We’re a society that loves to measure stuff. We have pedometers, barometers, speedometers, scales, stopwatches and apps to measure virtually everything and anything. Our daily news is packed with charts, graphs and statistics, which do nothing more than measure stuff. As B2B marketers, we’re increasingly focused on measuring marketing stuff ?open rates, click-through rates, leads, cost/lead, conversion rates, and a host of other performance indicators. Marketing blogs are flooded with posts and comments related to what to measure, how to measure, why measure and when to measure all which are focused on two primary goals:? improving marketing performance and closing more business.

Of all the stuff marketers can and should measure, the most important, but often overlooked, is a measurement related to a prospect?s propensity to buy. Knowing if a prospect is buying or is likely to buy your product is the most import piece of data a marketer can get their hands on?this is marketing nirvana. Imagine walking into your favorite professional sports Stadium. As a former Massachusetts resident, I’m a Red Sox fan. So, let’s imagine walking into Fenway with a goal of selling your product to all 37,000 fans. Determining which fans have a propensity to buy your product would be extremely difficult with limited data. But imagine walking out to the pitching mound with a microphone in hand and asking only those inclined to buy your product to stand up or even better: text you their contact information. This would allow you to efficiently and effectively market to only those fans who will likely buy your product.

Fortunately, the use of B2B Purchase Behavior what a company buys and how their behavior changes over time is enabling forward thinking marketers to achieve marketing nirvana. By knowing what a company is currently buying you can predict what they’ll likely buy in the future. This enables you to market only to the ones that buy products like yours. Understanding your prospects? buying behavior will also enable you to customize your message and achieve a level of marketing effectiveness that will make your CFO finally see value in the marketing function. Adding data related to what a company is spending on products like yours to your lead scoring system will dramatically improve your lead conversion rates and your ability to deliver ?sales ready? leads.

4 Tips to Measuring Propensity to Buy

  1. 1. Add Propensity to Buy? Fields to CRMadd new purchase behavior related fields to your CRM system, which enables you to gauge your prospects? propensity to buy your products. A high, medium, low range would be a great start. You can also add a field for the amount the prospect is spending on your class of product and indicate if the spend is increasing or decreasing.


Propensity to buy:? High? Spend Amount:? $26.5M
Spend Trend:? Increasing

2. Boost Your Prospect Data?append your customers? and prospects? and purchase behavior data to the propensity to buy fields in your CRM system. Purchase behavior data can be acquired from new business information providers.

3. Create Purchase Behavior-based Buyer Profiles knowing your customer’s purchasing behavior what they buy?will enable you to build purchase behavior-based profiles and easily find other companies that match the profile.

4. Add Propensity to Buy? to Lead Scoring knowing a prospects? propensity to buy your product is extremely valuable and can be used to score leads, customize messaging and better target lead nurturing.


Gary Brooks is CMO of Cortera, a provider of comprehensive business-to-business payment and purchase behavior insights on public and private companies. The company tracks $1.6 trillion in business-to-business purchases across 45 spend categories to deliver insights on over 20 million U.S. business locations. Cortera?s solutions enable companies of all sizes to better understand their customers, suppliers and business partners by gaining visibility into what they purchase, how they pay and how their purchase and payment behavior changes over time.