Account-based marketing (ABM) is a powerful B2B marketing tool to drive more revenue and move prospects through the buyer’s journey more quickly. ABM allows you to target high-value accounts and personalize your content and messaging at scale. ABM helps you build awareness and authority, drive demand and generate leads, and nurture prospects to close more deals.
By measuring the right metrics at each stage of the sales funnel, you can also continue to optimize your ABM approach to produce better results over time. The right KPIs can help you determine what’s working and what’s not, so you can continually refine your sales orchestration.
Why ABM Is Hard to Measure
ABM can be challenging to measure because you’re always weighing the outcome against what else you might have been doing. At the same time, marketing and customer behaviors are constantly evolving and changing. What your competition does also plays a significant role in your success.
Your marketing activity, marketing approach, and ultimately your conversion rates, will depend on getting it right in the first place. If your marketing strategy is flawed, then analysis of your ABM will be flawed as well.
That’s why it’s so important to put in the work upfront to make sure your ABM approach is correct out of the gate.
ABM Strategy Success Factors
Your ABM campaign strategy must be based on shared goals. Without alignment between your marketing programs and sales efforts, it’s unlikely your sales team will have the success you want. Marketing and sales objectives must be in sync to make sure you target prospects that are a good fit for your products and services.
If you’re not targeting the right person in the right accounts, you can waste a lot of time and effort.
Companies need to commit to sticking with the plan. ABM isn’t a short-term marketing campaign. It’s a long-term strategy to identify and engage valuable accounts with a targeted approach to drive them through the ABM funnel. B2B marketing requires consistency and a relentless approach to marketing to your ideal customer profiles and key decision-makers.
If you’re not consistent in how you approach your marketing efforts and marketing campaigns, the KPIs you measure won’t accurately reflect how your ABM accounts perform.
Even with alignment and consistency, you still must execute your ABM strategy effectively. B2B marketing relies on content marketing, inbound marketing, and targeted outreach (among other strategies) to achieve its goals. Yet, the delivery of these strategies to key stakeholders is just part of the equation.
If the marketing message you’re delivering to key accounts is not properly tailored to your target audience, you’re not likely to achieve the results you want.
One of the key reasons to measure KPIs, however, is to determine what’s working and what’s not so that marketing teams and sales teams can continue to optimize the sales cycle. It’s not always easy to know the right levers to pull in B2B marketing, but by defining the right key performance indicators (KPIs), you can better evaluate your ABM program and improve your results.
KPIs At Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
For target accounts, the buyer’s journey needs to be a foundational piece for marketing efforts. Understanding your target audience’s needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey is key to developing high-quality leads and high-value accounts.
The typical stages of the buying funnel include:
- Top of the funnel (TOFU)
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
The funnel provides a framework for targeting as buyers look for different things at each stage. B2B marketers must have a solid understanding of buyer motivations and needs at each stage to be successful. It’s important to define buyer needs and the marketing approach to meet those needs to drive customers through the sales funnel.
The KPIs you measure will be different at each stage of the funnel, just as your goals are. It’s great if you make a sale from a TOFU prospect, but at this stage, measuring conversions is not the right strategy. Likewise, when you progress prospects to the bottom of the funnel, measuring awareness is a mistake.
Top of the Funnel – Seeking Awareness
Top-of-the-funnel content typically targets those at the awareness stage of the journey. It may be the first time they hear of your brand or the first time they engage. Most of the marketing efforts here focus less on your products or services and more on what the customer needs.
Typical TOFU content includes:
- Blog posts
- Social posts
- How-to content
- Short videos
Content tends to focus on the challenges buyers face, and provides relevant, educational, and insightful information. The goal is to create awareness of your products or services and establish your company as a trusted authority.
KPIs for TOFU
Some of the different metrics you want to track for top-of-the-funnel content include:
- Engagement: You need to know whether people are engaging with your content and whether they are taking specific actions.
- Open rates: If you’re using email outreach, you’ll want to know how many prospects opened your email and whether they took action.
- Clickthrough rates: If your goal is to drive content to your website, you need to track the clickthrough rate. It’s great when people see your content, but your goal is to generate demand and get prospects to take action.
