Quite a few people ask me, “What are good benchmarks to measure myself against?” Often this question occurs as a company is optimizing their lead funnel or reporting so that is it is more reliable. The marketer then wants to know if 10% of leads go to MQL (marketing qualified lead), is that good or bad compared to the rest of the world?
Before you benchmark externally, benchmark internally first. Have a few months or even a year of solid data where you can see the daily or monthly change in funnel movements. Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Model is a good starting point. After several months, there is enough data to say your Engaged to MQL rate is 7%, for example. If you see one month is at 12% and another is at 2%, then investigate the marketing activities going on then. Perhaps it was Christmas and leads stopped picking up the phone, or perhaps that big content program was a flop.
Only once you have a clear funnel conversion rate can you ask about external benchmarks. These benchmarks are difficult to find for free, or at all. Through careful research, I have collected several credible papers for sales funnel numbers and email deliverability.
- Marketo’s B2B Enterprise Content Marketing Benchmarking Study (2014)
- Aberdeen Marketing & Sales Performance: The Roadmap to Revenue and Its Tollgates (April 2014)
- Aberdeen Event Marketing (Nov 2013)
- Marketing Sherpa’s Funnel Optimization – with CPL numbers. (July 2011)
- Marketing Sherpa’s B2B Marketing Benchmarks (2012)
- Sirius Decisions and Funneholic – Video (2013)
Email Deliverability Benchmarks
- EmailStatCenter – clearinghouse of report info
- ReturnPath Email Deliverability Benchmarks (2014)
- Silverpop/IBM Email Marketing Benchmarks (2014)
- Marketing Sherpa’s Email Deliverability Report (2013)
- Marketo’s Email Marketing Benchmarks (2011)
- Experian’s Global Email Deliverability Benchmarks (2011)
Best of luck preparing for 2015!