Lost in the Metrics Maze? This ABM Guide Has All Your KPIs and Strategy Essentials
If you’re feeling lost tracking ABM performance, crafting plans, or simply keeping pace with the evolutions in this landscape – you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide is your treasure map for unlocking the full potential of account-based marketing in 2023 and beyond.
We’ll explore the crucial metrics you need to be tracking to steer your ABM ship towards higher conversions, retention, and revenue growth. You’ll get hands-on guidance on building rock-solid account plans to keep stakeholders aligned and campaigns focused through every twist and turn. And you’ll get an insider’s view of the latest ABM developments – from new technologies to proven outreach channels – so you can stay ahead of the curve.
So leave outdated assumptions at the dock and get ready to set your sails for optimized, synchronized account-based strategies that drive breakthrough growth.
Introduction to Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
For B2B marketers, the sprawling digital landscape can feel like an endless maze of faceless leads. Despite your best efforts to connect with prospects at scale, breaking through the noise is an uphill battle. In comes account-based marketing (ABM) – a strategic approach that changes the game completely.
ABM flips conventional marketing wisdom on its head, shifting focus from capturing the widest possible audience to engaging a select group of high-value target accounts. This laser-targeted approach enables B2B companies to build meaningful connections and drive dramatic growth.
According to SiriusDecisions, a whopping 87% of marketers say ABM delivers higher ROI than other marketing techniques. With stats like that, it’s no wonder ABM adoption has skyrocketed 139% in recent years according to TOPO.
But what exactly is ABM, and why does it deliver such stellar results compared to broad-based demand generation? Let’s dig in.
ABM 101: Back to Marketing Basics
Remembering your ABCs? In this case, it stands for Account-Based Marketing.
ABM focuses marketing efforts on a clearly defined group of high-value, strategically-selected accounts. These accounts match a company’s ideal customer profile and have the highest potential for becoming long-term customers.
Rather than chasing after leads, ABM prioritizes nurturing relationships across an entire account. This means engaging with multiple stakeholders in each target company through personalized, relevant messaging and offers tailored to their needs.
According to ITSMA, 64% of purchases involve six or more stakeholders. ABM aligns perfectly with the reality that B2B buying requires consensus across an organization.
In essence, ABM brings marketing back to its fundamental core – building connections between people. The difference lies in the selectivity and relevance of those connections.
Let’s explore why this targeted approach delivers exponentially greater value than casting a wide net.
The Power of Focus: Why ABM Dominates
Like a spotlight on center stage, ABM concentrates resources for maximum impact. While traditional demand generation spreads efforts thin across a sea of leads, ABM focuses directly on your highest-potential targets.
This tight focus translates to benefits across the board:
60% Higher Win Rates
Blanketing prospects with generic messaging often falls flat. In contrast, ABM’s tailored outreach resonates deeply. According to SiriusDecisions, ABM delivers win rates 60% higher than other marketing programs.
38% Larger Deal Sizes
ABM accounts generate 38% larger deals on average. When your messaging speaks directly to needs, the solution becomes a natural fit. according to TOPO.
321% Higher Return on Investment
With larger deals and higher win rates, it’s no surprise ABM blows past other approaches in ROI. Aberdeen Group reports an astounding 321% greater return compared to traditional marketing.
33% Faster Sales Cycle
ABM shortens sales cycles by 33% by engaging stakeholders earlier, according to Demandbase. Warm, relevant messaging prepares prospects to say yes faster.
48% Higher Retention
The tailored experiences ABM enables also translate into 48% higher retention rates post-sale, says Aberdeen Group. When you truly understand your customers, the relationship lasts.
With stats like these, it’s easy to see why ABM has moved from buzzword to non-negotiable strategy for B2B growth. Aligning sales and marketing around a shared target account list brings focus to reaching the right buyers with the right message at the right time.
This is precision marketing at its finest – and the key to rising above the noise in the crowded B2B landscape.
While ABM may mean less leads, those fewer contacts close at a far higher rate. Ultimately, this selectivity translates to exponential growth.
Rather than wasting efforts on low-probability prospects, ABM acknowledges that some accounts warrant greater investment. By focusing budget and resources on your best-fit targets, you ensure your message stands out.
ABM also enables personalization at scale across channels. You can craft targeted ads, website experiences, content offers, and sales messaging tailored to each company’s needs.
This laser focus and strategic coordination is the not-so-secret recipe for accelerating deals. ABM lays the foundation for sales and marketing alignment, shared goals, and higher-performing programs overall.
The strength of ABM lies in its selectivity. In a world of infinite choices, the most powerful moves come from ruthless prioritization. By keying in on your ideal accounts, your message cuts through.
So in simple terms:
- ABM targets your highest-value accounts
- ABM coordinates sales and marketing outreach
- ABM delivers personalized messaging and experiences
- ABM accelerates conversions and growth
If you’re ready to implement a strategy that actually moves revenue, it’s time to consider ABM.
Key ABM Metrics to Track
ABM delivers tremendous value, but you’ve got to measure it. Tracking the right ABM metrics is crucial for proving the ROI of your account-based programs and guiding strategy.
While lead flow and funnel metrics have their place, ABM requires a more nuanced approach. You need visibility into the performance and profitability of your target accounts.
In this guide, we’ll explore the 10 most essential ABM metrics to track for demonstrating tangible business impact. Measure these KPIs to optimize your account-based strategy and grow revenue in your focused target market.
Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQAs)
Tracking the volume and quality of your marketing qualified accounts (MQAs) is a top priority. Just as you measure marketing qualified leads (MQLs), MQAs indicate accounts that are sales-ready after your marketing efforts.
How to track: First, align with sales on a concrete MQA definition. This may involve attributes like:
- Matching your ideal customer profile (ICP)
- Engaging with multiple marketing touches
- Visiting key pages on your site
- Matching intent signals
- Reaching defined lead scoring thresholds
Once you agree on standards, report on the number and profile of accounts that become MQAs over time. Analyze this by campaign, channel, and other segments.
Why it matters: MQAs help set and enforce standards for account prioritization and tiering. By only marketing to accounts once they qualify, you ensure alignment on what makes accounts sales-ready.
This metric also helps benchmark the number of MQAs your ABM programs deliver over time. As you refine targeting and messaging, your MQA rates and cost per MQA should improve.
Instead of simply tracking leads generated, ABM focuses on pipeline influence – your impact on moving target accounts through the funnel to closed/won deals.
How to track: Document each target account’s stage at various points in time. When an account progresses, note whether your ABM programs influenced this advancement.
Marketing can claim full credit for pipeline impact on net new accounts engaged through marketing-led efforts. For existing accounts, assign partial credit based on marketing’s role in influencing deal progression.
Why it matters: Tracking pipeline influence demonstrates ABM’s direct revenue impact. It shows your ability to take accounts from early awareness to closed/won customers.
Analyzing moves by tier also uncovers what strategies work best at each level. Refine your ABM approach to optimize pipeline velocity and conversion rates.
Your ABM conversion rate is the percentage of target accounts that become customers. This measures sales’ ability to close accounts after marketing engages them.
How to track: Divide the number of closed/won accounts by the total number of accounts sales attempts to close in your ABM program over a given period.
Why it matters: Like any conversion metric, your ABM conversion rate shows how effectively your strategyfunnels accounts into profitable deals.
If your conversion rate dips, it may indicate messaging misalignment between marketing and sales. Refine your MQAs and improve handoff and nurturing to get this metric trending upward.
Driving account engagement ensures your accounts respond to campaigns. This indicates your messaging and positioning resonate.
Relevant engagement metrics include:
- Email opens
- Ad clicks
- Content downloads
- Website visits
- Chat and SMS engagement
How to track: Monitor the percentage of targeted accounts that engage with each campaign and channel. Break this down by tier, industry, persona, or priority scores.
Why it matters: Engagement shows your ability to reach accounts with relevant messaging. Over time, you can analyze which segments, strategies, and channels perform best.
Low engagement levels signal ineffective targeting or positioning. Address these issues before investing in high-cost sales nurturing and outreach.
Average Deal Size
Your average deal size (ACV) reveals the revenue impact of securing an ABM customer. Higher ACVs directly improve your bottom line.
How to track: To calculate average deal size, divide your total revenue from won deals by the number of deals won for a given period.
Segment this by industry, account tier, product line, or other variables to uncover where your biggest wins come from.
Why it matters: Growing your average contract value demonstrates ABM’s ability to land larger, higher-value accounts. It shows your messaging resonates with accounts that warrant a bigger investment.
If your average deal size plateaus or shrinks, revisit your ICP and targeting strategies. Focus on accounts with greater revenue potential to drive this metric upward.
Sales Cycle Length
Since ABM fronts more investment upfront, shortening your sales cycle maximizes ROI. Accelerated sales cycles mean faster deals.
How to track: Calculate your average sales cycle length by dividing the sum of sales cycle lengths for won deals by the total number of deals.
Compare this average for accounts engaged through ABM vs. your broader funnel to see impact.
Why it matters: ABM shortens sales cycles by engaging accounts early and nurturing them over time. When sales connects, these accounts are primed for timely closes.
If your sales cycle length increases, you may be misaligning sales and marketing or targeting unqualified accounts. Right-sizing your ICP and improving nurturing can help shorten this cycle.
While acquisition is crucial, customer retention directly affects long-term profitability. Account turnover costs sales, time, and revenue.
How to track: Calculate monthly or quarterly churn by dividing the number of ended/lost accounts by your total number of customers.
Monitor churn rate increases to catch potential issues early. Look at churn by acquisition source, account profile, and product line.
Why it matters: Lower churn indicates you’re delivering ongoing value and a positive customer experience. This boosts CLV and referrals from happy customers.
If churn rises, identify why accounts are leaving and course correct. Improve account targeting, onboarding, customer success, and retention campaigns.
Customer Acquisition Cost
Keeping customer acquisition costs (CAC) under control ensures profitability. The CAC payback period dictates return on ABM program spending.
How to track: Add up total sales and marketing costs invested to generate an account over a given timeframe. Divide this by total new customers acquired in that period to get your CAC.
Why it matters: Lower CAC means generating profitable accounts more efficiently. As your ABM strategies mature, target more high-value accounts to maintain strong return.
Spike in CAC indicates wasting budget on unqualified accounts. Refocus on accounts with higher likelihood to close and lifetime value to optimize spending.
Customer Lifetime Value
While CAC shows cost, customer lifetime value (CLV) reveals the long-term value of accounts. This determines your potential for profitability.
How to track: Calculate CLV by multiplying average purchase value by purchase frequency per period and multiplying that by the average lifetime of an account.
Why it matters: CLV quantifies an account’s earnings potential post-sale. If CLV outweighs CAC, you earn a positive return on investment from ABM accounts.
To boost profitability, target accounts with higher potential order value, repurchase frequency, and retention rates. Expand also lifts CLV through added wallet share.
