A couple of weeks ago I presented at the B2B Bizo Funnelmentals Tour conference in Chicago. The event is designed to help B2B marketers turn the right audiences into new customers (as well as showcase Bizo’s great product, of course).
It was a full house, with a good mix of SMB and enterprise-sized companies. I always enjoy the Q&As, because they’re a great chance to pin down which tactics resonate and which ones misfire. The common theme in most of these interview sessions was metrics. The attendees were all really sharp, and they wanted to drill down into campaign performance, which assets performed better, and which vehicles for promotion had the best ROI.
Of course, this kind of data is not specific to marketing departments. Everyone wants to understand what’s working and what’s not, and how to get the most out of their budgets. They want to be able to have the systems in place that let them test new strategies, since your best performing campaign might be the next one.
Customer service wants to optimize the time their reps spend by looking at engagement metrics. Sales departments track their calls/connects and connects/conversion metrics, among many others. Product teams need an indicator of how the product pricing will change demand, or how new feature implementations might affect renewals.
There are countless metrics to track, and everyone at the conference agreed that prioritization is king. No one likes to drown in numbers. Establishing a clear path and then following it may sound simple, but lots of times various hurdles (read: requests from colleagues!) can throw you off track.
Of course, I took every opportunity to ask companies if they had any plans to shift their businesses to a subscription-based model, or launch a product based on a subscription service. While it didn’t make sense for some (like the raw materials company that supplied chemicals to companies like Proctor & Gamble), I met quite a few that were moving in that direction.
It turns out that metrics are a key reason why companies make the decision to offer a subscription-based product. Recurring predictability can allow them to hone in and make changes to test and improve. Without that constant feedback, it’s a much longer and ill-defined test period, one that many companies simply neglect.
Just like in the demand generation space, the transition to subscription produces metrics that allow for much smoother business shifts. I talked about how at Zuora, we use Bizo to target very specific audience segments, and use performance metrics to decide everything from which ads work best to whether we should be increasing or decreasing our ad spend in general. We’re always looking for the happy number that gets us the target ROI.
I also had a chance to talk with Russ Glass, the friendly CEO over at Bizo, and wouldn’t you know it, they’re planning on offering a new subscription-based nurturing service. He said that Bizo was looking for more predictability in their revenues, commissions, and growth. Sounds familiar!
We’ll be discussing metrics from a variety of perspectives at the upcoming Subscribed Conference in a few weeks. Join us at www.subscribed.com to learn more.
Sam Adler is the Director of Global Demand Generation at Zuora.