The benefits of Account-Based Marketing are no longer a secret. ABM has revolutionised B2B marketing by encouraging companies to target high-value accounts with personalised messaging and content instead of the traditional “spray & pray” approach. We recently discussed how to take your ABM to the next level as well as how to level up with Account-Based Experience.
Be it ABM or ABX, account scoring and prioritisation are critical for a successful campaign. It's how you figure out which organisations are the most likely to convert so that you can focus your resources on them.
At xGrowth, we take every aspect of account-based marketing seriously. That’s why we have published resources for marketers in the past. Some of these include our ultimate ABM strategy template, the ABM playbook and the ABM guide. We also talked about ABM tools & platforms that you can leverage, along with real-life Account-Based Marketing examples.
The resource in this article aims to delve deeper into account scoring. Here’s what is covered in the detailed account scoring template by xGrowth.
- What is account scoring?
- How is account scoring done?
- How to develop an account scoring model?
- Scoring existing accounts (i.e. the template to score existing accounts for an ABM campaign)
- Scoring prospective accounts (i.e. the template to score prospective accounts for an ABM campaign)
- What follows account scoring?
- How is account scoring different from lead scoring?
We have really enjoyed creating this detailed template and supplementary guide for you. If you are starting with your Account-Based Marketing campaign, our recommendation is to start with the ultimate ABM strategy template and once comfortable, use the one here to take your ABM to the next level.
What is Account Scoring?
Account scoring is a way to figure out which of your target accounts are the most valuable and likely to convert. It involves evaluating and assigning scores to each company in your target list.
The factors you consider when scoring accounts can include things like buying intent data, potential revenue, decision-maker influence, et cetera (more on this in a separate section).
By prioritising your marketing efforts only on these high-value accounts, you can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
When is Account Scoring Done During an ABM Campaign?
I will answer this from the perspective of two specific scenarios.
Scenario 1: ABM Campaign Objective is Expanding into Existing Accounts
Once you know that you want to run an ABM campaign to drive expansion in existing accounts, you will take all your current clients and score them at the very beginning.
You may already have a list of the existing accounts your sales champion wants to target. In this case, you should run that list through a scoring model and rank them.
Scenario 2: ABM Campaign Objective is Acquiring New Accounts
In this scenario, you must develop an ideal customer profile or an ICP. You would then make a target account list of all the potential customers that fall under your ICP.
After developing a target account list, you would run the companies in it through your scoring model and rank them.
How To Develop an Account Scoring Model?
As mentioned in the last section, you need to have an account list before moving to account scoring.
The target account list can be developed by either leaning on your ICP document, i.e. choosing companies that fall under your ICP or consulting your sales champion.
After you have the target account list or TAL, the process of account scoring can be divided into three steps.
The first step is selecting the parameters on which you want to evaluate the target accounts. This would depend on the end goal of your account-based marketing campaign. The goal could either be expanding existing accounts or acquiring new ones.
In our template, you will have these parameters and their descriptions provided to you. You will see different parameters when the ABM's goal is the expansion of existing accounts and other parameters when the ABM campaign’s goal is the acquisition of new accounts.
The second step is coming up with a scoring scheme for each of the parameters.
The scoring scheme includes things like the maximum number of points an account can get on a parameter and the minimum number of points.
It also involves developing further sub-criteria to score the account on a particular parameter. Our template will provide a scoring scheme you can leverage to get started. You may change it as you see results, make the account scoring machine, and scheme your own.
The third step is how much weight you want to give to each parameter. This depends on your end goal, as mentioned above. It also depends on the unique characteristics of your business, i.e., what industry you are in, the product you are selling, et cetera.
The weight of each parameter will be provided in our detailed account scoring template, which you can tweak further.
Once you have decided on the parameters, the scoring scheme of each parameter and the weightage of each parameter, you would calculate each account's score and arrange them in descending order of scores.
And that’s your account scoring model and list, which you can use to decide which ABM strategy to use and how many resources to allocate to each account.
Steps to Build Account Scoring Models (With Examples)
To put the above three steps in perspective, let’s say your end goal is expanding into existing accounts.
You have a list of 10 accounts you need to prioritise.
Let’s leverage xGrowth’s account scoring template for scoring existing accounts.
Step 1: Selecting the Parameters
The parameters that you will see in our template are as follows:
This metric measures how engaged an account is with your marketing and sales efforts. It includes data on things like website visits, downloads, and RFP participation. High engagement and frequent buying signals indicate that an account is interested in doing business with you.
Access to decision-makers
This metric measures your ability to reach and influence the key decision-makers within an account. Strong relationships with decision-makers can help you close deals and achieve your other sales and marketing goals.
Opportunity revenue potential
This metric measures the total revenue an account could generate for your sales organisation or company. It considers factors like the potential for additional sales, upselling, and cross-selling. A high opportunity revenue potential suggests that an account could be a valuable customer.
This metric measures how vital an account is to your company's overall strategy. It considers factors like the account's alignment with your long-term goals, its influence in the market, and its potential for strategic partnerships. Strategically important accounts are organisations that can help you achieve your business goals.
This metric measures how satisfied your customers are with your products or services. It can be measured using surveys, customer reviews, and other feedback mechanisms. High customer satisfaction levels can lead to repeat business and positive referrals.
The below table summarises the 5 parameters that we believe are important criteria for scoring an existing account.
Step 2 - Coming up With a Scoring Scheme
As I mentioned before, the scoring scheme is about creating sub-criteria to decide what score you will give to each parameter based on an account’s current state.
The snapshot below provides a ready-to-go scoring scheme you can use to get started.
Here’s how you can read this, taking the example of the buying-signals account scoring parameter.
- If the client stakeholder has given you more than five buying signals in the last four weeks, the score should be a 10 out of 10.
