Measuring Account Based Marketing Success
Account Based Marketing comes with expectations that it will lead to success and drive growth, and rightly so. Teams are reconfigured, resources are allocated in new ways, and traditional strategies are deployed differently. It’s a significant undertaking for any organization – and requires plenty of planning.
To start with, you need to gain a full understanding of exactly what ABM means for both Marketing and Sales. Then comes actually implementing the strategy using a framework; carefully following a plan is imperative for ensuring everything is set up for success. Once everything is put in place, and work is being done to land target accounts, it’s necessary to have strategies in place to analyze your efforts. Measuring Account Based Marketing efforts is crucial because studying results will inform future decisions and actionable improvements.
As with most aspects of ABM, there is no catchall that will work for every organization. Account Based Marketing is both an art and a science – there will be aspects that are seen across all successful ABM efforts, and then there will be factors unique to each case that are the result of diligence, tinkering, and intuition.
With that said, there are broad categories that every Account Based Marketing strategy should be measuring. Let’s take a look at what those categories are, the metrics they contain, and why they matter.
When it comes to Account Based Marketing, knowledge is power. The clearer the picture, and the better understanding you have of your target accounts, the more likely you are to succeed. Developing key intelligence on prospects is one of the first steps of launching ABM at your organization. This research serves as the jumping off point for penetrating an account.
As relationships are developed and decision makers are engaged account maps will take different shapes. These are fluid situations that will be changing from day to day. As such, it’s crucial to record and measure an account’s coverage.
The data for measuring your coverage should come from Marketing and Sales sharing intelligence freely. Any and all insights are important for building a complete profile of an account. ABM program wide metrics on coverage are also a good way of tracking overall success. Track the following to determine the level of coverage an account has:
- The contacts within an account that have been identified, and their level of influence
- Number of contacts within the account that have been engaged
- The amount of accounts that have been properly researched
- The number of accounts that have been engaged, and to what level
Analyzing this information on account coverage will reveal gaps within the accounts. This whitespace represents places where you can focus attention and fill in blanks to create a better foundation for engaging with accounts.
The most complex measurements will be grouped under the category of account engagement. Engagement is the bread and butter of Account Based Marketing, and measuring the touches happening with an account is vital for assessing the effectiveness of your strategy.
Both Marketing and Sales will be partaking in a variety of activities that all have the end goal of driving engagement. However, not every activity will carry the same weight and so it is important to provide context for what is considered successful engagement.
Marketing’s activities will be focused on driving account-level demand through digital marketing and personalized content. The metrics that should be measured include but are not limited to:
- Responses to personalized web and advertising experiences
- Open and click through rates on targeted email campaigns
- Attendance at events like webinars
- Content analytics statistics such as which documents were opened, what pages were viewed, and time spent on individual pages
- Where in the buyer’s journey people are engaging with particular pieces of content
Sales will leverage the work being done by Marketing to drive their own engagements. Their engagements will be more personal and interactive, as expected. But tracking these metrics is just as important for gaining a clear picture of how every aspect of your Account Based Marketing strategy is performing. Sales metrics will include:
- The number of smaller interactions with key contacts such as phone calls or personal emails back and forth
- The amount of demos or in-depth conversations about a product or service, depending on your organizations offerings
- In-person meetings and presentations to key stakeholders
The weight and importance that is placed on these metrics for both teams – or if they’re even tracked at all – will be unique to every organization. Depending on your organization’s goal when it comes Account Based Marketing you will need to develop a unique formula and blend that places these metrics into the proper context.
In the end, what ABM comes down to is: Are we selling better than we were before? When it comes to answering that question, the metrics will look very similar to standard sales metrics. But this data will be the end result of many new and different processes that have been put in place.
Account Based Marketing is a holistic approach where every step of the process is as important as the next. Conversion metrics will reveal if all of your work has been worth the effort. The metrics to track here are:
- Velocity – how quickly are prospects being identified and how quickly are prospects becoming opportunities?
- Sales cycle lengths – these will typically be longer than normal due to the size and effort required to close ABM deals, but it’s important to get a baseline for the average time you’ll be spending to close deals.
- Conversion rates – how many actual opportunities are being converted into closed deals?
- Deal sizes – average deal sizes should increase using Account Based Marketing (DemandBase found that contract values for mid-market accounts are 40% larger, and enterprise saw 35% larger deals.)
Ultimately, all of these metrics serve to provide insights that will be helpful in determining what accounts to target in the future, what strategies to use to engage those accounts, and the expectations for success with any particular account.