Return on Investment
The grand finale: ABM return on investment (ROI). This measures overall program profitability and impact on revenue.
How to track: Tabulate marketing costs for your ABM program over a given timeframe. Divide this by the total sales revenue driven by the program over the same period.
To calculate revenue impact, tally up new sales and expansion from existing accounts influenced by ABM.
Why it matters: ABM ROI quantifies your strategy’s monetary value. Positive ROI (where revenues exceed costs) proves these programs provide tangible returns for the business.
If your ROI dips, reassess your targeting, messages, funnel process, and sales alignment to identify areas for optimization. Expanding ACVs and CLV can also lift returns.
In ABM, success comes down to metrics that reflect profitability from your accounts – not just lead volume. Treat your tiered target list as a focused portfolio and monitor performance closely.
While no metric stands alone, together they tell a powerful story. Look at CAC and CLV to assess efficiency and earning potential. Track churn alongside new acquisitions. Break down conversion rates and cycle length by tier.
With a spreadsheet or ABM measurement platform, track these KPIs over time. Analyze trends, set targets, and gauge performance. When metrics dip, pinpoint causes through deeper segment analysis.
Refine targeting and messaging, improve handoff, expand services, and realign sales. But realize that change takes time. Look for steady improvement across quarters – not overnight transformation.
With the right ABM metrics fueling your strategy, you can turn targeted accounts into profitable, long-term customers. Monitor these KPIs, prove your value, and optimize investments in your total addressable market.
Now let’s look at how to build a rock-solid account plan that converts accounts into recurring revenue.
Creating an Effective ABM Account Plan
An ABM account plan aligns your organization around shared goals for each target account. This roadmap plots how you’ll engage, nurture, and convert accounts into long-term customers.
Without a document guiding your approach, ABM campaigns easily fall short. Sales and marketing misalignment, poor budget allocation, and scattered efforts deliver lackluster results.
That’s why leading companies invest heavily in crafting detailed account plans. This upfront planning pays dividends across awareness, sales development, and customer retention programs.
In this guide, we’ll cover 10 steps for creating a winning ABM account plan that seamlessly moves accounts through the funnel. Follow this blueprint as you build plans for each of your core target companies.
Step 1: Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Your ICP encapsulates your perfect-fit account profile across elements like:
- Firmographic data (industry, region, size metrics)
- Technographic details (tech stack, workflows)
- Buyer attributes (titles, challenges, goals)
- Account behaviors and intent signals
This foundational framework guides all subsequent ABM targeting and personalization.
How to outline your ICP:
- Analyze current accounts – which are most profitable long-term?
- Seek input from sales, customer success, and leadership
- Research market trends and growth potential in your TAM
- Clarify the accounts you can serve most effectively after removing bad fits
Document your findings in an ICP template framing your ideal market, segments, and commercial attributes. With a clear ICP, you can identify and tier your target accounts.
Step 2: Build Your Target Account List (TAL)
Your TAL represents your total addressable market (TAM) – accounts matching your ICP with recognized potential.
Prioritize this list into tiers:
- Tier 1 – High-fit, high-value accounts warranting 1:1 ABM investment
- Tier 2 – Good-fit mid-market accounts for 1:Few approach
- Tier 3 – Potential fits for efficient 1:Many nurturing
How to develop your TAL:
- Start with accounts in your CRM – analyze for ICP fit
- Append net new companies from intent data and firmographic sources
- Interview sales on high-potential targets
- Model your TAM based on market size estimates and growth goals
Continuously add, tier, and nurture new accounts that enter your market. Now let’s prioritize your list.
Step 3: Prioritize and Tier Your Accounts
With your TAL defined, scoring models and metrics add intelligence. Develop an account scoring methodology to prioritize outreach.
Sample data fields that influence priority:
- Recency and quality of engagement
- Account size/revenue
- Intent signals like keywords and tech activity
- Relationship strength with contacts
- Historical purchasing behavior
Calculate a weighted average score based on variables you define. Use tiers to categorize accounts:
Tier 1 = Very high score
Tier 2 = High score
Tier 3 = Moderate score
Update scoring over time as engagement, triggers, and sales insights shift. Adjust targeting and investment at each tier accordingly.
Step 4: Identify Buying Committees
Even within highly prioritized accounts, identifying the right individuals is crucial. Map your stakeholders for successful consensus building.
Buying groups may include:
- Economic buyers – Sign contracts and control budget
- Technical buyers – Recommend/vet solutions
- Business users – Leverage your product day-to-day
- Influencers – Guide strategy and advocate change
For each account, chart their buying committee across roles and locations. Note key motivations, challenges, and relationships.
Update continuously as new contacts enter the account. With your buying group identified, it’s time to capture intelligence.
Step 5: Capture Account Intelligence
Compile key details for each target account to inform personalization. Useful intelligence categories include:
- Firmographic data like headcount, locations, and revenues
- Org chart, technologies used, industry trends
- Competitors, partnerships, M&A activity
- Leadership, culture, business initiatives
- Buying processes, preferences, and challenges
Update this intel quarterly by mining websites, social media, intent data, and news. Interview sales reps and research analysts for insights.
Arm your revenue-facing teams with talking points based on this account research. Now let’s look at who executes your ABM programs.
