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Top ABM Metrics for Account-Based Marketing

Last updated Feb 2, 2024

Measuring ABM Program Progress and Success

Many B2B firms have found great success using account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to drive new revenue and business growth.

Along the way, they’ve also discovered that ABM metrics aren’t quite the same as traditional B2B marketing and sales metrics.

This post provides an overview of common ABM metrics or KPIs that help measure ABM program success.

It also compares ABM and traditional B2B marketing metrics and provides several related resources and tools to help with ABM program execution and measurement.

Let’s take a closer look below…

Table of Contents (+/-)
    abm account based marketing
    Account-based marketing relies on several key metrics to help track and guide ABM program success. Learn more about top ABM metrics and KPIs below.

    This post contains a few referral links to vendor partners. We may receive compensation for purchases made via these links, at no additional cost to buyers.

    ABM Metrics vs Traditional B2B Marketing Metrics

    Different B2B Marketing Approaches Require Different Metrics

    Account-based marketing (ABM) and traditional B2B marketing and sales both have their own metrics to measure success. However, there are some key differences between the two.

    ABM, as we know, is much more focused on target account-level penetration and revenue milestones. This drives many of the differences in measurement between ABM and more traditional B2B marketing.

    complex calculations concept for abm metrics post
    Fortunately, measuring your ABM program success won’t involve anything that looks nearly this complicated!

    Here are some of the different metrics to consider for ABM-centric and traditional B2B marketing/sales. Note how the example account-based marketing metrics are much more account-centric, while the traditional B2B metrics focus much more on target market segments.

    Common ABM Metrics

    • Account Penetration — Measures the number of contacts reached within an account
    • Account Expansion — Measures how many upsell or cross-sell opportunities are created within an account
    • Pipeline Velocity — Tracks how quickly target account opportunities move through the inverted ABM sales funnel (see more on this below)
    • Sales Cycle Time — Measures the time taken to close a deal with an account
    • Engagement Metrics — Track the level of engagement of target accounts with marketing content or campaigns

    Traditional B2B Marketing Metrics

    • Lead Generation — Measures the number of leads generated through marketing efforts
    • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) — Measures the number of leads that meet the marketing team’s criteria for being qualified for sales follow-up
    • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) — Measures the number of leads that meet the sales team’s criteria for being qualified for ongoing pursuit to deal closure
    • Conversion Rate — Tracks the percentage of leads that convert into customers
    • Cost Per Acquisition — Measures the cost of acquiring a new customer
    • Customer Lifetime Value — Measures the total value a customer brings to the business over their lifetime

    Related: Understanding common ABM metrics is also essential when getting ready for ABM marketing in B2B. See this ABM readiness assessment checklist and tips post for more details.

    The Inverted ABM Funnel

    Differences between ABM metrics and traditional B2B marketing metrics can be explained in part by the different marketing funnel models used in each case.

    For example, as ABM software vendor Leadfeeder shows below, the ABM funnel is inverted compared to a typical B2B lead generation funnel.

    This is commonly known as ‘flipping the funnel’ and helps to visually reinforce that when comparing ABM against traditional B2B marketing, the metrics are going to be different as well.

    leadfeeder abm inverted sales funnel
    In ABM, the inverted funnel model leads to ABM metrics that are target account-centric from the start, vs a raw leads focus at the top. Source: Leadfeeder

    ABM Metrics vs Traditional B2B Marketing — Key Similarities

    Both ABM and traditional B2B marketing and sales metrics exist to help companies drive revenue growth and ultimately increase the number of closed deals and average deal size for B2B firms.

    Both focus on measuring engagement and conversion rates, and both aim to optimize their respective marketing/sales funnels to achieve these goals.

    ABM Metrics vs Traditional B2B Marketing — Key Differences

    Not surprisingly, ABM metrics are more account-focused, while traditional B2B marketing metrics are more lead-focused.

    ABM metrics measure success by tracking engagement and revenue success with target accounts, while traditional B2B metrics measure success by generating and nurturing leads toward closed deals and revenue growth.

