approach in this scenario is to follow up, acknowledge your mistake and explain what and how you will do to fix it and avoid it in the future.
Star customers – these are the customers that love everything you are doing and keep buying from you. You should explore possibilities to use these customers in case studies, find out how much influence they have in their industries and try to expand your business relationship.
Once you create a funnel, start tracking what happens at all stages of the funnel. Document everything and communicate the information to various teams in your organization. Having a funnel and measuring what happens at each and every step will not just provide you with numbers. It will also show you potential issues and areas for improvement.
#2: Track Sources of Lead Generation Activities
You should be tracking where your leads are coming from online, including all the platforms, social networking sites and referral partners, and offline.
The more expensive and complex it is what you sell, the more relationships matter. Your buyers are not just looking for a good one-time deal. They want to know that you will provide support that they are looking for and that your products and services will not cause any interruptions or issues in their organization.
This is where referrals and word-of-mouth marketing can be extremely effective, yet these methods of client acquisition are not what many organizations are tracking. Ideally, your systems should be set up in a way that shows where exactly your new clients are coming from and when.
You want to avoid at all costs a scenario in which you are getting clients but you have no clue where they are coming from. The problem with this scenario is that if you don’t have the knowledge about the source of leads, you can’t allocate your marketing dollars to it. If this starts happening in your organization, introduce a free welcome call or an orientation session. During the call, ask the new clients about how they found you. Then, use this information to take your business to the next level.
If it turns out that a lot of new clients come as referrals, consider creating events for your existing clients. Introduce an incentive-based referral program. Find ways to make what is already working work better and more effectively.
#3: Track Current Goals of Your Organization
For your organization to succeed you need three things. First, you need to have specific and measurable goals. Second, you need to have tools that show you where you are in relation to the goals. Third, you need to have a plan on how you will accomplish the goals. One of the ways to measure progress to your goals is to have conversion goals and track them in relation to your overall goals. For example, you may need to deliver 500 demos to new warm leads a month. If your conversion is 30%, you will close 150 leads. Then, every day of the month or accountability period you can track how close you are to the goals.
#4: Tracking Revenue per Customer
If you are selling a recurring product or service or have contracts with multiple payments, tracking the revenue can be another way to track conversions in your business. One of the significant points that you may want to pay attention to is when a customer gets to the point when they’ve given you more money than you’ve spent on acquiring the customer.
#5: Tracking Significant Events or Points
To take your business to the next level, you need to identify areas of improvement and then prioritize them in order of importance. For example, you may find out that an average client stays with you for 8 months. You may introduce a goal of trying to increase this number to 10 months. If that’s the case, then you may want to track how many customers stay with you for 9 months. If this number is growing, it means that you are doing well.
At the same time, if you are losing a customer before 8 months, it means that there’s some kind of a problem there. You may want to create a process during which you will get in touch with the customer to try and find out why they are leaving you early.
The goal of successful B2B lead conversion tracking is to help you grow your business. The tracking needs to be able to provide you with the data you need to make informed intelligent decisions about the current position and next steps in your business no matter what they are.