How to Measure ABM Programs at Any Level

September 24, 2019 Caroline Van Dyke

Illustration of a chart measuring ABM Programs

Adopting an account-based focus requires marketers to shift from “traditional” lead-based metrics to account engagement, pipeline influence, and revenue impact. This can prove difficult for even the most seasoned account-based marketers.

That’s why we’ll show you how to measure ABM programs more effectively, making sure you don’t miss out on the credit you deserve for building an impressive ABM strategy. 

Before we get into how you can improve your ABM measurement, see where you fall on the ABM readiness assessment that we developed with TOPO. From there, jump to that section to discover how to best measure your account-based program and show your influence on pipeline and revenue.

Where do you rank?

Table showing level of ranking for ABM Program - RollWorks

Exploring and Developing

At these stages, you’ll want to evaluate campaign performance by looking at metrics like MQLs and pipeline impact within accounts that fit your ICP.  

What to track 

The vast majority of companies that begin to explore account-based marketing also continue to run some level of inbound and/or demand generation activities. Thus, your results should continue to be measured and managed using traditional demand generation metrics (e.g., site traffic, campaign response, inquiry, MQL, SAL, and SQL).

But eventually, you’ll want to also report those results against a set target account list. For marketers who are looking to run campaigns off of accounts that match their ICP, these “traditional” campaign metrics still give plenty of insight. 

Gather internal stakeholders to get to the next level

Without ABM-specific measurement in place, your organization will have trouble knowing where they are succeeding and how to shift investments to make an impact. That’s why you’ll need to become more rigorous in your reporting, moving past just campaign metrics. 

However, reporting on specific account-based metrics is an ongoing effort, so build an internal team that continues to discuss account-based metrics, your data and systems, and ways to track success and iterate on reports

Optimizing

As you begin to run more complex programs, you'll need to uplevel your approach. Rather than keeping your eye on more targeted campaign performance metrics, you'll want track the full funnel against a set target account list. By showing the business impact from pipeline to revenue influence, you'll not only see greater ROI, but further buy-in from leadership. 

This is when you'll want to start working closely with marketing and sales operation teams to make sure you are on track for measurement success. 

What to track

Let's dig into what you'll want to focus on! Target account pipeline (TAP) has emerged as a key indicator of success for account-based marketing, as it captures your organization’s ability to create high-value opportunities within your target accounts. And because target accounts also drive higher win, retention, and growth rates, TAP becomes the most valuable portion of the pipeline for a company. 

To measure TAP, TOPO recommends tracking these top metrics:

With an account-based program, your primary objective is to help progress your target accounts through the buying process, which ultimately drives increased pipeline, revenue, and customer lifetime value. 

How to track key TAP metrics

Once you begin to pay extra attention to TAP, you’ll want to report more rigorously. This includes building reliable reporting dashboards to track progress.

In this example report, engagement is the first key indicator. But how engagement is defined can vary significantly between companies, often depending on what is easily measurable today across both marketing and sales (as well as customer support and account management).  

Table showing top metrics to measure from TOPO

Market-leading 

Looks like you’re out in front of your peers when measuring your account-based results! 

Due to the number of potential channels, touchpoints, and systems involved, as well as where data is stored, account engagement is one of the more challenging things to measure. Many companies start slow and eventually either adopt account-based measurement technology or create an account engagement score (AES) model. 

What to track

AES is an account-level measurement that rolls up engagement across the full customer lifecycle and includes marketing, sales development, sales, and customer success—although many start with marketing and sales development. 

Three elements of the AES must be established before account engagement scores can be measured:

  • Value—The value of the various interaction types, including any limitations on what roles the interaction is valued with
  • Role-based multipliers—Set up and used to ascribe value to interactions based on the person’s role 
  • Time—The time period for measuring AES, which should be significantly shorter than the typical sales cycle 

The account engagement score, essentially an attribution model for pre-closed influence, assigns a unique value to each interaction with a target account. For instance, a demo meeting with three stakeholders is three times as valuable as a demo meeting with only one stakeholder. In addition to the core AES (measured with a standard timeframe), a one-week or shorter view quickly identifies account-level spikes in engagement. Take a look at how you can begin to view the value of interactions that roll up into an overall engagement score:

Table showing interaction and value for overall engagement score

A caveat about measuring channels and tactics individually

Individual elements of a program often cannot be effectively measured on their own, and instead, the incremental impact of individual elements should be measured through A/B testing. 

A direct mail piece, for instance, may encourage the recipient to visit a dedicated landing page. However, the bigger impact of the direct mail piece is often seen in the improved response rates to SDR outreach, not in the number of people who follow the directions and visit the page.

A personalized digital ad, on the other hand, may promote a high-value report. However, the bigger impact of the digital ads is often seen in the improved response to SDR outreach, not in the clickthrough rate of the ad or traffic to the whitepaper landing page.

The ABM Readiness Assessment

How to measure ABM is just one component to assessing your ABM readiness.
ABM readiness, also called account-based readiness, is a spectrum we’ve developed alongside TOPO to help marketers understand how precise and robust their current account-based programs are. While there are many elements to your account-based strategy, TOPO’s research and our hands-on customer experience point to only four categories that really matter: target accounts, resources, execution, and measurement. 

To assess the other aspects of your current programs and discover how to execute best-in-class ABM, download our newest guide, The ABM Readiness Assessment.

 

About the Author

Caroline Van Dyke

Caroline is a seasoned B2B content strategist with a love for actionable storytelling that helps build brands and inspire buyers. With her own experience launching a start-up’s very first ABM program, she now focuses on helping teams leverage account-based strategies through content at RollWorks. When she’s not busy typing a million words a minute, she can be found getting overly competitive at trivia, hiking with her dog, or watching the latest standup special on Netflix.

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