- If the client has had more than 3 but less than five buying signals, the score is 7 out of 10.
- If the client has given you more than one but less than 3 buying signals, the score is 4 out of 10.
- If the client has given you no buying signal or just one buying signal, the score is 1 out of 10.
Step 3 - Assign weights to each account scoring parameter
In our xGrowth account scoring template, the weights assigned to each parameter are as follows:
- Buying signals indicate an account's interest in doing business with you, so they are given a 30% weight.
- Opportunity revenue potential measures the dollar value of an account to your company, so it is given a 25% weight.
- Access to Decision Makers has a 20% weight.
- Customer Satisfaction is also essential but not as crucial as buying signals or opportunity revenue potential, so it is given a 15% weight.
- Strategic Importance has 10% weight.
The below table summarises our recommended parameter weights.
In our template, the tab titled Parameters Summary captures the entire content that we have talked about above
With those three steps sorted, let’s create a fictitious example of an account for a CRM company (imagine that’s us) and then score it using our provided scoring methodology.
The fictional target account is named "EnterpriseTech Inc." and below are the details we have about it.
Buying Signals (Account Engagement): EnterpriseTech Inc. has shown considerable engagement with our marketing and sales efforts in the past month, including four buying signals, such as website visits, downloads, and an ongoing tender.
This would score a 7 based on our scoring scheme.
Opportunity Revenue Potential: The potential revenue that EnterpriseTech Inc. could generate for our company is around 60% higher than our average annual contract value.
This indicates that the account could lead to additional sales and revenue growth, scoring it a 7 based on our methodology.
Access to Decision Makers: We have established a good relationship with EnterpriseTech Inc. Our CEO, and the account team are well-connected with one C-level executive and two VPs.
Customer Satisfaction (NPS): The Net Promoter Score (NPS) that EnterpriseTech Inc. has given us is 75%, indicating they are satisfied with our services and likely to recommend our company to others. This would score a 7.
Strategic Importance: EnterpriseTech Inc. is an influential player in the tech industry and aligns well with our long-term objectives.
It also offers potential for strategic partnerships, leading us to assign high strategic importance, scoring a 10.
This gives us a high degree of influence over their purchasing decisions and would score a 10.
So, the final scores for EnterpriseTech Inc. are as follows.
Therefore, the weighted score for EnterpriseTech Inc. based on the provided methodology would be 7.9 out of 10.
That gives you the score of one of the companies in your target account list.
The above sample calculation can be accessed in the Sample Calculation tab of our template
You want to have this score for each of your target accounts and then rank them.
In our template, you will use the ranking tab, where you can rate each account on the parameters based on the scoring scheme.
Select the scoring against each parameter using the drop-down.
See the final score calculated and how your accounts stack up against each other as you enter data in the ranking tab
Use the Ranking tab in our template to get a prioritised list of accounts
Scoring a Prospective Account (ABM Goal of Account Acquisition)
In the last section, we comprehensively covered how you would go about scoring and ranking existing accounts when you are planning to run an ABM campaign with the objective of expansion.
Now we will talk about how to score prospective accounts, where the goal of your account-based marketing campaign is acquiring new accounts. This would not be as detailed as the previous section. The basic three-step framework remains the same.
The things that change are the parameters, the scoring scheme and the weights.
And that’s exactly what the below table shows.
As we said, we won’t dive too much into the details, but we hope you know the drill by now.
Use the Parameters Summary tab for new account acquisition in our account scoring template
What Follows Account Scoring?
Account scoring provides you with a ranked list of accounts based on the parameters that matter to your business and your ABM goals.
In a typical ABM campaign cycle, it is followed by deciding what ABM strategy to deploy based on the rank of the account.
Account scoring also helps you decide which account to deploy more resources to.
How is Account Scoring Different from Lead Scoring?
Account scoring differs significantly from lead scoring in its focus and approach. While the lead scoring model prioritises individual prospects based on their likelihood to engage and convert, account scoring emphasises the overall potential of target accounts in the context of Account-Based Marketing (ABM).
Let's look at the difference through an example of a fictitious data and software service company offering data and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to customers.
In the case of lead scoring, the company's marketing team may assign scores to individual leads based on factors such as job title, company size, and engagement with their content.
For example, a lead with the job title "Sales Manager" from a company with 500 employees, who has downloaded a whitepaper and attended a webinar, might receive a higher lead score than a lead with the job title "Intern" from a small company who has only visited the website once.
This scoring system helps the whole sales team and marketing team prioritise their efforts on the most valuable and promising leads.
Account scoring, on the other hand, focuses on scoring entire accounts (companies) rather than individual leads or prospects. In this scenario, the software company would score accounts based on factors such as firmographics, technographic, and buying intent.
For example, an account in the e-commerce industry with a history of investing in CRM solutions, a large employee count, and recent engagement with the software company's content might receive a high score.
This account would then be prioritised for targeted marketing and sales efforts as part of an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy, which aims to engage the entire account, including multiple decision-makers within the company, rather than just one lead.
About xGrowth and Final Thoughts
Thank you for exploring this guide, and we trust it has shed light on our unique approach to account scoring. By now, you should understand how this process works, how it differentiates from lead scoring, and its critical role within the lifecycle of an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaign.
At xGrowth, we aren't just practitioners of ABM — we're passionate advocates. We are a dedicated B2B tech marketing agency that helps businesses land and expand their deals by developing tailor-made ABM campaigns. Your feedback is vital for us to improve and serve you better continually. If you have any thoughts to share, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you ready to delve deeper into the world of ABM? Or perhaps you're seeking expert guidance to embark on your ABM journey? If so, we're here to help. Don't hesitate to reach out to us and start transforming your marketing strategy today.