In Marketing Technology blog & podcasts

Get started with B2B marketing goals for 2021

Many organizations do everything they can to achieve the objectives for this year. But as the person ultimately responsible for marketing (CMO), you should not forget to look further. That is why now is the time to get started with your marketing goals for 2021. You might think, already? But in this blog, you will read why you cannot start early enough.

What are the key B2B marketing goals?

The easiest answer to this question is of course: that differs per organization. And it is. But there is often more overlap than you think. Because in the end, almost every organization revolves around generating turnover. Is this the main objective then? No, but this should always be the starting point for your marketing goals, because only then can you demonstrate your contribution to the business objective.

If you have an online ordering process or a webshop, you can link your marketing objective to this 1-on-1. For example, Google Ads campaigns can make a direct contribution to this objective. But in B2B, the buying process often takes more time and also involves complex solutions. In that case, sales play an important role in securing the final deals.

How does your marketing efforts contribute to the business objective? And how are you going to formulate this as a marketing objective?

Integrated marketing and sales funnel

The integrated marketing and sales funnel is the complete buying process that someone goes through. So from unknown contact until someone is a customer. The funnel is integrated for three main reasons:

  1. During the customer journey, the processes of marketing and sales often run together.
  2. For the prospect, the funnel does not stop when someone is a Marketing Qualified Lead.
  3. Only in this way can show the contribution to the revenue.

In the remainder of this article, the term funnel will come back a few more times. This refers to the integrated marketing and sales funnel.

Which building blocks do you use to build your funnel?

This also differs per organization, but the table below at least shows the basis. Depending on your situation, you have more or fewer steps. Normally you need at least the following building blocks.

The last column in the table is a reading tip for the real pros who already work with funnels, but want to manage them even better.

BouwsteenDataNext level
Website visitorsNumber of website visitors
LeadsNumber of leadsValue in €
Marketing Qualified LeadsNumber of Marketing Qualified LeadsValue in €
Sales Accepted LeadsNumber of Sales Accepted LeadsValue in €
Sales Qualified LeadsNumber of Sales Qualified LeadsValue in €
Sales Qualified OpportunitiesNumber of Sales Qualified OpportunitiesValue in €
DealsNumber of dealsValue in €

When you know the revenue target of your organization, you can calculate what the targets in the funnel for 2021 should be based on the following information:

  • The average lead time from lead to deal
  • The average order value
  • The conversion rates between the different steps
  • The costs per lead and acquisition (CPL and CPA)
  • Share of marketing in the number of leads to be delivered. *

* We apply the rule that 50% of the leads are supplied by marketing, but that sales itself are also responsible for supplying 50% of the required new leads.

These are the building blocks that you ideally know. We also know that this is often not yet clear. But now is the time to ensure that you have access to this information around this time next year. And even with a small part of the information, it is possible to determine goals. Because; doing something is better than doing nothing.

What are the benefits of working with a funnel for you as a CMO?

Working with the funnel has many advantages. You take the next step with your marketing department. And all the benefits revolve around the position of marketing and your role as CMO within the organization because this simply increases your importance.

1. You take a proactive role in the business objectives

What we often see is that marketing waits every year to see what the objectives and / or the available budget will be. With the funnel, you take control yourself. First of all, you will ask questions such as; what are the growth targets? There is a good chance that you will also play an active role in this. Then you can focus on the strategy of the entire company. Based on the growth target, you can indicate and substantiate what you are going to contribute to this and what budget you need for this. And what could be better than working on goals that you and your team support yourself?

2. Result and data-driven work

Thinking from the funnel does require a different mindset. Because certainly as a CMO you will look much more at the big picture than at individual campaign results. These remain important, because the campaigns must contribute to the funnel / your marketing goals. And don’t panic in the beginning if your results lag behind, because one quarter can be better than another. Ultimately, it is about the result over a whole year.

3. Integration between the organization, sales and marketing goals

When you look at the funnel from an organizational point of view, the funnel is the backbone to ultimately be able to achieve your revenue/growth objective. With the above building blocks, it is clear to everyone what his / her role in the funnel is and you have joint responsibility. The funnel is ultimately an elaboration of the organizational goal for both sales and marketing. As an organization you want to grow by 10%, then the numbers in the funnel will also have to grow by that percentage. Unless you are somewhere able to optimize conversion rates, so you need fewer numbers.

4. Show the marketing ROI

So when your marketing objectives contribute to the objectives of the organization, you can also more easily show the value and ROI of your marketing department. This not only secures the importance of marketing within your organization but also ensures that your department receives the appreciation it deserves. A good KPI to use here is the pipeline value realized through marketing. You realize this insight by connecting your CRM and marketing automation.

5. The basis for your B2B Marketing strategy and planning for 2021

When you know what your marketing goals are, you can get started with the question; how am I going to get this done? What will you focus on with your marketing strategy and which activities/campaigns will you set up for this? Also, consider which campaigns can always contribute and can be used for a longer period to contribute to your goals.

6. Insight into real-time realization through a marketing dashboard

Of course, you also want to be able to manage your marketing goals. When you have the data needed to gain insight into the funnel, you can make it visual through a real-time dashboard. At any time of the day, you have insight into the realization of your marketing objectives.

Plan a discovery call

We know from experience that setting objectives is one of the most difficult, but perhaps also the most exciting task of the CMO. And you may think, I do not have this information available yet. If you need to discuss this, you can plan a discovery call with us. We will then work with you to see what the options are. And let one thing reassure you, we come across many CMOs who do not yet have insight into this.