    Some ABM metrics can be more qualitative in nature, measuring the quality of engagement and relationship-building, while traditional B2B metrics are more quantitative, measuring the volume of leads generated and the cost of acquiring customers.

    Overall, both ABM and traditional B2B marketing and sales metrics are important for measuring success and driving revenue growth in B2B businesses. The key is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and use a combination of both, when needed, to achieve optimal business results.

    Shifting to an ABM Measurement Mindset

    ABM and Account-Centric Measurement

    Measuring the success of B2B account-based marketing campaigns can be challenging due to the complex nature of B2B sales cycles and the need for a more personalized approach to account targeting and engagement.

    Some of the key challenges in measuring ABM success are:

    Defining and Aligning Metrics

    There can be a lack of clarity or alignment between sales and marketing teams regarding the metrics that will be used to measure ABM success.

    It is essential to align the combined ABM revenue team on key metrics that accurately capture the impact of ABM on revenue and business growth, while also serving the specific measurement needs of both the marketing and sales aspects of ABM.

    Identifying and Measuring Target Accounts

    Target accounts in ABM campaigns are often more complex and require more resources to engage than traditional leads. Identifying the right accounts to target and tracking their engagement with marketing and sales activities can be challenging.

    Attribution

    Attribution of marketing activities to revenue outcomes can be challenging in ABM, especially when multiple marketing and sales activities contribute to closing a deal. Attribution models need to be defined and agreed upon before launching an ABM campaign.

    Scaling ABM

    Scaling ABM campaigns across multiple accounts can be challenging due to the need for personalized and targeted messaging. Scaling requires the development of effective templates and processes that can be used across multiple accounts while still maintaining a personalized touch.

    As ABM programs scale up in reach and scope, the tracking metrics may need to adapt and change as well. B2B firms can use purpose-built ABM technology platforms that enable the automation of certain ABM tasks, such as personalizing messaging and tracking engagement.

    Measuring the success of B2B ABM campaigns can be challenging, but by defining clear metrics, identifying and measuring target accounts, using effective attribution models, and leveraging ABM technology platforms, firms can overcome these challenges and drive success in their ABM campaigns.


    Thinking clearly about your ABM program goals, and which ABM metrics and KPIs you will use to measure progress and success, are all part of understanding your level of readiness for ABM-style marketing and sales.

    Key Metrics to Track in Account-Based Marketing

    ABM Metrics Are Both Quantitative and Qualitative

    The top ABM metrics to track will vary between different B2B firms, based on company size and type, size, scope, and complexity of the ABM program, and other factors.

    For example, a small B2B firm just getting started with a low-cost, simple ABM program may have a minimalist approach to tracking its account-based marketing metrics.

    A large B2B firm with more sophisticated ABM tactics, such as targeted B2B advertising and remarketing campaigns, would have much more to measure to assess ABM progress and ROI.

    Focus First on Easily Quantified Metrics

    The easiest ABM metrics to track are those involving simple counting, simple calculations or ratios, and variables that are easy to track and explain to ABM team members and upper management.

    In comparison, ABM KPIs that are less intuitive, harder to calculate and explain, or based on more subjective inputs and even just guesswork by the ABM revenue team, may be less impactful and useful as components of the ABM measurement dashboard.

    Despite these ‘quantitative vs qualitative’ tradeoffs, there are times in ABM when the more qualitative measures of ABM program progress and success will provide important insights and guidance.

    ABM Metrics that Matter (‘The ABM Top 10’)

    The specific ABM metrics that a B2B firm should track can vary depending on their business goals and the nature of their target accounts.

    However, here are ten common ABM metrics that B2B firms can track to measure the success of their ABM campaigns.

    Account Engagement — This measures the level of engagement of target accounts with marketing and sales activities, including website visits, content downloads, and email opens.

    Account Reach or Penetration — The number of individuals within target accounts who have engaged with marketing and sales activities.

    Account Velocity — The speed at which target accounts move through the ABM marketing/sales funnel, from initial engagement to closed deal. Contributes to overall pipeline velocity, which can be a separate tracked metric.

    Account Conversion — The percentage of target accounts that move from initial engagement to closed deal.