Step 6: Define Your ABM Team and Budget
Clarify resourcing for your account plan. Who is responsible for each ABM program element and tier? Key roles may encompass:
- Marketing campaign owners
- Content strategists and creatives
- Sales development reps (SDRs)
- Sales reps managing accounts
- Customer success team members
- Data and automation specialists
- Executive sponsors and stakeholders
Outline each party’s responsibilities for delivering on account priorities. Then allocate budget across initiatives by quarter, aligned to revenue targets.
Continuous collaboration across groups ensures your ABM engine hums. Set rhythm meetings to assess progress on account plans.
Step 7: Create an ABM Sales Alignment Checklist
Lack of sales and marketing alignment causes 18% of ABM programs to struggle or fail according to SiriusDecisions. Avoid misfires with proactive checkpoints.
Sample ABM sales alignment checklist:
- Sync on target account list and tiers
- Agree on ideal customer profile (ICP) definition
- Confirm account scoring models and metrics
- Clarify marketing and sales roles
- Set joint KPIs and reporting processes
- Communicate campaigns, offers, and talking points
- Establish account handoff and nurturing processes
- Conduct win/loss analysis together
- Share target account intelligence and insights
Meet weekly or biweekly to review this list. Course correct quickly if teams drift apart. Commit to transparency.
Step 8: Build a Campaign Project Plan
With your account plan defined, build 90-day plans translating strategy into action. Plot specific initiatives across channels that move accounts forward.
Elements to outline for each campaign:
- Target audience – Accounts, contacts, segments
- Offer/content details – Emails, ads, direct mail
- Timeline – Send dates, air dates, milestones
- Promotion channels – Paid search, events, etc.
- KPIs – Open rates, site visits, demos booked
- Budget – Funding allocation by quarter
Build campaign plans spanning your ABM funnel – awareness to sales development and beyond. Maintain flexibility to pivot based on performance and evolving account needs.
Step 9: Track ABM Metrics
The best plans pivot based on data. Determine metrics aligned to your target account KPIs for continuous optimization. Relevant ABM metrics may include:
- Target account list penetration
- Account engagement rates
- Influence on pipeline stage progression
- Sales velocity and cycle length
- Win/loss assessment
- Account retention/churn rate
- Conversion rate from lead to close
Select metrics that indicate sales readiness, revenue influence, and profitability. Analyze trends to shape your approach and improve conversions.
Step 10: Update Account Plans Quarterly
Don’t file your account plans away once written. Revisit these living documents each quarter to refine your approach.
Key steps for quarterly updates:
- Add newly identified target accounts
- Adjust priority tiering based on latest scoring
- Update buying committee contacts and org chart
- Note leadership, business, or tech changes
- Review goal progress and realign as needed
- Shift budget across programs based on performance
- Build new 90-day campaign plans aligned to revenue targets
- Update sales alignment checklist with any process changes
- Append latest account research and intel
Rinse and repeat across your plan each quarter to keep it current. With regular recalibration, your account plans drive year-round revenue.
Make ABM Account Planning a Priority
An annual account planning session isn’t enough in today’s fast-changing climate. Weave this disciplined approach into your daily marketing and sales processes.
Dedicate time for researching accounts, strategizing campaigns, and building connections into workflows. Maintain your target account list as a dynamic asset.
With a detailed roadmap guiding the way, your chances of engaging and converting accounts soar. So pull together sales, marketing, and leadership to build plans that deliver.
Sharpen your focus on the accounts that matter most. With the right insights, relationships, and game plan, you hold the keys to outperforming the market.
Now let’s take a look at the evolving ABM landscape to stay on the cutting edge of what works.
The Evolving ABM Landscape
If change is the only constant, then ABM is right on trend. The account-based marketing landscape continues to shift rapidly, creating new opportunities and challenges for B2B companies.
In this section, we’ll break down five key ways ABM is evolving right now:
- Growth in adoption and investment
- Proliferation of ABM tools
- The rising role of intent data
- Expanding AI and predictive analytics
- Maturing best practices
Understanding the latest ABM developments will ensure you capitalize on what’s new while applying proven strategies. Let’s dive in.
Growth in ABM Adoption and Investment
ABM transitioned from early adopter to majority play quickly. According to ITSMA, ABM adoption has grown 159% since 2017. And that growth shows no signs of slowing.
Along with broader implementation, investment continues rising. ABM program budgets now sit at** $1.3 million** on average, a 21.8% increase since 2020 according to B2B Marketing.
This greater prioritization makes sense, with 67% of businesses reporting ABM delivers higher ROI than any other go-to-market program according to Think With Google. The stellar returns fuel further expansion in the years ahead.
Proliferation of ABM Platforms and Tools
The soaring interest in ABM has given rise to a thriving martech landscape. Dozens of solutions now exist to help brands execute account-based strategies at scale.
ABM ecosystems encompass platforms for:
- Account identification – Ideal customer profile modeling and target account selection
- Intent monitoring – Tracking research activity and keywords for tailored outreach
- Web personalization – Building targeted landing pages and custom site experiences
- Media activation – Running highly personalized ad campaigns across channels
- Predictive analytics – Scoring accounts and modeling likelihood to convert
- CRM sync – Integrating ABM campaigns into existing sales workflows
- Measurement – Connecting platforms to track account funnel progression and ROI
This proliferation of specialized tools enables B2B brands to tailor their tech stack to their unique needs. The ability to test, optimize, and scale ABM tactically accelerates performance and growth.
Just be wary of over-investing across too many disjointed point solutions. Seek platforms that consolidate capabilities to maximize budget efficiency.
The Rising Role of Intent Data
In today’s ABM tech landscape, one capability shines brighter than the rest: intent data.