- Other metrics: You may also want to track more specific metrics, such as user sessions, time on site, bounce rates, and repeat visits.
- Awareness: Since awareness and authority are your core goals in the TOFU stage, you’ll want to measure and assess awareness over time.
The best ABM campaigns are built on buyer experience platforms that let you track every touchpoint at each stage of the buyer’s journey so you can see what drives prospects to the next stage of the funnel.
Middle of the Funnel – Seeking and Considering Solutions
Middle-of-the-funnel content helps buyers learn about potential solutions to their problems and exposes them to the products and services available. Buyers know they have a need and are trying to determine the best solution. The goal is to nurture them and move them to the BOFU stage.
Typical MOFU content includes:
- White papers
- Case studies
- Targeted social content
KPIs for MOFU
A few of the crucial KPIs to track for MOFU include:
- Engagement: As your content and marketing nurture prospects through the buyer’s journey, you need to continue to track engagement and actions.
- MQL to SQL: One of your key goals during the MOFU stage is to move prospects from being marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales qualified leads (SQLs) for sales activation.
- Customer contacts: You’ll want to track whether specific content leads to greater customer contacts. For example, are you generating inbound calls or requests for specific information?
- Demo or sales inquiries: There are certain activities that almost always occur before sales happen, such as a product demo or a specific sales inquiry. It’s important to track what produces these demo or sales requests and whether they convert buyers to take the next step.
Bottom of the Funnel – Ready to Buy
Bottom-of-the-funnel content is designed to show them exactly why your products or services are the best fit for their business. The goal here is to turn prospects into customers.
Typical BOFU content includes:
- Tutorials and guides
- Pricing sheets
- Competitor comparisons
- Case studies
- Reviews and testimonials
The goal of BOFU content is to prove value to the customer and guide them more directly into the conversion by utilizing clear and compelling CTAs. This stage of the buyer journey is where you want the user to complete actions, and events like signing up for a free trial, requesting a demo, or booking a consultation, so using more direct language, emphasizing main value props, and creating a simple conversion path will be highly important.
KPIs for BOFU
At the bottom of the funnel, it’s all about converting customers and driving value. KPIs to track for BOFU include:
- Funnel conversion rates: You will want to track your funnel conversion rates at each stage of the buyer’s journey to determine which activities move people forward in the buying process. At the BOFU stage, where you are focusing on sales, though, you need healthy funnel conversion rates to justify the ROI of your ABM marketing efforts.
- Average contract value: ABM targets high-value potential customers that are the best fit for your organization. As such, you would expect a higher average contract value than other customers.
- Sales cycle length: You also want to track the sales cycle length. By targeting and nurturing the right prospects, you want to shorten the sales cycle. As B2B marketing often has lengthy sales cycles, you want to ensure your ABM strategies are reducing the amount of time it takes to close deals.
- Win rates: ABM produces higher win rates because you’re targeting the best-fit accounts for your business. So, it’s important to track your win rates to ensure you’re meeting your goals.
- Pipeline Velocity: Pipeline velocity is the speed at which qualified leads to move from one stage to another. It’s important to track this to know which activities accelerate the buyer’s journey.
Measure the KPIs That Matter
There’s no shortage of KPIs that you can measure, but it’s crucial to focus on the ones that matter and drive deals. The best ABM programs are continually optimizing to generate better results.
You can also think of the KPIs in the buying stages using the Three Rs framework developed by ITSMA: Reputation, Relationship, and Revenue.
These align with the stage of the buyer’s journey.
- In TOFU, you’re trying to establish your reputation to build awareness and authority.
- In MOFU, you’re trying to build and nurture the relationship.
- In BOFU, you’re trying to convert prospects and grow revenue.
At Folloze, we help you create and activate an ABM marketing strategy that delivers results at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Using our powerful buyer experience platform, you can create highly engaging content at each stage to build your sales pipeline, increase your closing rates, and drive your revenue.
To learn more about how Folloze can grow your revenue, contact us today to request a personalized demo.