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3 Useful, yet Underutilized KPIs for Account-based Marketing Programs

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30 August 2021

Today’s article is about measuring impact, and I can’t help but think of cinema and The Oscars. The Oscars are supposed to be the ultimate measure of quality filmmaking, but often Oscar nominated movies fail to bring in big box office dollars. For example, The Avengers: Endgame is the second-highest grossing movie of all time but when it comes to The Oscars – Endgame was nominated only once for “best visual effects.” It did not win.

The 2020 Best Picture winner was a surprise foreign film called Parasite. It grossed 259 million at the Box Office. Avengers: Endgame brought in about 2.8 billion with a B dollars.

To determine which movie is more successful depends on how you’re measuring success. Sometimes, the traditional KPIs don’t tell the whole story.

Similarly, many traditional performance indicators for account-based marketing (ABM) programs are focused on engagement: Did leads visit your website? Click on an ad? Read a blog post? Attend a webinar or live event? 

But there are more meaningful ways to measure ABM program success. 

ABM is a targeted strategy. Your key performance indicators should be targeted, too.

In this article, we recommend three underutilized KPIs to help you get from strategy creation to account wins.

Was the Conversation Valuable?

The meaningful information exchange metric moves past engagement: Did the ABM program produce an interaction where value was exchanged? 

Using this metric helps you understand whether leads are engaged with your strategy and whether that engagement is valuable. Tracking this metric, in turn, can help you collect valuable account-based data. 

The information you receive could do with budget or timeframe, members of the buying committee, company reputation, or simply level of interest. Tracking meaningful information exchanges helps you understand where your clients are in the funnel and how quickly they move from engagement to close. 

This metric also forces you to consider whether the lead provided helpful information. Are they qualified prospects? Did they provide meaningful feedback? Are you known, liked, and trusted by your audience? 

Whether these conversations produce intent-to-purchase data or simply help you round out your account coverage, tracking conversations of value moves beyond basic engagement metrics.

Did You Increase Your Account Coverage?

ABM is a highly individualized strategy, so it makes sense that a critical data metric should be account coverage. In other words, is your ABM program helping to increment the data you have on key members of the account? 

According to Aberdeen, “This isn’t about [the] volume of data in your CRM. Rather, it’s all about maximizing data quality and relevance to ensure that every stage of the ABM process will be geared toward the right people at the right accounts.”

Account data should move past contact information for key account members, linking additional insights to individual players. These metrics can include engagement, intent, and alignment with your ideal customer profile

Conversations that keep your account profiles up to date are valuable too. The companies you work with and their key members are in a constant state of churn; having current information can help you smoothly navigate marketing interactions.

Data collection doesn’t have to advance a deal to be a success. However, the more you know, the better you can utilize the core tenets of account-based marketing strategies.

Are You Building Consensus and Buy-In?

It’s all about the buy-in.

Does the mere mention of ABM at your company elicit groans and eye rolls? Is your team excited to incorporate ABM strategies, or do they only make token efforts? If so, you need to do due diligence to figure out why.

Conversely, are you repeatedly being asked to scale your strategy? Do you see increased internal engagement? These are signs of success, even if it’s difficult to assign a metric at first.

ABM is a cross-functional business strategy that involves members across teams, including: finance, customer service, IT, sales, marketing, product development, and the C-suite. 

It’s easy for teams to become siloed, leading to frustration and strategy failure. One strategy to avoid silos and increase internal sentiment is revenue operations, or RevOps, which involves synchronizing all departments around the customer’s journey, increasing efficiency and performance. 

Looking inward can help you scale your strategy outward.

Ashley Shailer
By: Ashley Shailer
VICE PRESIDENT,
MARKETING
Ashley has spent more than ten years designing and implementing world-class demand creation and lead management strategies that leverage the latest in marketing technology. She’s held client-side and analyst roles in marketing systems and marketing operations, and consulting roles that leverage her unique expertise in lead nurturing, account-based plays, content, messaging, and social media strategy for more than 40 clients.

In her spare time, she can be found enjoying a good super hero movie, a solid single malt, and dessert (not necessarily in that order).
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Ashley Shailer
By: Ashley Shailer
VICE PRESIDENT,
MARKETING

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