3 things sales leaders should know about ABM measurement


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As a sales leader, you might think account-based marketing (ABM) isn’t for you. After all, it has the word marketing in the name. But the reality is, ABM isn’t something marketing does in a silo — and B2B sales orgs need to get on board.

Put simply, ABM is a target account strategy that requires sales and marketing teams to work together to target, engage, and win their best-fit accounts. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Finally, your marketing team isn’t just dumping leads into the funnel and expecting you to sift through a bunch of junk to find a few good prospects. They’re actually helping you convert and close the accounts that matter most.

But for this to happen, you have to get comfortable with a new approach to measurement. Let’s look at three things all sales leaders should understand about ABM measurement and reporting.

1. ABM requires a separate sales funnel.

Don’t make the mistake of lumping your target accounts in with the rest of your pipeline. You need to track them in a separate funnel — or two separate funnels if you’re targeting both prospect accounts and current customers.

The account-based funnel is not terribly complicated, but it is different.

That’s because the top of the account-based sales funnel is static. With ABM, you start with a list of prequalified, named accounts instead of a hodgepodge of leads. And while the traditional funnel continuously widens at the top as your marketing team generates more leads, the accounts in your ABM funnel are only updated at regular intervals (typically on a quarterly basis).

By tracking your target account pipeline in a separate funnel, you can easily compare ABM’s impact on key metrics like win rate and average contract value.

The main stages of the ABM funnel are:

  • Target prospect/customer accounts: All the prospect or customer accounts you’re working in a given timeframe
  • Engaged target accounts: This stage is made up of sales-ready accounts and can be considered a proxy for the MQL of the traditional funnel. More on this in #2 below.
  • Opportunity target accounts: This catch-all opportunity stage can be broken into multiple distinct stages depending on your sales process.
  • Won target accounts: The number of target account deals you’ve closed in a given timeframe

See? It’s pretty simple. It’s really just a matter of getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page and making sure everyone understands the account-based funnel.

2. Leads are good. Engagement data is better.

Let’s look more closely at the second stage of the account-based funnel: engaged target accounts.

Traditionally, this is the stage of the funnel where your marketing qualified leads would hang out. But you know better than anyone that MQLs aren’t always high-quality, and sorting through bad leads is a giant time suck.

The ABM funnel, on the other hand, focuses on engaged target accounts — in other words, target accounts that have demonstrated meaningful engagement with your company and are ready for one-to-one outreach. If it’s easier, you can think of accounts in this stage as marketing qualified accounts, or MQAs.

An engaged account

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