When it comes to account-based marketing (ABM), a lot of marketers get hung up with implementation. How do I create personalized content? How do I get ahold of the right people at all my target accounts? Why is it taking so long to show results?
While these are certainly important, it’s useful to step back and start with a strong understanding of your objectives and goals.
- Which metrics are you trying to move?
- How will you know if you’re succeeding?
In order to have successful implementation, you need to really understand what you’re trying to do. These metrics will help you plan your strategy and campaigns, as well as act as guard rails to keep you on track and on pace to achieve your goals.
Our VP of Marketing, Dave Rigotti, was recently joined by Vin Turk, COO and co-founder of Madison Logic, to discuss the most important metrics for ABM. Here is an overview of what was discussed:
Touchpoints from target accounts
One of the first indicators of success is whether your ABM efforts are truly reaching the right people. A campaign may drive a ton of engagement, but if it’s not with the right people, it’s not actually worth that much.
One of the first steps in ABM is to define your target accounts and break them into grades. How these grades are determined will differ for every company, but typically, your A accounts will be the top 1% of your total target accounts, your B accounts will be the top 10% (excluding A accounts), your C accounts will be the top 50% (excluding A and B accounts), and your D or F accounts will be remainder. Ultimately, your A accounts should have the highest win rates, followed by B, then C, then D.
Account-based marketing techniques, as opposed to traditional demand generation techniques, aim to hit your specific target accounts. However, there’s still a difference between hitting a ton of C accounts versus hitting your prime A accounts.
By measuring touchpoint engagement based on target accounts and their respective grades, you’ll gain an understanding of which campaigns are actually engaging the right people—a great first step.
Predictive account engagement score
Building on the previous metric, ABM marketers should be keeping track of the predictive account engagement score of each account. In addition to just the quantity of touchpoints per account, a predictive score takes into account a variety of quality-related metrics, such as the type of touchpoint (e.g. phone calls with sales reps vs. paid search), and which personas within the account are engaging, and when, to create a likelihood to become a customer score.
Prospect accounts with high predictive engagement scores are most likely to convert, and are therefore good prospects for the sales team to prioritize. At the other end, prospect accounts with low predictive engagement scores are good targets for the marketing team to continue to engage and nurture.
Predictive account engagement scores enable organizations to prioritize their efforts, resulting in efficient marketing.
As we move down the funnel, the next key ABM metric is deal velocity—how fast prospects move from the sales opportunity stage to closed-won customer.
Deal velocity is important because it helps with planning (if we want to hit our annual numbers, when do we need to create enough sales opportunities?) and increasing ROI (if we can close opportunities in half the time, it’s possible to close twice as many customers in the same time frame).
There are two ways to think about how ABM can impact deal velocity: 1) what activities and channels (pre-opportunity) create prospects with faster deal velocity, and 2) what can we do post-opportunity to increase velocity?
Win rate is another key post-opportunity stage metric for marketers doing ABM. Here is the win rate equation:
On one level, marketers can use win rates as a smell test for your account grades. Is the win rate for your A grades higher than B, B higher than C, etc.? If they’re not, what’s going on? Maybe it’s a good time to reassess how you’re grading accounts.
But more importantly, marketers should use win rate analysis to improve them. Create segments with high win rates and analyze the buyer journeys for patterns. Did you do something different at the bottom of the funnel that was making a difference?
Marketers spend the vast majority of their budget pre-opportunity stage, so improving win rates can make an organization vastly more efficient. For example, to double growth, an organization can create twice as many opportunities and keep the same win rate, or they generate the same amount of opportunities and double win rate.
50 opportunities x 10% win rate = 5 customers
To double growth:
Option 1: 100 opportunities x 10% win rate = 10 customers
Option 2: 50 opportunities x 20% win rate = 10 customers
Finally, the most important metric for all organizations, regardless if you’re doing traditional demand generation or account-based marketing, is revenue.
Decisions should be made with revenue in mind. Even top of the funnel engagement, assuming accurate tracking and attribution, should be accountable to revenue. If these activities don’t eventually result in revenue generation, why are you doing them?
In order to accurately track and measure revenue, marketers need full-funnel, account-based attribution. A thread across all of these metrics is that they are specifically account-based. And even though revenue is typically thought of as a bottom of the funnel metric, everything from the first touch to the last touch contributes to revenue generation—it’s truly a full funnel effort.
For B2B organizations, the complete buyer journey is rarely done by an individual, it’s done by an account. One person may have the first touch and eventually become a lead. Then, a co-worker schedules a demo, and then another person may come in and close the deal. This is all a single buyer journey, so even though the first touch wasn’t done by the same person who closed the deal, it should still be credited with revenue.
If you’d like to learn more about attribution, click on the banner below.