We all know that marketing is about ‘quality’ and not about ‘quantity’, right? That is exactly where account-based marketing comes in; With ABM you focus your efforts on a selected group of accounts, on buying groups that either show interest or on buying groups that would be a great fit for your services or product.
ABM has become the key go-to-market strategy for many B2B companies in the last years. In the latest Gartner Benchmark on Technology Marketing (2021) “64% of respondents with an ABM use case and more than $100 million in revenue have a dedicated budget for ABM technology.” The existing ABM platforms help B2B marketing and sales teams to engage and measure engagement on account level. However, many B2B company are still using traditional marketing automation platforms for ABM. These platforms offer limited ABM options, especially around account selection and automation cross channel account activation and intent data.
In this article we look at measuring success in ABM. Because 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?
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Measuring ABM success
In ABM programmes you focus on bringing in an account and engage multiple stakeholders within the account. B2B purchasing decisions are made by a (buying)group or committee and have been since the beginning of B2B. So, 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. And above all, you want to measure the number of opportunities.
“B2B marketers must figure out how to decipher these multiple contacts from an account into groups and connect ALL buying group contacts to opportunities and revenue.” (Vicki Brown, Forrester, B2B Marketers Should Bury the Lead)
Account-based marketing measuring tips
The first step on your way to a successful account-based marketing is to define your target account list and to create insights into your accounts. This is measurable!
- Do you know which accounts are most likely to buy? (based on intent data?)
- Do you know the most important contacts within these target accounts?
- Which stakeholders 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 (opt-in, or LinkedIn connection)?
Measuring tip: For example, set a goal for yourself to engage with 80% of the stakeholders in a fixed period of time.
Once you know what people are important to you, you can measure whether they know you. For example look at which contacts within the target account have been on your website before you start with your campaign, or whether you are connected via social networks.
- Do they visit your website?
- 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 or ABM dashboard to see the progress.
All activities of your ABM programme are focussed on valuable interaction with the contacts of your target account, because you want to make sure that your ABM efforts will reach the right 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, chat 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 very important. Step 1: talk about the previously discussed metrics. Step 2: analyse what is happening and take a look at the notes and the results in your dashboard or the CRM system. And finally, step 3: plan a weekly meeting between marketing and sales to discuss progress!
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.
Before you even start, decide how you are going to capture your information. There is a variety of tools that deliver working reports and overviews. The big technology players for ABM are Demandbase, 6sense and Terminus. They offer a lot of functionalities including account measurement and analytics to quantify lift and performance. Finally, before you invest in tools, think of what you need exactly and what your existing CRM and marketing automation offer already.