As more marketing and sales teams incorporate account-based marketing (ABM) into their arsenal, one of the primary steps in the process — and too often a stumbling block — is goal setting.
So, what constitutes success?
The answer to this isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. In your typical lead-generation program, conversions are often the primary metric driving pipeline progression until marketing tosses a lead over the fence to sales.
While it may seem obvious that you’re reporting at the account level with ABM, those metrics usually boil down to activities. After all, that’s what we’re used to reporting. However, the truth is, your C-suite has never actually cared about views, opens, or clicks.
With today’s ABM-driven initiatives, how do you track and translate metrics that really matter for your organization? Let’s take a closer look.
The ABM Dashboard
While ABM has been around for more than 20 years, today’s technology has allowed us to use this process at scale. It has enabled us to reach more accounts, which also means we have more data than ever at our fingertips. But what do we do with all this information? And more importantly, how do we define what really matters?
For those of us executing the program, wielding the data to understand intent and personalize content to better target our audience is how we move forward. Reviewing and utilizing the engagement data is crucial for program success, yet it remains a more tactical element when it comes to reporting.
With ABM, you must understand how to compile and translate account-level activity to measure against bottom-line business outcomes. It ultimately requires tight marketing and sales alignment, where both teams are working toward the same goals.
So, what are the primary key performance indicators (KPIs) for your ABM dashboard? Here are three metrics that truly matter for your organization:
- Close rate
- Deal size
What do these all have in common? As the great philosopher Puff Daddy once said, “It’s All About the Benjamins.”
Let’s be honest. The success or failure of any marketing/sales effort comes down to one metric: Closed Lost/Closed Won. However, with ABM, this takes on a more focused view.
It’s simple math, where the age-old feud of quantity vs. quality is put on full display.
ABM is a seismic shift in how we sell. It moves the focus away from the volume of leads generated. Instead, marketing is supporting sales by zeroing in on true target accounts with active buyers, eliminating the need for sales to go searching for the elusive sales-ready lead in the proverbial haystack.
The pipeline we have been so used to measuring suddenly experiences drastic shrinkage, and that can freak a team out.
However, by focusing your reporting on the close rate, you’re no longer obsessing about the number of leads in the pipeline. The emphasis is placed on concrete and measurable ROI that is attributed to your efforts.
An effective ABM program may have fewer players in it, but the quality should be better.
Now that you’re reporting on more Closed Won opportunities, the next metric to measure is how long it took to get there.
As we all know, time is money. And, good grief, we have wasted a lot of it on uninterested, unengaged, and under-prepared leads. B2B sales cycles can be notoriously long, drawn-out slogs.
If you’re taking a true ABM approach, it means that you’re creating more personalized, more direct, and more relevant content based on intent. It also means that marketing and sales are working holistically to better inform and engage a more focused audience. In turn, this should lead to more wins faster.
Deal velocity is a KPI that provides measurable business outcomes for your organization. It’s one of the most relevant ways to gauge ABM’s success as an approach for your organization overall.
It makes sense that by being more targeted, ABM can boast about closing more deals faster. But can this approach actually help you close bigger deals? According to a SiriusDecisions report, that answer is yes, with 91% of respondents saying their deal sizes were larger with ABM.
The inherent value of ABM is that you’re focused on providing your target account and its buying group the information that they need to make a more informed decision about your offering. The dialogue changes from selling a service or product to adding value.
This shift in approach isn’t necessarily a KPI that you can measure. Value is one of those ethereal — and probably overused — terms when it comes to selling. Yet, being able to measure its overall impact is very trackable when the connection is made between value and deal size.
For B2B organizations, tracking ABM’s impact on deal size not only can prove-in the program itself but like close rate and velocity, creates a measurable business outcome that focuses on revenue, thus speaking the language of the C-suite and your organization as a whole.
Interested in what it takes to implement ABM?
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