Intent data identifies companies demonstrating active interest in solutions like yours. Signals like keywords, site visits, and tech stack changes trigger targeted outreach when accounts show purchase intent.
According to Demandbase, 59% of B2B marketers say intent data is very effective for ABM. And 77% prioritize intent signals for better account targeting.
Sourcing intent data provides a prime way to identify, segment, and engage new accounts entering your market. This powers more relevant ads and content that resonate when interest is high.
As intent monitoring evolves, analytics will uncover intent tied to longer-term initiatives, not just urgent tech needs. This expanded understanding will fuel more meaningful nurturing.
Expanding AI and Predictive Analytics
The ABM landscape is also increasingly infused with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Leveraging predictive powers provides advantages such as:
- Smarter account scoring – Prioritizing your TAL based on propensity to buy signals
- Dynamic segmentation – Grouping accounts to target based on behaviors in real time
- Campaign optimization – Utilizing performance data to refine messages and channels
- Redirecting spend – Shifting budget to higher-performing targets and initiatives
- Personalization at scale – Crafting custom ads and site experiences amplified through automation
According to eMarketer, 63% of US B2B marketing teams now apply AI and machine learning to enhance ABM programs. Expect the applications of predictive analytics to multiply in the years ahead.
But also recognize that human strategy and creativity remain essential complements. Technology should enable ABM programs, not replace thoughtful planning and execution. Find the right balance.
Maturing Understanding of ABM Best Practices
While ABM isn’t new, brands continue clarifying proven paths to success. As more organizations share wins, failures, and lessons learned, collective knowledge expands.
For example, leading companies now recognize:
- The metrics that matter most for demonstrating ABM impact
- The right technology mix for enabling targeted programs efficiently
- The importance of sales alignment throughout the account lifecycle
- How to scale 1:1 ABM profitably beyond a small portfolio of accounts
This collective wisdom fuels continuous optimization – making proven practices even more effective over time. The rising ABM tide lifts all boats.
The Road Ahead for ABM
The account-based movement shows no signs of slowing. As solutions expand and results speak for themselves, ABM increasingly becomes a core B2B growth engine.
But continued flexibility remains key. Apply proven principles while embracing new tools and tactics. Set your course but allow room to adjust sails.
Measure carefully, learn actively, and improve continuously. With the right insights, investment, and integrated technologies, your ABM engine will keep churning out customer growth and profits.
Now let’s look at how to activate these strategies through effective outreach across channels.
ABM Outreach Best Practices
Crafting an effective ABM account plan is table stakes. But you’ve got to execute flawlessly to win.
Orchestrating the right outreach strategies across channels paves the path for resonance, conversions, and lasting customers. Get your approaches wrong, and accounts easily slip away.
In this guide, we’ll explore eight proven outreach best practices to activate your ABM programs successfully:
- Personalized, multi-channel outreach
- Direct mail and gifting
- Targeted digital ads
- Syndicating sales team outreach
- Curating relevant content offers
- Leveling up email and chat outreach
- Developing referral programs
- Creating ABM-aligned landing pages
Equip your team to connect meaningfully with target accounts. Then track performance to double down on what works.
Personalized, Multi-Channel Outreach
Generic spray-and-pray tactics flop with ABM. Tailored outreach demonstrates you understand specific account needs.
But personalized messaging alone falls short. You’ve got to meet accounts everywhere they consume information.
Orchestrate outreach across channels based on preferences. Send targeted direct mail to IT leaders researching new tech. Follow up an event invite with a nurture track for key contacts. Retarget your ads to accounts visiting pricing pages.
According to SiriusDecisions, brands using at least five channels for ABM convert 120% more target accounts. Make every touchpoint reinforce your value.
Targeted outreach examples include:
- Direct mail: Send accounts relevant one-to-one offers with premium packaging and creative.
- Email: Develop tailored nurture tracks for key personas and buying stages.
- Ads: Build highly personalized and retargeted digital ads for your target list.
- Chat: Prioritize chat invitations and routing for target accounts.
- Calls: Equip sales with relevant talking points for outreach calls.
- Events: Develop customized agendas and collateral for one-to-few onsite meetings.
- SMS: Send appointment reminders, content offers, and event invites via text.
- Social: Engage your accounts with personalized messaging on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Referrals: Turn delighted customers into advocates by enabling introductions.
The more channels you integrate into outreach, the greater potential you have for breakthrough moments with your accounts.
Direct Mail and Gifting
In today’s digital-centric world, analog outreach stands out. Direct mail gifts make memorable impressions with target accounts.
For example, send executives at an expansion-focused account a telescope engraved with your positioning. Or provide IT leaders exploring new analytics tools custom branded Moleskine notebooks.
Research shows tangible mail can lift conversion rates. According to the USPS, millennials are 60% more likely to keep direct mail pieces versus digital communications.
Keep your mailers focused, personalized, and tied to high-value content offers. Ensure your brand and messaging come across clearly.
And don’t forget follow-up. Coordinate timely email, ads, or sales calls to drive recipients to take action post-delivery.
When used strategically, direct mail cuts through the digital noise. So tap into traditional approaches alongside digital channels.
Targeted Digital Ads
Digital ads enable you to reach accounts wherever they consume content online. Targeting options empower relevance at scale.
Use first-party data like company name, industry, and intent signals to build targeted audience segments. Create ads with messaging tailored to each segment.
According to B2B Marketing, 52% of businesses say targeted ads are one of the most effective tactics for ABM success.
