Account-based Marketing (ABM) for B2B firms has been well touted as a powerful approach to grow pipeline faster and win more deals. But nothing happens without strong follow-through by Sales. Sales needs strong metrics and actionable intelligence that can be put to good use every day in the field. This demands that account status can be accurately determined through consistent and objective scoring. For B2B marketers seeking to support sales more strongly, Account-based Scoring can be a primary driver of pipeline and revenue growth.
The Single Seamless Revenue Cycle
An account’s journey from first awareness of your company and products, to first contact, to sales process, to signed deal, to evangelist client and recurring customer, is a long path involving most departments in your organization.
That journey is increasingly being seen as a single seamless revenue cycle that unifies Marketing and Sales in a continuous, repeatable process that can underpin long-term business growth.
Marketing’s Expanding Role
As B2B marketers increasingly embrace marketing technology and account-based marketing, they are becoming uniquely placed to provide Sales with more impactful support than previously—particularly in the form of account engagement metrics.
Using ABM, Marketing is becoming increasingly integrated with all parts of the Sales organization including inside sales, sales development, pre-sales, sales operations, direct sales and channel sales. Each Sales area can benefit from ABM metrics at different stages in the revenue cycle.
Targets, Prospects and Clients
Account-based scoring is where ABM rubber hits the pipeline road. It helps Sales by providing objective measurement of account momentum through behavior. The first step is dividing all accounts into three natural groupings; pre-pipeline, pipeline, and existing clients:
- Target Accounts – those you know you want to do business with but who have not yet qualified to enter your pipeline.
- Prospect Accounts – those with whom you have existing deals in the pipeline.
- Client Accounts – those clients who are likely to buy more of your products in the form of add-ons, upsells and cross-sells.
ABM Metrics & Account-Based Scoring
To gain a total view of all pre-pipeline and pipeline revenue opportunities, it is necessary to assess account health and momentum at every stage in the revenue cycle. There are several key categories of ABM Metrics to achieve this at the various stages:
- Obtainable Revenue
- Precision & Relevance
Account Obtainable Revenue
Account Obtainable Revenue is revenue your business can reasonably expect to obtain from all ABM-tracked accounts over a defined horizon (1 to 3 years being useful periods). If you’re not tracking an account, you can’t reasonably include its revenue potential in any forward looking view. AOR puts a sharp focus on assumptions and thoroughness in forecasting and sizing. It requires complete and accurate account records in your CRM. ABM enables AOR to be analyzed for revenue predictability based on objective account scoring, which has the benefit of significantly improving revenue forecasting. AOR can be applied across targets, prospects and customers.
Coverage is the degree to which you possess all relevant data necessary to target, track and market to your intended accounts individually. Successful ABM runs on accurate and complete data. Coverage metrics indicate how well Marketing is maintaining data necessary to reach and engage target accounts and key personas as part of a full ABM program.
Penetration measures how well Marketing’s coverage has been converted to account penetration by Sales. ABM supports this process. Penetration metrics help determine how well Sales’ outbound activity is following through on Marketing’s efforts.
Awareness of your company and its products by your target audience can be a great indicator of buying interest and intention. It indicates how much you are on your account’s radar. It can also be used to identify spikes in website visits that can indicate a surge in interest.
Engagement quantifies the level and quality of interaction an account has with your company. It is useful to compare underlying engagement strength between accounts, which in turn guides allocation of time, effort and resources. Measures include digital engagement, physical engagement and marketing-qualified accounts (MQA).
Precision & Relevance
Precision & Relevance quantifies how well you are reaching and engaging your desired audience. ABM’s account-centric structure enables you to discern between those accounts you really want to connect with and those you’re not so concerned about. There are two sides to the coin: 1) Precision, which denotes the proportion of all accounts you are reaching that are actually in your ‘sweet spot’ i.e. desired accounts and key personas you really want to connect with, and 2) Relevance, which is the proportion of your total desired audience you have actually engaged. Together they are a highly effective measure of overall reach along its two primary dimensions.
Impact is the tangible, measurable results of ABM initiatives. Impact metrics are key indicators of the general health of revenue generation in your business. They are also powerful tools for managing and continuously improving marketing and sales effectiveness. These include deal velocity, win rates, client retention and customer evangelist score.
Collectively, these account-scoring metrics provide a powerful and comprehensive framework for quantifying the health, momentum and progress of all accounts and the state of you entire revenue opportunity landscape.
With Good Data, Anything is Possible
As long as your data is well structured and maintained in your CRM, and you have real-time monitoring and automated processes in place, all these metrics can be tracked and reported up to the minute for the benefit of Marketing, Sales and your business.
Account-based scores are practical, tangible tools that provide actionable intelligence Sales can readily put to good use in the field. They provide insight into buying intent and true health of the pipeline. Most importantly they improve revenue visibility and predictability, helping Marketing and Sales work closer together on the revenue cycle and growing the business.