How do you recommend companies adjust their KPIs as they move to an ABM-centric marketing approach?
The first KPI to monitor is leads generated from target accounts. The rest is all noise. If an organization has adopted an ABM centric approach, your sales reps are working on named accounts, so even if you engage with accounts outside that list and generate leads, you won’t find any takers. So, focus all efforts only towards those accounts.
The other big shift is from pure lead generation to account engagement. How many CXOs have you engaged with? How many mid-level, senior stakeholders are engaging with your campaigns (content, events, etc.).
As you build this, over a period of time, you can measure increased marketing footprint within that account.
For existing customers, customer advocacy becomes a key metric as existing business units then become your evangelists as you upsell to other business units.
If you're still on an inbound (MQL) model, I would start by pivoting every report through the lens of "target account vs. non-target account".
- # of campaign responses
- # of opportunities generated
- $ pipeline generated
- # closed won
- $ closed won
What matters gets measured. Over time, (ideally) it will reflect that target accounts drive the biggest impact to the business. (If not, it likely means that you'll need to take another look at the target account / ICP criteria.)
In my experience, that usually is the catalyst to change how can we drive more "target account" pipeline? To do that, we'll need to think differently about engaging with an account & identify more of those leading indicators. Then, you can start thinking about the KPIs and what it means for an Account to be "Qualified".
I'd recommending focusing a lot more on engagement and less on lead generation or MQLs. In general, you should know the people you want to engage in each account, and you'll have them already populated in your CRM. This completely eliminates the need for any "lead source" tracking to prove effectiveness. Additionally, you'll want your team to keep engaging the important few until they're ready to take the next step with your company, so measuring actual engagement with marketing materials/programs is key. Several tools out there help with this such as Demandbase and 6Sense, but it can also be homegrown if you have the appetite for it. If I were to oversimplify a lot, assign points based on activities, roll them up to the account level, ensure they decay over time, and then set thresholds based on what matters most for your business. Maybe you need a lot of engagement within a few key contacts, maybe you need the whole village to get activated! If you're not sure, start somewhere, backtest, measure, and iterate.
I largely view ABM as a way to help drive revenue targets. The KPIs should be in support of this not in comparison to it. Some of these KPIs will include:
- % Closed won of target accounts
- Pipeline generated from target accounts
- Engagement rates from target accounts
There also needs to be alignment across the entire business on this go-to-market motion. It can’t be the ABM department in a silo. This means being okay with saying no to potential opportunities that are not part of your target list which your KPIs will also reflect.
You may also find this question helpful: What is your methodology for identifying the right company targets in an ABM strategy?