Sales and marketing teams have an abundance of customer information at our fingertips, real-time optimization capabilities, and the power to tailor campaigns down to the individual level.
We've never been better equipped to craft targeted touch points across the web and IRL (automated gifting or events-in-a-box anyone? 🤯).
This technological revolution has allowed account-based marketing (ABM) to thrive. It also makes it easier to excessively spend in pursuit of the wrong data points.
Running an effective ABM campaign requires more than just a wealth of data; it demands a deep understanding of the KPIs that truly drive success within your targeted accounts.
ABM is a distinct game from traditional inbound. It’s high-risk and high-reward. And it relies on human nature to look past the transactional nature of marketing and build real partnerships.
So what are the metrics and KPIs we’re seeing MarketerHire talent have the most success with in ABM?
The ABM Funnel and its KPIs
To grok onto the right metrics for your particular campaign, it’s important to have a bit of background information about why you would even track a given metric-type to begin with. This begins with the ABM funnel, which is distinct from a “traditional” marketing funnel.
Traditional Marketing Funnel:
- Awareness: Potential customers become aware of your product or service through various marketing channels.
- Interest: They show interest in your offering by engaging with your content or reaching out for more information.
- Consideration: Prospects evaluate your offering against others in the market.
- Intent: Prospects show a clear intent to purchase, such as adding a product to a shopping cart or filling out a contact form.
- Evaluation: Prospects make a final decision about whether to purchase.
- Purchase: The prospect becomes a customer by completing the purchase.
- Identify: Sales and marketing teams work together to identify key accounts based on factors like market influence, strategic importance, revenue potential, etc.
- Expand: Teams engage with multiple stakeholders within the identified accounts, expanding their reach within the organization.
- Engage: Personalized content and campaigns are used to engage these accounts at a deeper level.
- Advocate: After successfully closing the deal, efforts are made to turn these customers into advocates for your brand, encouraging them to spread positive word-of-mouth.
- Measure and Optimize: The impact on the targeted accounts is continuously measured, and strategies are optimized based on these insights.
The traditional marketing funnel is linear, built around a handful of steps taken before a lead is qualified and handed off to sales development.
Meanwhile, the ABM funnel is more cyclical, built around the fact that sales and marketing are reaching out to target accounts in tandem.
[In ABM]... maintaining and growing relationships with accounts is just as important as initially closing the sale
After the "Measure and Optimize" stage, teams often loop back to the "Identify" or "Expand" stages to continuously refine their approach and deepen relationships within the accounts. This reflects the ongoing nature of ABM, where maintaining and growing relationships with accounts is just as important as initially closing the sale.
Our favorite KPIs for B2B Account-Based Marketing
ABM metrics and KPIs are built around identifying, engaging, building relationships, closing (ideally), and optimizing your target account list (TAL). Before deeper engagement with sales, in general marketing is looking for clusters of individuals with growing engagement and verifiable intent within a broader account.
Marketing-Qualified Accounts (MQAs): These are accounts that have been identified by the marketing team as being more likely to convert into customers. They are similar to Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs) in traditional marketing, but instead of individuals, they are entire accounts. The criteria for an MQA can vary based on factors like industry, size, and level of engagement.
Reach Within an Account: This metric measures the number of contacts you have within a target account. The goal of ABM is to engage with multiple decision-makers within an account, so the more contacts you have, the more likely your campaign is to succeed.
Account Engagement: This measures how actively an account is interacting with your marketing efforts. It can include actions like clicking on ads, opening emails, visiting your website, and more. High account engagement is a good sign that an account is interested in your offering.
Form Fills and Digital Engagements: This metric tracks how many people from a target account are filling out forms on your website. This could be a sign-up form for a newsletter, a request for a demo, or any other form that indicates interest. It's a key metric for understanding where an account is in the buying journey.
Meetings Booked: This is a concrete metric that shows whether your campaigns are leading to actual meetings with target accounts. It's a strong indicator of an account's interest and a key step towards closing a deal.
Conversions and Close Rate: This measures how many of your target accounts are converting into customers. A high close rate indicates that your ABM strategy is effective at turning prospects into customers.
Average Contract Value: This is the average revenue generated from each closed deal. It's an important metric for understanding the financial impact of your ABM strategy.
