The success of a marketing program is too often judged based solely on sales. This can be an issue when it comes to demonstrating the true value of your B2B marketing efforts.
That’s why it’s so important to demonstrate your success based on established marketing benchmarks instead.
Marketing and sales benchmarks provide much-needed context to your B2B marketing strategy. They help you identify your goals and the steps you’ve taken to reach those goals. The key is ensuring that you understand each benchmark, what it means, why it’s important, and what the industry standard is.
Here are the top marketing, sales, and email benchmarks that are vital to your business:
Marketing and Sales Benchmarks
There are many marketing and sales benchmarks that are important to your B2B marketing and sales processes as well as to your stakeholders. We’ve outlined a few of the most important B2B marketing benchmarks below:
Conversion rates are arguably the most important B2B conversion benchmarks. Conversion rates tell you how many visitors, leads, or viewers it takes to get one person to purchase an item, fill out a form, or perform other types of desired actions. It’s calculated as a percentage and is only valuable within context.
For example, let’s say your goal is to gain more email signups. To determine your conversion rate, first, you would need to look at the specific marketing campaign you used to drive email signups: PPC advertising, social media posting, blogging, etc. From there, you need to determine the percentage of those users who completed the form.
To calculate conversion rates you use a fairly simple formula:
- Lead Generation Conversion Rate=Number of Leads Collected divided by Total Traffic on Site X 100
- Sales Goal Conversion Rate=Number of Sales divided by Number of Visitors or Clicks X 100
In the example above, you would take the total number of email sign ups and divide that by the number of people who saw or clicked on your PPC ad or social media post, multiplied by 100.
So, what is a good conversion rate? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, the marketing channel, your industry, and more.
According to MarketingSherpa, the average software industry conversion rate is 7%.
On the other hand, your average landing page conversion rate should be 20-25%, according to HubSpot.
And, according to Wordstream, PPC campaigns average a conversion rate of 2.35%.
Average Lead to Opportunity
If you want to get more specific for your B2B sales benchmarks, then determining conversion rate isn’t enough. You need to get down into the nitty-gritty and look at opportunities as well. This is where the lead-to-opportunity benchmark is important.
The lead to opportunity benchmark deals with how you’ve gathered quality leads. For this benchmark, a visitor doesn’t need to complete a hard action but needs to become a qualified lead.
For example, this benchmark might refer to how many blog visitors eventually call your sales team and become a sales opportunity.
On average, according to Salesforce, it takes 84 days to convert 13% of leads into opportunities.
To convert a visit to a contact, you should expect a 1.5 – 3% conversion rate, according to HubSpot.
Similar to conversion rates, the lead to opportunity rate has a simple equation:
Lead to Opportunity Rate=Number of Opportunities Collected divided by Total Number of Leads X 100
Average Opportunity to Sale
While it might take 84 days to convert a lead into a sales opportunity, it only takes 18 days to convert that opportunity into a sale. But that doesn’t mean the process is easy.
According to Salesforce, only 6% of opportunities ever end in a deal closing.
For example, let’s say you were able to generate 1,000 leads on social media, which led to 130 opportunities. Those opportunities, in a best-case scenario, will lead to around 8 closed sales.
However, those rates do change based on the channel.
According to Salesforce, customer and employee referrals have the best opportunity convert at 14.7% where as tradeshows convert only 4.4%.
To calculate your “opportunity to sale” benchmark:
Opportunity to Sale Rate=Number of Sales divided by Total Number of Opportunities X 100
CTA Click Through Rate
The final marketing benchmark that you need to pay attention to is your call-to-action click through rate. This is the first step in generating leads and can demonstrate the value of your marketing efforts, even if the ultimate conversion rate is low.
This benchmark refers to the number of people who click on a call to action (“Free Demo,” “Free Trial,” “Buy Now,” or “Sign Up Now”) whether it’s on your website, social media, blog, PPC advertising, etc.
On average, a good CTA click through rate is 3.29%, according to Wordstream.
According to HubSpot, it’s 2-3% per page.
To calculate your CTA click through rate, you’ll want to use this formula:
Click Through Rate=Number of Clicks divided by Total Number of Views X 100
Email Marketing Benchmarks
In addition to the marketing and sales benchmarks above, there are also a few important B2B email marketing benchmarks.
Email Open Rate
The first benchmark in this category is the open rate, or how many of your email subscribers actually open your email when it arrives in their inbox.
This is the first step in generating leads or sales. If people never open and read your email, then it has no value. Generally, the open rate is entirely based on the subject line.
For example, a customer might be more likely to open an email that has the subject “Get 50% off your next purchase today!” Compared to a subject line that read “Introducing our latest product offerings.”
On average, according to HubSpot, a good email open rate is 20%.
To calculate your open rate:
Email Open Rate=Total Email Opens divided by Total Number of Emails Sent X 100
Email Click Through Rate
Once an email has been opened and read, the next step to getting quality leads and conversions is getting your readers to perform some type of action.
The value of an email lies in what happens next. In most cases, you’ll have a call to action (“Learn More” or “Buy Now”) in every email campaign, and you’ll want to determine how many people actually complete the call to action.
Typically, the email click through rate should be 3 – 7%, according to HubSpot.
To calculate this number:
Email Click Through Rate=Total Email Clicks divided by Total Number of Email Opens X 100
Email Unsubscribe Rate
If your email doesn’t provide enough value to your readers, you’ll lose subscribers, which will cause you to lose quality leads that could have led to sales.
A minimal unsubscribe rate is key to demonstrating a successful marketing campaign, which is why HubSpot says that you should expect an unsubscribe rate below 5%.
And, even more importantly, for those that unsubscribe, less than .1% should state their reason for unsubscribing as spam.
To calculate your unsubscribe rate:
Unsubscribe Rate=Number of Unsubscribes divided by Total Number of Subscribers X 100
Email Bounce Rate
The final piece of your B2B email marketing benchmark puzzle is the bounce rate.
It’s important to note there are two different types of email bounce rates, hard and soft bounces. A hard bounce reflects the quality of your subscribers. It refers to a permanent reason an email could not be delivered, such as:
- The recipient’s email address does not exist.
- The domain name does not exist.
- The recipient’s email server has blocked delivery.
While a soft bounce, indicates a temporary delivery issue, such as:
- The recipient’s mailbox is full.
- The recipient’s email server is down or offline.
- The email message is too large.
In general, you want a total bounce rate below 5%, according to HubSpot. To calculate your rate:
Email Bounce Rate=Number of Bounced Emails divided by Number of Subscribers X 100
In order to get the most out of these B2B marketing and sales benchmarks and ensure your efforts fit within the average standards or above, you’ll want to work with an experienced online marketing agency.
Contact KeyScouts to help you by create monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports that demonstrate the success of your marketing efforts.
You can also download our free Benchmark Comparison guide to see how KeyScouts can help your business.