Account-Based Marketing Metrics 101

| | Time to Read: 8 minutes

 

Introduction

Account-based marketing (ABM) has been around for a while. ITSMA coined the term in 2004. Since then, many marketers have built on this concept to make it more relevant for 2022. 

While the strategy itself has evolved, there is still a gap in marketers' approach when it comes to evaluating its impact. Many companies end up using traditional demand-gen metrics to measure the success of their ABM efforts. This is not the right approach!

Why should account-based marketing metrics be different?

It is essential to keep in mind that an account-based marketing strategy is leveraged to achieve extremely specific results. For instance, your sales team might want to reduce the length of its sales cycle, or it might want to expand its footprint in an existing account. 

The objectives and the corresponding ABM strategy could be very bespoke. Using traditional demand-gen and marketing metrics will eventually paint a very misleading picture. Think about it! Does it make sense to use MQLs or impressions to measure if your ABM efforts reduced your sales cycle length or increased your account footprint? 

The answer is most likely "NO."

Remember, ABM strategies could be highly customised, and so their metrics also need to be chosen very wisely. This article will look at some KPIs and metrics that can get you started.

9 ABM metrics to get started with ASAP!

A structured way to look at ABM's efficacy is to evaluate its impact on relationships, reputation and revenue.

All your business objectives, be it improving the sales cycle length, or areas like account expansion can be measured if we track the 3 Rs above.

These three Rs are defined by ITSMA, and as a marketer, you want to influence them positively or at least track your influence on them consistently.   

Relationship Metrics

As the name suggests, these metrics help you measure the strength of your customer relationships in existing or targeted accounts. They also provide visibility on how engaged your key contacts are towards your campaign. 

Here are some of the relationship metrics you can use to see if your ABM strategy is working.

Metric 1: Number of new executives contacted

Whether you are trying to crack into a new account or expanding your presence into an existing one, the number of executives and client stakeholders you can connect with via your ABM campaigns is a good indicator of their efficacy. 

A disclaimer here would be the use of the word "connect". 

"Connect" in the ABM context means that your target account stakeholder would have at least spent some time on your landing page, downloaded a highly personalised digital asset and reached out to you with some questions. 

It can be easy to think of this as a marketing qualified lead, but it's more than that. MQLs typically take a "spray-and-pray" approach. In ABM, you try to “connect" with someone you targeted with your ABM campaign from the start.

Metric 2: Number of target account stakeholders engaged via account-based marketing campaigns

Events and campaigns play a crucial role in driving a successful ABM strategy. They are a highly effective way to engage your target account stakeholders throughout the buying journey. 

If the individuals from your target accounts start joining your webinars after an ABM campaign, it would be safe to assume that your ABM efforts led to a positive impact. 

Another dimension to this metric is the frequency your target account stakeholders engage with your sales and marketing teams.

Extending the above example, If your existing account stakeholders start attending your webinars more and more every time you conduct them, there's a high probability that your customised ABM campaigns are adding value. It also validates that you are publishing relevant content and using the right channels for outreach (i.e. online, web, email, direct mail).

Consequently, your overall relationship with those individuals improves as they start getting to know your organisation more. A stronger relationship increases the probability of them becoming your advocates when you pitch your product or service to a different business unit.  

Metric 3: Frequency of meeting with current customers (# meetings/month)

This is a similar metric to the one above but more focused on day-to-day interactions with existing clients. While a higher frequency of meetings does not necessarily mean that your relationship is strong, it is still a relevant metric for gauging account engagement. 

Your ABM strategy should pique the interest of the target account stakeholder. It should strive to make your conversations with them frequent and strategic. If you see the client stakeholder asking more questions about your offerings, it would be an important signal that your ABM efforts are working. 

Another positive sign could be when they start calling you more often or are more open to taking your calls.    

Metric 4: Number of calls booked with key decision-makers from target accounts 

The number of calls booked is one of the most popular metrics for ABM. It acts as an excellent leading indicator of both relationship and revenue. The more calls your sales reps can get with your target account stakeholders, the better their chances of developing a stronger relationship and a higher probability of converting those target accounts into paying customers.

Reputation Metrics

Reputation metrics can sometimes overlap with relationship metrics. A very subtle difference between the two lies in brand perception. Reputation metrics will help you determine whether your ABM programs are improving how your target accounts perceive your organisation. For instance, publishing an e-book or organising an industry-specific event might elevate you as a thought leader in the eyes of your target account stakeholders. 

