B2B Marketing blog

How to measure ABM and its success?

A well known quote from marketing icon David Ogilvy: “Don’t count the people you reach; reach the people that count”.  This would be the perfect approach for account-based-marketing; you focus your efforts on a selected group of accounts.

In account-based marketing (ABM) the goal is not to generate as many leads as possible, but to build and enhance the relationship you have with an existing group of selected accounts. To what goal? An amazing deal! A good ABM plan is a first step, but how do you measure  success and how do you track your results?

Measuring ABM success

In ABM you should focus on bringing in an account and engage multiple stakeholders within that account. According to Harvard Business Review 2017 most of the decisions made when buying products are involving an average of 6,8 people. If you want to measure progress and success, you should be looking for engagement on an account level not only focus on the behaviour of individuals.

Account-based marketing in 5 steps

1. Insights

The first step on your way to a successful account-based marketing is to create insights into your accounts.

  • Do you know the most important contacts within your target account?
  • Which people make the decisions within the account?
  • What are their names and what is their job role?
  • And with how many of those people could you connect (do you have an opt-in to email them)?

Measuring tip: For example, set a goal for yourself to engage with 80% of the stakeholders in a fixed period of time.

2. Awareness

Once you know what people are important to you, you can measure whether they know you. For example look at what contacts within the target account have looked at your website before you start with your ABM, or if you are connected via social networks.

  • And what are they looking for, products or services?

Measuring tip: Set a goal to increase the awareness and keep track of your marketing automation dashboard to see the progress.

3. Engagement

All activities of your ABM programme are focussed on valuable interaction with the contacts of your target account. You want to make sure that your ABM efforts will reach all important stakeholders. You can measure engagement with your contacts by measuring the time they are willing to spend with you.

  • Do they read your blogs?
  • Do they follow you on LinkedIn or on Twitter?
  • Do they come to your events?
  • Do they follow your webinars?

Measuring tip: Keep track of the activities of your contacts. An efficient way to measure and compare, is to express it in ‘time spent’. Translate the activities to time needed per activity and now you know how much time  your contacts are spending with you.

4. Reach and impact

Do your ABM activities actually reach the right people?

  • Can we find out whether previous engagement is converting to real interaction? For example, through mobile conversations or face-to-face?
  • If sales would reach out to the target contacts would they be willing to talk?
  • Can we see an increase in opportunities because of the ABM programme?

Measuring tip: In this phase a tight co-operation between marketing and sales is of huge impact. Together you talk about the previously discussed metrics. Moreover you analyse what is happening and you take a look at the notes and the results in your dashboard or the CRM system. A weekly meeting between marketing and sales is a must!

5. Influence

A good way to actually see your impact and influence, is to compare results between different accounts.

  • Is there a visible difference of the sales process in comparison with non-ABM accounts?
  • Is there a difference in deals?
  • Is there a higher conversion for a deal?

Measuring tip: A good dashboard offers results, this is often possible with a report from your CRM system.


Decide how you are going to capture your information beforehand. Use existing ABM tools that deliver working reports and overviews, think of Engagio or Terminus. Or use tools to help in building 1-1 engagement such as Enspark.io. But before you move on to investing in tools, think of what you need exactly and what your existing CRM and marketing automation offer already.

Tip to read: Trend report 2017, ABM as one of the main trends coming up

Ingrid Archer

Ingrid Archer is a marketing and communications professional ‘pur sang’ with more than 20 years of experience in B2B marketing and communication. She is co-founder of spotONvision and the B2B Marketing Forum. She initiated successful campaigns in various sectors and is one of the experts in the field of content marketing, buyer personas and lead nurturing in B2B.