B2B Marketing Blog

Why ABM Marketers Need A Predictive Account Engagement Score

By Jordan Con
May 19, 2016

When it comes to account-based marketing measurement, one of the most important metrics (after revenue) is account engagement.

An account engagement score is the final middle-of-the-funnel metric that wraps up the success (or lack of success) of existing marketing efforts into an effective and easy to use tool for the marketing and sales teams to prioritize accounts that are most likely to become customers.

Specifically, it informs the sales team when to strike, it helps the marketing team understand where to spend more time, and more broadly, it’s a great leading indicator of revenue.

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Account Engagement Score vs. Lead Scoring

At first glance, this concept sounds a lot like lead scoring, but it’s actually quite different. While the goal is similar -- to provide a simple and smart way for the marketing and sales team to determine whom to prioritize -- both the inputs that go into scoring and the account-based nature make for a significantly different task.

For example, here are some questions about account engagement that demand gen marketers typically don’t need to consider when scoring leads:

  • How many people within an account do you need to engage to make them likely to buy?

  • Which personas do you need to engage to make it likely for them to buy?

  • Have you engaged with an internal champion -- someone of influence?

  • Has anyone in the account engaged with the most powerful bottom-of-the-funnel content?

  • How many people in the account need to engage with bottom-of-the-funnel content?

Right now you’re probably thinking that the answers to these questions will create a lot of different metrics, not just one score. Shouldn’t you be tracking all of them and looking at each individual metric? While you should have all the data, we believe that using a single score is actually a better approach on a day-to-day basis.

The Importance of a Single Score

There are a lot of engagement metrics, and to some extent, they’re all important in their own way. When you track too many metrics, however, they tend to lose their utility -- their power to be actionable diminishes. You need things to focus on and prioritize. That’s why we believe in creating a single account engagement score -- a metric that rolls everything up and gives the team an easy and digestible metric to act on.

Let’s say that you have a 1-4 scoring system, where 4 is the most engaged and deepest in the funnel. You know that if an account has a 4, the sales team should act because they have the highest likelihood of all your accounts to buy. If you have to look at ten different metrics to determine whether the sales team should act, they may never actually act.

Aligning the Sales and Marketing Teams

Taking into account past customer engagement data, this metric should provide insight into the engagement status of a particular account. It helps salespeople identify high-scoring accounts that are primed for sales engagement. This way, both marketing and sales efforts are optimized for creating customers and revenue, rather than leads.

On the flip-side, if the metric says that an account is not yet ready for a salesperson to reach out, what kind of marketing should they be offered? Why is the existing content that they’ve engage with not had an impact? This score should also be used to optimize marketing decisions with the intent of moving accounts from a bad score to a good score.

Predictive Account Engagement Score

At Bizible, we call this the Predictive Account Engagement Score. It takes into account several of these factors, including historical customer engagement data, and through a special sauce data science algorithm, it produces a grade that represents the likelihood that an account will become a customer. As more data is collected and fed into the algorithm, the scoring system adjusts to ensure that the sales team is truly optimizing their efforts.

This is the second critical difference between an account engagement score and a lead score. Lead scores usually focus on firmographic data (e.g. right industry, right company size), and more advanced lead scores will also consider lead engagement (e.g. clicks, email opens). Predictive account engagement scores, on the other hand, factor in both current attribution data and historical customer attribution data so that the score is tailored and optimized for an organization’s specific account journey.

“Understanding where to concentrate your limited Sales and Marketing resources is essential to any ABM strategy. Predictive scoring arms sales and marketing organizations with the power to focus on the right accounts at the right time.”

- Jason Tillman, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Bizible, The Definitive Guide to ABM Measurement

We know marketers are busy. And if you talk to anyone on your sales team, chances are they’re pretty busy, too. Knowing exactly which accounts need attention -- either from the sales team because the account is likely to close or from the marketing team because the account isn’t ready yet -- and from which team, gives everyone confidence that they’re using their time and resources effectively.

When it comes to ABM, a lot is on the line. Compared to a demand generation strategy, you’re spending more resources on fewer targets. You need to put your eggs in the right basket.

With customer and revenue generation as the goal, an effective predictive engagement score gives both the marketing and sales team direction, and provides a signal that rises above the noise in account-based marketing.CMO's Guide to ABM Orchestration  How to plan, execute, and measure your ABM strategy.    Download Now

Topics: account based marketing

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