As account-based marketing grows, so too does the need to ditch lead reporting and instead focus on ABM reporting.
In B2B sales, when a deal is closed the team celebrates and announces they’ve closed a new account. Notice that it’s not “they’ve closed a new lead.” So why then, does Marketing report on leads? To truly align the organization and drive the most revenue through account-based marketing, Marketing needs to speak the same language as Sales: revenue. And to do that, they must report on contacts and accounts.
It seems obvious, account-based marketing would report on accounts, but quite often everything is still discussed in terms of individual leads. Here’s how and why to change that.
Lead to Account Mapping
The first step to ABM reporting, is to implement lead to account mapping. The B2B sales process is long and likely includes touchpoints from multiple contacts at a single company. These can include the researcher, prospective users of the product, and/or the decision maker within the company.
If you’re tracking all of these people as individual leads, different sales people may be trying to sell each one of them. Not only will this slow the conversion of the account through the funnel, but it’s a waste of time and effort on the sales and marketing teams.
For example, the researcher may visit your site through paid search, they then get a potential user involved and that individual comes in through direct. Then the knowledge is passed to the decision maker who visits the product page and hops on a demo with the sales team.
If we looked at each of these as individuals, the sales and marketing teams would still be trying to engage the researcher and user. We’d think we lost a potential deal, when in fact it had already closed.
With lead to account mapping, each of those individuals would be tagged with company information. We would know from the start that they were all part of a single account. Instead of one salesperson paired with every contact, a single salesperson would be assigned to the account and reach out to engage specific contacts within that account. When a salesperson knows the entire account and the account’s engagement, they are able to provide a better prospect experience.
Additionally, focusing on accounts allows marketers to spot trends in engagement. Instead of MQLs, you’ll have MQAs, Marketing Qualified Accounts. Rules for qualification can be similar to those of MQLs. Once an account reaches a certain level of engagement, be it specific pages that have been visited or the number of contacts within an account who have engaged with your brand, it will be tagged as an MQA and the sales team will know it’s time to reach out. Based on the contact touchpoints within the account journey, the salesperson will know which contact to engage with to close to sale.
Mapping every lead to an account truly gives the marketing team a full view of the customer journey. How many touchpoints did the account have as a whole, who from the account is interacting with your brand? This is valuable information that gets lost if you’re only reporting on leads.
Account Engagement Scoring
Once you’re mapping leads to accounts, you can begin to give them scores based on engagement.
Account engagement scores wrap up the success of marketing in a single score, making it easy to tell if an account needs more nurturing or is ready for the sales team to reach out. Scores will be based on questions like:
- Have you reached the key personas that increase chances the account will close?
- Has there been bottom of the funnel engagement from any account contacts?
- What is the optimal number of engaged contacts that makes the account likely to buy?
- What is the time frame between touchpoints from contacts?
Based on answers to these questions, or any others you deem important, the account as a whole will be given a score. The better the score, the more likely it is the account will close as a customer.
In contrast, accounts with a low score offer a chance to learn and optimize the process. Why are they no longer engaging with your brand? What stage in the funnel were they when you lost them? Analyze the journey to create a plan to re-engage the account and provide a better user experience for accounts in the future.
When it comes to account-based marketing, there’s no longer separate sales and marketing funnels, there is only one account journey and the touchpoints in that journey must be tracked and reported on accordingly. As Marketing reports on accounts and revenue just like Sales, the teams begin to align and provide a better prospect experience, which drives more value for the organization.
ABM measurement software will provide lead to account mapping and account engagement scoring right in your dashboard so there’s never a question of which accounts to engage and when. Sales and marketing teams are now on the same page, tracking and reporting the same metrics, with one clear view of the account journey.