You can also retarget accounts that have engaged with your brand like:
- Visiting your pricing page
- Downloading offer content
- Attending a recent webinar
Follow up these warm contacts with specific value propositions via ads placed on sites they frequent.
For one-to-one accounts, build highly personalized ads showcasing their logo, leadership, content downloads, and other unique details.
Just be sure to coordinate ad outreach with email, content, and sales. Multi-touch attribution models should connect each channel’s influence.
Syndicating Sales Team Outreach
Your sales team sits on the frontlines of developing account relationships. Ensure marketing equips them to maximize impact.
Empower consistent and coordinated outreach by:
- Sharing target account intelligence – Provide key insights for account contacts so reps can personalize calls and emails.
- Communicating marketing campaigns – Give sales visibility into upcoming nurtures so they can coordinate timing.
- Syndicating content – Send new offers, ads, and other assets directly to sales teams to share.
- Enabling co-branded campaigns – Collaborate with sales on building joint nurture tracks or ads together.
- Analyzing results – Review metrics and optimize future initiatives based on sales feedback.
According to ITSMA, sales and marketing alignment on target accounts improves win rates by over 25%. Close collaboration amplifies results.
Arm your sales teams with the knowledge, content, and support to move accounts forward. Marketing’s job is to help reps look like rockstars.
Curating Relevant Content Offers
ABM is all about audience-specific messaging. But you’ve got to prime the pump with tailored content designed for each account.
Map content across the funnel for key personas and buying stages. Then develop offers matched to campaign goals like:
- Whitepapers – Nurture evaluators with best practice insights.
- Product demos – Show key capabilities to technical reviewers.
- ROI calculators – Quantify value to economic buyers.
- Training videos – Accelerate user adoption for admins and end users.
And don’t just repurpose existing collateral. Create net new content specifically for your target accounts.
For example, build a playbook tailored to executives at a retail company outlining tips for modernizing in-store experiences. Make content feel like their own, not a generic pitch.
According to SiriusDecisions, 77% of marketers say customized content performed best for advancing their ABM accounts. Don’t leave relevance and resonance on the table.
Leveling Up Email and Chat Outreach
The fundamentals still apply – targeted, helpful, and valuable communication wins. Email and chat remain essential tools in your stack.
Take your approaches to the next level with:
- Highly personalized creative – Research account details to incorporate unique facts in subject lines and content.
- Empathy-building messaging – Understand pain points and motivations to connect meaningfully.
- Coordination with ads and sales – Time your outreach along with other touches to reinforce value.
- Optimization through testing – Experiment across send times, messaging, content offers, and CTAs.
- Multi-channel nurturing – Align email with chat, text, direct mail, and more throughout the funnel.
- Data-driven segmentation – Leverage firmographic and intent insights to target key roles with relevant content.
With email reaching inboxes over 4 billion times per day, cut through the clutter with a focus on relevance across every send.
Developing Referral Programs
Tap satisfied customers to open doors through referrals. Enable advocates to connect you to new accounts by providing:
- Simple tools to share content offers or introductions by email
- Co-branded nurture tracks or ads to share within their network
- Profile-raising opportunities like speaking, awards, and media coverage
- Incentives for completed referrals that drive new opportunities
According to Influitive, 71% of buyers are more likely to engage with a referred company. Unlock this influence through alignment.
Start referral streams by engaging closest accounts first. Look internally too – enable employees to share content and open doors within existing networks.
When you give supporters the tools to share easily, your message spreads further. Turn happy customers into true partners.
Creating ABM-Aligned Landing Pages
With accounts increasingly demanding personalized experiences, ABM landing pages refine your focus.
Craft targeted pages that speak to key elements for each account like:
- Industry or region-specific examples – Showcase relevant customer success.
- Ideal buyer quotes – Feature statements from similar roles.
- Tailored value proposition – Lead with messages aligned to their priorities.
- Relevant resources – Promote offers ideal for their current stage.
- Familiar visuals – Incorporate logos, leadership images, or location shots.
With 79% of business buyers wanting personalized web experiences, specificity wins.
Master Account-Based Outreach
Hopefully this guide provided helpful strategies and tactical examples for activating your account plans through outreach.
While the channels will vary by program, success ultimately comes down to relevance, empathy, and relentless improvement through testing.
Use data to understand your accounts’ needs. Then deliver value creatively across the right mix of channels. With a spirit of helpfulness, your outreach converts.
Now you’ve got an A to Z view of metrics, planning, landscape, and outreach best practices to drive your ABM engine. Go forth and conquer!
Key Takeaways and Next Steps
Let’s recap the core concepts we’ve covered to master account-based marketing in 2023:
- ABM delivers higher ROI, deal sizes, and retention rates by coordinating sales and marketing around high-value target accounts.
- Key ABM metrics include MQAs, pipeline influence, conversion and win rates, sales velocity, and profitability metrics like CAC, CLV, and ROI.
- Build detailed account plans outlining your ICP, TAL, tiering, buying groups, intelligence, budget, sales alignment checklist, and campaign project plan.
- Update your approach quarterly based on performance data and evolving account needs. Don’t set and forget!
- The ABM landscape grows rapidly as adoption increases and new technologies like AI and intent data enhance programs.
- Orchestrate personalized outreach across multiple channels aligned to each account’s preferences.
- Direct mail, digital ads, co-branded sales campaigns, and tailored landing pages make channels work together seamlessly.
- Helpful, relevant value throughout the funnel – not aggressive sales pitches – advances and converts target accounts.