The other difference can be in terms of the account expansion objective versus the account acquisition objective. It would be wise to assume that reputation metrics would be more relevant if your ABM campaign is focused on acquisition. On the other hand, if you are looking to expand into an existing account, relationships and their strength would matter more!

Here are some reputation metrics that can be used.  

Metric 5: Level of customer advocacy

Customer advocacy has now become a dedicated function in many organisations. It can be said without a doubt that the fastest way to get new accounts and grow into existing ones is through referrals. 

Tracking the number of executives in your contact list who got converted into advocates for your organisation in the short and long term owing to your campaigns, is an important metric determining the success of your ABM strategy. 

Some other numbers to consider while measuring the level of customer advocacy are:

  • How many contacts from your target or existing accounts are accepting invitations to your online & offline events, i.e. webinars? (Pre & post your ABM campaigns)
  • How many contacts from your existing or potential accounts are reading and sharing the content you have created? (Pre & post your ABM campaigns)
  • Is your target audience sharing your content with their followers? (Pre & post your ABM campaigns)
  • How many contacts from your target or existing accounts are opening your emails and responding to your campaigns in any form? (Pre & post your ABM campaigns)

Metric 6: NPS and other forms of customer satisfaction scores.

NPS is a very straightforward number that might be helpful for some accounts. Agreed, it is something that is not solely influenced by marketing efforts. But if the intent of your ABM strategy is account expansion, it could be a great ‘auxiliary’ ABM metric.

Apart from NPS, other forms of metrics that would come under a similar umbrella are customer satisfaction scores for the sales rep and the account team that the clients interact with.

Remember, ABM focuses on aligning marketing and sales efforts; such CSAT metrics can indicate the level of consistency with which both teams are interacting with the account. Better the consistency, better the ABM program.

Revenue Metrics

Revenue metrics are the last and the most tangible of all three KPI categories mentioned. Here are some revenue metrics to measure ABM success.

Metric 7: Deal size (Revenue Growth)

Average deal size is an essential account-based marketing indicator. It is a no-brainer since we are looking at revenue metrics, and ACV or deal size is a mirror image of that! Furthermore, deal size growth is bound to resonate with sales teams and sales reps.

If you're doing things correctly, i.e. focussing on sales and marketing alignment, developing a very defined ICP etc., running ABM campaigns should result in larger average deal amounts over the long run! 

Attributing revenue growth to ABM activities and campaigns is a challenge in itself, and we have written a separate article about managing it, but revenue growth and average deal size are two metrics that must be tracked while running an ABM campaign.

Metric 8: Share of wallet

Share of wallet gives you an indication of the success of your ABM campaigns from the perspective of driving your competitors out of an account. For instance, before an ABM campaign, your client used 30% of their technology budget to procure your organisation's services and 40% to procure your competitor's services. Your sales and marketing teams' efforts displace your competitor, giving your organisation a 70% "share" of the client's "wallet". Thus, an increase or decrease in the share of the wallet in the long term is another KPI that can be used to track ABM success.

Eventually, it all ties back to revenue growth, where you would want your ABM efforts to result in your organisation becoming a majority receiver of your client's technology budget.

Metric 9: Sales velocity

Increased sales is the ultimate goal of any marketing plan, ABM or otherwise.

Given that ABM has proven to reduce the sales cycle and close more deals drastically, it makes sense that a good approach will aid in sales as well as pipeline acceleration. And there is no better way to measure this acceleration than tracking the sales velocity over time!

Below is the formula to determine sales velocity.

total # of opportunities x average purchase size x conversion rate/sales cycle length

Source: https://www.electralink.co.uk/2021/03/turbocharging-tpi-sales-energy-data/

This KPI combines some of the metrics that we have discussed above, such as the deal size, with additional numbers such as conversion rates and sales cycle length to compute a numeric value that can be compared and graphed.

Sales velocity can be used to determine how marketing and sales teams' efforts affect revenue in a purely holistic and quantitative fashion.

Conclusion

Well, that's all I have for this article. It is only fair to conclude it with the sales velocity metric because it is so comprehensive and comes close to boiling down ABM efforts to a single number!

I hope the content above gave you a perspective on ABM metrics and a framework to get started with. If you feel you need a helping hand on your account-based marketing journey, reach out to us here!


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