B2B Marketing Blog

How to Measure the Velocity of the Customer Journey

By Andrew Nguyen
Feb 16, 2018
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Marketing teams need to be able to show measurable results for the marketing function to be seen as an investment. Influencing the customer journey and shortening sales cycles is one way to achieve this.

Most customer journey maps define stages and channels, but how can marketers measure their influence on those customers taking that journey through the funnel?

At Bizible, we create ways for marketers to understand the customer journey. We do this by tracking sales cycles and average velocity between stage transitions. These are indicators that content, events and other marketing touchpoints are driving prospects through the funnel faster.

These are also great indicators for planning, as well. In this blog post, we show how to approach and use customer journey data, namely velocity metrics.

Velocity as a Go-to-Market Performance Indicator

Implementing marketing attribution also adds dates to every touchpoint, including touchpoints where there is a stage transition. Knowing this we can derive the average number of days between stage transitions as a measure for velocity.

There are several uses for velocity data. Starting at a high level, if you’re a marketing leader, you want to understand performance across your different market segments. If this is the first time you’re seeing data like this, you can discover the customer journey in more detail, asking yourself whether this is what you expect.

b2b marketing customer journey velocity by segment-1

(click image to enlarge)

If you’re entering a new market, measuring velocity gives you a baseline benchmark, and a great place to start when thinking about next year’s goals for that market. For example, if you want to invest in sales enablement for this new market, you’ll be able to track improvements in velocity.

If you’re tracking velocity across quarters or months, you can use it as an early warning system when important lead transitions have slowed. Lastly, if you are launching a campaign in a market, you can see whether that campaign correlates with faster velocity.

To generate this type of chart and report, access Bizible data from your favorite BI platform. Using our data warehouse you can slice and dice velocity data how you see fit.

Tracking Velocity of the Customer Journey

The reporting and chart in the previous section is only a snapshot in time. But average velocity can change over time as you put effort and resources in sales enablement or simply grow your marketing efforts, increasing the number of marketing touchpoints experienced by prospects. One way to track the success of all this is to track how velocity changes and improves over time.

To measure this, you can create a time series chart . The chart below shows month of year on the X axis and average number of days between a stage transition on the Y axis.

The lines refer to each stage, so you can see the average number of days until a transition to the next stage. So the line referring to LC (the lead creation touch) refers to the average velocity from LC to the next stage, which is the Demo stage.

time series velocity by stage

(click image to enlarge)

Keep in mind that you’ll need to report on this regularly because the data in your data warehouse will change. In other words, you’ll need to track this monthly, then plot that that data after enough time has passed to see trends.

This is a great way to understand the customer journey and set goals around areas you’d like to improve on, e.g. shortening the journey.

Grouping and Pivoting How You Want

Velocity reporting is a great way to discover the customer journey (if you haven’t started tracking it yet) and improve the impact of marketing. No one can argue that helping sales close deals faster is a worthy accomplishment by marketing.

With Bizible Data Warehouse, marketers can do much more than what is shown in this blog post. They can pivot by cohort, selecting groups of prospects who were included in a campaign, attended an event, by persona, or by any other criteria. You can select and pivot however you want, even using data that doesn’t come from Bizible, e.g. another marketing platform.

The flexibility of Bizible’s Data Warehouse means you can measure what’s most relevant to you, telling the story of marketing’s impact on growth, and setting strategies that have measurable goals related to shorter sales cycles as part of creating a great customer experience.

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Topics: customer journey, marketing operations

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