Ready to master ABM and shift to account-based thinking across your organization? Here are key next steps:
- Start small. Run pilot programs with a limited target account list to prove impact and build on success.
- Realign around accounts. Shift all metrics, tech, content, and processes to put accounts ahead of leads.
- Lock down ICP and buying committees. Research and document what your ideal customer looks like and who influences decisions.
- Build multi-channel campaigns. Orchestrate plays that move accounts through the funnel together across channels and teams.
- Incorporate new technologies. Bring on ABM-aligned platforms and tap innovations like predictive analytics and intent data.
- Obsess over conversion metrics. Analyze win rates, sales cycle velocity, first call resolution and beyond to understand account profitability.
- Practice agility. Study performance frequently. Test new strategies. Double down on what works and course correct what doesn’t.
- Commit for the long term. ABM isn’t a quick fix. But the long-term gains for loyal customers make investments worthwhile.
To continue mastering modern ABM strategies and tactics, explore these resources:
- The ABM Playbook – Actionable tips for awareness, sales development, and customer success processes.
- ABM Leadership Alliance – Best practice guides, templates, videos, and an online community to join.
- SiriusDecisions ABM Research – Analyst reports exploring platforms, metrics, challenges, and best practices.
Why ABM Delivers Better Results
To recap, ABM accelerates growth and profitability by:
Increasing Win Rates
ABM delivers a 60% higher win rate on average versus traditional lead-based demand gen according to SiriusDecisions. When every touchpoint is tailored and coordinated around specific accounts, you convert buyers faster.
Generating Larger Deal Sizes
On top of higher win rates, ABM accounts have a 38% larger deal size. Account-based strategies enable you to close and expand on bigger contracts by tying value to organizational priorities.
Enhancing Customer Retention
The relevance of ABM continues post-sale. According to Aberdeen Group, retention rates jump 48% higher with account-based strategies thanks to highly personalized experiences.
Creating Personalized Buyer Experiences
The essence of ABM lies in crafting targeted experiences for each account. You can tailor every interaction across ads, site visits, content, and sales touches to address unique needs.
Aligning Sales and Marketing Goals
With shared target account lists, ABM intrinsically connects sales and marketing around shared pipeline goals. This unity of vision increases win rates by over 25% according to SiriusDecisions.
The focused, coordinated nature of ABM generates tangible benefits throughout the funnel. To maximize these gains, it’s essential to approach measurement differently.
Comparing ABM Metrics to Other Marketing Metrics
Traditional demand gen focuses on high lead volume. ABM cares more about account impact and efficiency. Key differences include:
Account Value Over Lead Volume
Instead of thousands of leads, ABM targets hundreds of high-value accounts. Quality trumps quantity, with conversion rate and deal size holding more weight.
Tracking Accounts, Not Just Individuals
While contacts matter, the primary focus becomes moving entire accounts through the funnel together. Marketing and sales work cross-functionally to achieve this.
Direct Revenue Impact and ROI
ABM directly generates pipeline and revenue through tailored account conversion. There’s a premium on profitability through CLV, CAC payback period, and overall program ROI.
This mentality shift takes time, but pays dividends as you build account-centric processes. Now let’s discuss leveraging intent data.
Using Intent Data to Find Target Accounts
Sourcing intent data can power your ABM programs by uncovering accounts expressing active interest. But how does it work?
Monitoring Digital Signals
Intent providers track “signals” like keywords, site visits, and technology changes indicating research activity. When companies show intent, you can reach out within this consideration window.
Identifying Net New Accounts in-Market
This demand mapping reveals accounts you didn’t know were investigating solutions like yours. Import these fresh targets into your ideal customer profile and account plans.
Enriching ICPs with Buyer Attributes
Intent insights uncover what accounts and contacts are researching now. Incorporate these real-time technographics and engagement data points into your target account profiles.
Intent feeds equip your ABM engine to orbit in on real opportunity. Now let’s discuss tips for mapping your total addressable market.
Capturing Buying Group Insights for Each Account
Developing consensus across your accounts requires understanding all the decision-makers involved. Here are tips on mapping your total buying group:
Identify All Roles in the Mix
Look beyond just economic buyers. Technical, user, and influencer groups matter too. Identify all the pieces of your account puzzle.
Understand Their Motivations and Pain Points
What keeps each stakeholder up at night? How are they measured? Gather insight into their different goals and challenges.
Map Their Purchase Process Relationships
Plot the connections and influence between groups. Who leads research? Who suggests? Who decides? Who implements? Map the decision journey.
Armed with this intelligence, you can navigate complex accounts more meaningfully. Now let’s explore metrics based on funnel stage.
Metrics for Each Funnel Stage
To assess performance across the account lifecycle, define metrics tied to each stage:
For Awareness: Engagement Rates
In early outreach, gauge how well your messages resonate based on open rates, inbound clicks, and website engagement.
For Consideration: Lead Qualification Signals
At this stage, track signals predicting sales readiness like contact quality, intent syncs, and lead scores.
For Decision: Opportunity Influence
Here the focus shifts to your impact on pipeline movement and deal progression through final approvals.
Tying metrics to stages provides a more nuanced view of success throughout the revenue engine. Speaking of technology, let’s discuss emerging capabilities.
Emerging ABM Technology Capabilities
Evolving martech empowers ABM execution and optimization. Top solutions offer:
Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning
Platforms like 6sense analyze data to score accounts for sales readiness and predictively model outcomes.
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)
CDPs like Tealium unify customer data into single profiles for more relevant messaging.
