For my most recently published research, I set out to find or define the metrics that capture account-based marketing (ABM) success. It’s a question I hear from clients very often, and one we often discuss on the internal team. “How will I know my ABM program is working?” I was after the end-all be-all answer, the clean, uncomplicated resolution -perhaps the top three (or so) metrics that could capture everything. I wanted the formula that would make executive teams scream, “Oh! I can so clearly see now how important ABM is!” But they’re not out there.
Why would they be? Smart marketers are using ABM to support the goals they already had, not to change the game and achieve different outcomes.
I ultimately published research that reflects my understanding that there are no new metrics — the same metrics that have existed simply need to capture the movement that ABM supports. Metrics that were up for consideration – grand business-imperative ones like faster sales cycle and increased deal size, for instance – fell short. And that’s because those metrics don’t ultimately triangulate to give the credit to ABM. But hope isn’t lost.
Metrics that matter still matter. Now, that doesn’t mean you can implement ABM and keep measuring as you always have – that’s not the case either. If you want to demonstrate ABM results, you’ve got to demonstrate what happens when you apply ABM tactics. And that requires understanding what happened before you did – in other words, this demands internal benchmarks. This type of comparative analysis separates the accomplishments of marketers that are showing results against accounts that are named on some spreadsheet and marketers that are doing the hard work of researching, planning, and executing to provide the contextual, relevant, and customized messaging is inherent in ABM to a specific set of accounts that are top of mind for sales and marketing.
Yes, I do spell out the metrics that matter in ABM in my most recent research— the cleverly titled Metrics That Matter In Account-Based Marketing. Check it out today not only for those key metrics but also for insights around the important guidelines and clues that the customer life cycle provides.