Pipeline Velocity: This measures how quickly accounts are moving through your sales pipeline, from MQA to opportunity, and then from opportunity to close. A faster pipeline velocity indicates a more efficient sales process.
Marketing Influence: This metric connects opportunities back to marketing campaigns. It helps to demonstrate the impact of marketing efforts on sales, even if a lead has been nurtured through a campaign but then contacts sales directly.
Customer Retention: This measures how many customers continue to do business with you over time. High customer retention is a sign of customer satisfaction and is crucial for sustainable growth.
Who is Responsible for Which Metrics?
As a shared effort across the commercial organization, account-based marketing actually includes metrics by which non-marketing teams are judged. Here’s a general breakdown of who is responsible for each highlighted ABM metric:
Marketing-Qualified Accounts (MQAs): The marketing team is typically responsible for identifying and qualifying these accounts based on their engagement with marketing campaigns.
Reach Within an Account: Both sales and marketing teams can contribute to expanding reach within an account. Marketing can generate awareness and interest, while sales can leverage their direct relationships to engage more stakeholders.
Account Engagement: This is usually monitored by the marketing team, as it involves tracking engagement with marketing materials and campaigns.
Form Fills and Digital Engagements: The marketing team often tracks this metric, as it's tied to marketing initiatives like content offers, webinars, or demo requests.
Meetings Booked: The sales (or sales development) team is typically responsible for this metric, as they are the ones setting up and conducting meetings with potential customers.
Conversions and Close Rate: This is a shared metric, with marketing driving initial interest and conversions, and sales closing the deals.
Average Contract Value: Sales teams usually track this, as they negotiate and close deals. However, marketing can influence it by targeting accounts with higher potential contract values.
Pipeline Velocity: This is another shared metric. Marketing can help speed up the pipeline by nurturing leads effectively, while sales can work on shortening the sales cycle.
Marketing Influence: This is primarily a marketing metric, as it involves connecting revenue back to marketing initiatives.
Customer Retention: This is often a shared responsibility. Marketing can contribute through retention campaigns, while sales and customer success teams can work on maintaining strong relationships with customers.
It's important to note that in ABM, sales and marketing alignment is crucial. Both teams need to work closely together and share responsibility for these metrics to ensure a successful ABM strategy.
A Note On Marketing Qualified Accounts and Reach
When it comes to account-based marketing, two metrics stand out as being quite distinct from traditional marketing metrics: Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQAs) and Reach Within an Account.
Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQAs) are a unique concept to ABM. Unlike Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) which focus on individual leads, MQAs focus on accounts as a whole. These are accounts that the marketing team has identified as being high-value and a good fit for the company's products or services. The criteria for an MQA can vary based on factors like industry, size, and level of engagement.
Tracking MQAs is crucial because it allows marketing teams to focus their efforts on the accounts that are most likely to convert into customers. It's a more efficient use of resources and can lead to higher conversion rates and larger deal sizes. MQAs are typically tracked using a combination of behavioral data (like website visits or content downloads) and demographic data (like company size or industry).
Reach within an Account refers to the number of contacts you have within a target account. In ABM, the goal is to engage with multiple decision-makers within an account, so the more contacts you have, the more likely your campaign is to succeed.
Tracking Reach Within an Account is important because it gives you a sense of how deeply you're penetrating your target accounts. It can also help you identify gaps in your reach that you need to address. This metric is typically tracked using CRM data, which can show you how many contacts you have within each account and how engaged they are with your marketing efforts.
Both of these metrics are crucial for ABM success. By focusing on MQAs and Reach Within an Account, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are targeted, efficient, and likely to result in high-value conversions.
In conclusion, understanding and tracking the right KPIs is crucial for the success of your ABM strategy. By focusing on metrics like Marketing Qualified Accounts and Reach Within an Account, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are targeted, efficient, and driving real impact within your key accounts.
But remember, successful ABM is not just about the numbers. It's about building meaningful relationships with your target accounts, delivering personalized experiences, and ultimately, driving growth for your business.
If you're looking to prop up or scale your ABM efforts, you don't have to do it alone. At MarketerHire, we have the top 2% of marketing talent ready to help you take your ABM strategy to the next level. Our experts can provide you with the insights, strategies, and execution you need to succeed in the world of ABM.
So why wait? Start a conversation with our top marketing talent today, and let's take your ABM efforts to new heights.