Account Data Enrichment
Tools like DiscoverOrg append intelligence to contacts and accounts for deeper personalization.
Marketing and Sales Orchestration
Integrated platforms like Terminus enable orchestrating ABM campaigns across channels, teams, and systems.
New technologies will continue enhancing account-based strategies and scale. Now let’s shift from emerging tech to proven channels.
Balancing Broad and Targeted Digital Ads
Digital ads – both broad and narrow – remain staples of effective ABM:
Use Broad Targeting for Scale
Leverage open web ads for awareness early in the funnel. Buy keywords aligned to your ICPs interests to spark consideration.
Deliver Personalized Ads via Targeting
Once accounts engage, serve tailored ads across the web leveraging their company, industry, past interactions with your brand and more.
Like all strategies, aim for balance. Combine broad awareness ads with highly customized creative for each account. Now let’s explore direct mail.
Tips for Effective Direct Mail Campaigns
Don’t overlook the power of offline connection. For optimum cut-through, be sure to:
Invest in Premium Packaging and Creative
Make unboxing an experience with luxe materials and memorable visual design. Budget more to make your mailers stand out.
Personalize Messaging and Content With Relevance
Research accounts beforehand to incorporate details that resonate. Include customized brochures, gifts, and notes.
Validate Contact Data to Ensure Deliverability
Bad data undermines great creative. Audit your database for quality contact info through consumer data providers.
Test and Optimize to Boost Response Rates
Experiment with messages, formats, and offers based on engagement. Refine your direct mail approach over time.
Direct mail might feel old fashioned, but adding offline touches reinforces your message. Now let’s connect online with landing pages.
Keys to Developing High-Performing Landing Pages
ABM landing pages move beyond generic website experiences with:
Account-Specific and Personalized Content
Feature customers relevant to their industry. Lead with messages that speak to their priorities and address their goals.
A Focus on User Experience and Brand Consistency
Guide visitors through a sharp, on-brand journey focused on their needs – not internal org structures.
Clear Calls-to-Action to Drive Conversions
Don’t leave visitors wondering what to do next. Lead them through specific desired actions aligned to their current stage.
Built for Optimization Through Testing
Continuously experiment with layouts, copy, offers, and more to incrementally improve performance.
With conversion rates top of mind, every account-aligned landing page reflects bespoke value.
In closing, executing ABM successfully requires focus, coordination, technology, creativity, and agility in equal measures. Keep these disciplines top of mind as you transform your organization around accounts.
Now that you’ve absorbed this complete guide, the knowledge and tools rest firmly in your hands. So put these strategies into action and start achieving the high-impact ABM results you know your business is capable of.
We’re rooting for your success unlocking the power of account-based marketing – and your team’s expertise has never been more vital. So stay focused, leverage the latest enablement, and deliver real revenue growth through meticulously moving accounts forward. This is your time.
- ABM focuses marketing and sales efforts on a select, high-value target account list to drive relevance, conversion rates, and growth.
- Key ABM metrics to track include MQAs, pipeline influence, win rates, sales velocity, churn, CAC, CLV, and ROI. These indicate account health and profitability.
- Create detailed account plans outlining your ICP, TAL, contacts, intelligence, sales alignment, campaign plans, and measurement tactics. Update these living documents quarterly.
- The ABM landscape is evolving quickly with more adoption, new technologies like AI and intent data, and maturing best practices. Stay on top of developments.
- Orchestrate personalized outreach across channels like direct mail, digital ads, co-branded sales campaigns, and tailored landing pages.
- Helpful, value-driven messaging – not aggressive sales pitches – will resonate and convert your accounts. Take an advisor approach focused on their success.
- Implementing ABM starts with small tests and pilots. Let successes build program momentum with leadership support.
- Patience and commitment are required, but the long-term gains from loyal, high-value accounts make ABM investments worthwhile. Here are some frequently asked questions about ABM metrics, account plans, landscape, and outreach:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the most important ABM metrics to track?
A: Key ABM metrics include marketing qualified accounts (MQAs), pipeline influence, win rates, sales velocity, churn, customer lifetime value (CLV), customer acquisition cost (CAC), and return on investment (ROI). These indicate how effectively your programs drive account health, revenue, and profitability.
Q: How do I build an effective account plan?
A: Outline your ideal customer profile, target account list, contacts, intelligence, sales alignment processes, campaign plans, and measurement tactics. Update quarterly based on data and evolving account needs.
Q: What channels work best for ABM outreach?
A: Orchestrate personalized outreach across multiple channels like emails, ads, direct mail, co-branded sales campaigns, events, and tailored landing pages. Coordinate initiatives to have accounts engage across touchpoints.
Q: How is ABM evolving in 2023?
A: The ABM landscape is maturing quickly with more adoption, new technologies like AI and intent data, expanded delivery channels, and developing best practices. Stay on top of these trends and tools to advance your programs.
Q: How long does it take to see results from ABM?
A: Patience is key. Start small and build on successes. While ABM can accelerate conversion rates and deals, transforming processes across sales and marketing takes time. Focus on continuous improvement.
Q: What are some challenges companies face with ABM?
A: Lack of sales and marketing alignment, inadequate analytics, poor data quality, and lack of personalized content and experiences are common pitfalls. Address these with executive support, platforms, and creative resources.
Q: How can I make the business case for investing in ABM?
A: Point to proven benefits like higher win rates, deal sizes, retention, and ROI. Tie ABM goals directly to larger revenue targets and market expansion priorities leaders care about.