The Top Metrics for a B2B CMO Dashboard

A CMO dashboard visualizes all your marketing data across the customer journey and provides an overview of all marketing functions, from social media and email engagement to web traffic and lead generation. The dashboard is a concise way to assess overall marketing performance and impact on the organization.

While creating a CMO dashboard, keep in mind that a busy executive is looking for a quick and high-level view into their department. They want to be able to quickly see the bigger picture in order to identify areas of improvement and know where to take action, all based on their data. With key metrics displayed in a dashboard, CMOs are better prepared to quickly get insights and take action to improve not only the performance of their marketing team, but also the overall growth of the company. In this tutorial, we’ll go over the top metrics for a B2B CMO dashboard.

Choosing the right metrics

While dashboards are extremely helpful in tracking key information, it’s important to note that what you track is ultimately determined by you and is based on your company’s needs and goals. Generally, a CMO will want to look at metrics that help them understand the performance of the marketing team in terms of growth of the business, funnel efficiency and velocity, ROI of marketing investments, and customer impact.

For many companies, one metric will outshine other metrics and is often called the North Star Metric. The North Star Metric is the single metric that best captures the core value that your product delivers to customers. Identify the North Star Metric for your marketing team and include it on your CMO dashboard to ensure you maintain focus and alignment within the team and the entire organization.

To make the B2B marketing metrics more understandable, we’ve broken them down into six overarching categories and provided a brief explanation of each metric.

1. Growth impact (for SaaS businesses)

  • Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) – this metric is the cumulative recurring revenue of all customers over a 12-month period. It’s made up of three components, each of which is worth analyzing as part of the whole picture: revenue added by new customers, revenue added by existing customers who expanded their subscription level, and revenue reduced by churning customers or existing customers lowering their subscription level. Tracking this metric can help understand business growth and measure gain and loss of revenue in specific areas. Learn more about ARR here.
  • Number of Customers – this metric is the total number of customers that have bought and are using your service. Tracking this metric can help you assess specific goals when it comes to gaining new and keeping current customers. Here, you can also track the Number of Active Customers (or Users), which are the customers (or end users) who are actively using your product or service.
  • Annual Contract Value (ACV) – this metric is the average value of a customer contract over the span of a year. Tracking this metric can help you determine the worth of the relationship with your customers.
  • Lifetime Value (LTV) – this metric is the predicted revenue a customer will bring in over their lifetime. Tracking this metric allows you to determine how to achieve profitability.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – this metric is the total cost needed to acquire a new customer. Tracking this metric can enable you to optimize the return on your marketing and sales investments.  
  • CAC Payback Period – this metric is the amount of time (usually in months) that it takes to earn back the money invested in acquiring new customers. Tracking this metric gives a sense of capital efficiency and can help you see progress towards turning a profit.

2. Marketing funnel

  • Lead Lifecycle – This metric refers to how the “life” of a lead is handled. The lifecycle begins when the lead is first recognized and goes until it becomes a customer. Tracking this metric allows you to assess which stages of the lifecycle need improvement and can possibly help identify why leads aren’t turning into customers. Below, we’ll further discuss each part of the lifecycle.
    • Visitors – the total number of people that visit your website.
    • Leads – the number of visitors who are actually interested in your service (indicated possibly by submitting a form on your web site, requesting information, attending an event, or downloading a content asset). It’s important to look at the visitor to lead conversion rate in this part of the funnel to understand the quality of your web site content and relevance of your calls to action.
    • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) –  leads that are more likely to become a customer compared to other leads based on lead intelligence and lead behavior. It’s important to look at the lead to MQL conversion rate in this part of the funnel to check on effectiveness of your marketing efforts at the top of the funnel.
    • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) – leads that have been qualified by the sales team (typically following a BANT model – Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe)  and are directed towards the logistics of making a purchase. It’s important to look at the MQL to SQL conversion rate in this part of the funnel to check on the quality of your qualified leads and efficiency of the follow-ups from your sales team.
    • Opportunities – leads that have entered the buying cycle and are interested in your product or service. It’s important to look at the SQL to opportunity conversion rate to check on the effectiveness of your sales processes.
    • Wins – leads that have turned into customers. It’s important to look at the opportunity to win ratio to see the overall success of your strategies to close new customers.

An example of a marketing funnel chart with a conversion table for a CMO dashboard.

3. Attribution

Attribution is measured in two dimensions:

  • Metric
    • Number of Leads
    • Number of MQLs
    • Number of Customers
  • Variable
    • By Source – this dimension looks at which specific sources (direct traffic, organic search traffic, paid advertising) are affecting the metric being attributed.
    • By Channel – this dimension looks at which channels (Google, Quora, Bing, G2Crowd) are affecting the metric being attributed.
    • By Campaign – this dimension looks at which of your campaigns are affecting the metric being attributed.
    • By Content Asset – this dimension looks at which content assets are affecting the metric being attributed.

An example of a chart used to track attribution by source for a CMO dashboard.

 

4. Return on Investment (ROI)

  • Marketing Spend – This metric tracks your marketing spend, usually, versus your allocated budget.
  • Marketing Payback – This metric allows you to see how long it takes to make back what you spend on marketing. Tracking this metric tells you if your investments are worth the cost. You can track your spending in the following dimensions:
    • By source
    • By channel
    • By campaign
    • By ad
    • By content asset

5. Advocacy

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – this metric is a way to measure how likely a customer is to recommend your service to someone else. NPS is a useful proxy for customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) – this metric is a way to measure a customer’s satisfaction level with your service.
  • Advocates Over Time – this metric allows you to see how many advocates you’ve gained over a period of time.
  • Advocate Engagement Rate – this metric is a way to measure how engaged your advocates are in terms of participating in activities like product advisory boards, user groups, case studies, or online reviews and references.

6. Trends Over Time

It’s important to also track some key metrics over time so that you can identify trends, assess relative changes, and link them to events. A few examples are:

  • Web Visitors
  • Leads
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
  • Annual Contract Value (ACV)

An example of a trend chart for a CMO dashboard.

Conclusion

From a CMO dashboard, you’re able to assess the overall performance of your marketing team and make informed decisions about growth and changes. While there are many components that make up a company’s marketing department, these metrics can easily display the important details that are of interest to a B2B CMO. If you would like to try building your own CMO dashboard, start a free trial with Chartio today.

About Bryn Burns

Hi! I'm Bryn Burns. I am a current senior at Virginia Tech pursuing degrees in Statistics and Mathematics. Data science and visualization are two things I'm very passionate about, as well as working with numbers and helping people learn. I'm thrilled to share my knowledge here at The Data School!