What channels are software/SaaS marketers turning to in order to generate business?

In the past two months, we’ve published two channel benchmark reports to better understand how marketers are generating business and creating value. The benchmark reports cover AdWords and LinkedIn Ads, and break down their impact on the customer funnel.

Today, for marketers at Software/SaaS companies, we compiled some key statistics from both reports, creating a one-stop shop of critical insights for two important digital marketing channels.

Let’s get right into the data.

AdWords is way ahead in volume


From leads to revenue, Adwords drives a much higher volume of business than LinkedIn Ads — anywhere from 3 to 5 times as much. As we move down the funnel, from leads to opps to revenue, both channels see decreases.

This is part of a greater trend for digital marketing channels. According to the State of Inbound 2016 report, 78% of salespeople rate referrals and sales-sourced leads as the highest quality leads. Despite the significant progress of digital channels, the B2B purchase path is long and still very people-based. Therefore, it makes sense that referrals (while smaller in volume) tend to have a greater impact deeper in the funnel.

However, when it comes to LinkedIn, you’ll notice that while there is a big drop off from leads to opportunities, there is only a small drop from opportunities to revenue. This means that opportunities sourced by LinkedIn convert to customers and revenue at a relatively good rate. We’ll discuss this more when we look at revenue per opportunity numbers.

LinkedIn is winning in driving higher value leads and opportunities



(Note: the “All Channels” data combines data from both the AdWords and LinkedIn Ads Benchmark Reports)

Marketers are seeing much higher revenue per lead and revenue per opportunity ratios on LinkedIn compared to AdWords. These suggest either better win rates, bigger deals, or a combination of the two.

Better win rates and bigger deals stem from better targeting options on LinkedIn compared to AdWords — the ability to only pay for qualified clicks. This is especially true for companies that are using ABM strategies. With targeted lists of accounts that are ideal fits, marketing that hits these target accounts are expected to have higher win rates.

Furthermore, LinkedIn uniquely allows for accurate and useful targeting options based on professional dimensions, like job title and skills. For B2B software/SaaS companies, this can be extremely powerful for finding the right people.

Different Strengths

The benchmark data here shows why these two channels are great fits for B2B companies. The Contribution to Business chart shows why AdWords is valuable — it drives high volumes of demand. And while that demand doesn’t flow through the funnel as efficiently as marketers might like, it still contributes a significant amount of volume. If marketers are able to generate leads at a good cost per lead, the channel can be very effective.

On the other hand, both the Revenue per Lead and Revenue per Opportunity data show the strengths of LinkedIn. The two charts show that LinkedIn drives a positively disproportionate amount of revenue. LinkedIn Ads offers a targeted way to generate quality prospects that, once converted to opportunities, create a lot of business value.

Download the full reports below to get more benchmarks and a better understanding of how your performance on these two channels compares against the industry norms.