    Sales Cycle Length — The length of time it takes for a target account to move through the sales cycle.

    Opportunity Value — The potential revenue value of opportunities associated with ABM target accounts. Also related to average deal size for closed new wins..

    Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) — The cost of acquiring a new customer, which can be used to evaluate the efficiency of ABM campaigns.

    Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) — This measures the total value of a customer over their lifetime and can be used to evaluate the long-term ROI of ABM campaigns.

    Pipeline Contribution — The percentage of pipeline generated by ABM campaigns. Can also be compared to pipeline % driven by other marketing and sales activities.

    Account Expansion — This measures the percentage of existing accounts that are expanded through upselling or cross-selling activities.

    By tracking these metrics, B2B firms can gain insights into the effectiveness of their ABM campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize their strategy.

    While the ABM program and revenue team may be measured as an integrated unit, some ABM metrics will be more useful and actionable for marketing-focused members, while others will be more useful for the ABM sales team.

    ABM Metrics That Matter Most to B2B Sales Teams

    Naturally, the ABM metrics and KPIs that help the sales-focused team members will be those focused squarely on account-level sales activities.

    From the set of 10 metrics listed above, these include at least the first six and can be directly applied to each specific target account.

    • Account Engagement
    • Account Penetration
    • Account Velocity
    • Account Conversion
    • Sales Cycle Length
    • Opportunity Value

    For a sales team member working a set of target ABM accounts, each of these metrics is highly relevant and useful. They may confirm that their current sales efforts and tactics are working well already, or that some things need a few ‘course corrections’.

    ABM Metrics for B2B Marketing Teams

    Similarly, some ABM metrics may matter more to the marketing team. Here are a few examples:

    • Account Engagement
    • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
    • Pipeline Contribution & Pipeline Velocity

    In this case, the Account Engagement metric looks at the ABM program overall, vs a specific target account that may be of special interest to a particular sales rep.

    While both marketing and sales teams are interested in the level of engagement of target accounts, the marketing team may place more emphasis on this metric as they are responsible for driving initial engagement through marketing activities such as content marketing, social media, email marketing, and ABM advertising campaigns.

    Other metrics with more marketing emphasis help to evaluate the ABM program strategy at a more macro level, perhaps also comparing ABM performance against more traditional lead-generation campaigns, inbound marketing programs, or other existing non-ABM campaigns.

    Ultimately, the account-based metrics that matter more to the marketing team than the sales team will depend on the specific goals and responsibilities of each component within the overall ABM team.

    Building Your ABM Metrics Dashboard

    ABM Software Tools Help Track ABM Program Metrics

    While it’s certainly possible to ‘roll your own’ ABM metrics dashboards in spreadsheets or other general-purpose data/visualization tools, many ABMers will naturally want to look first to their ABM platform providers for guidance and built-in ABM dashboard or reporting features.

    There are several ABM software platforms and tools that provide built-in ABM metrics dashboards to help B2B firms measure the success of their ABM campaigns.

    ABM Metrics Dashboards — Software Platforms and Tools

    ABM platforms and tools each have their own reporting capabilities for tracking ABM performance.

    Their ABM metrics dashboards and reports allow B2B teams to track things like account engagement across multiple channels, account penetration, high-value accounts, pipeline velocity, and account expansion.

    ABM tools can also help measure B2B buyer intent and provide various levels of predictive analytics and sales intelligence about ‘in-market’ accounts. These insights help ABM-focused sales reps plan and time their sales activities for greater impact.

    Some ABM platforms also track metrics for account-based advertising campaigns, such as using LinkedIn or IP-targeted ads to reach key corporate roles within selected target accounts.

    See the ABM platform vendors linked below for more details.

    Also, learn more about the cost of using ABM platforms and tools here.

    Top ABM Platform Vendors

    Leading ABM software platform vendors include:

    • Demandbase — A smart B2B go-to-market platform with ‘Account Intelligence’ features.
    • Kwanzoo — An ‘Open GTM platform’ for account-based marketing initiatives.
    • Madison Logic — A multi-channel ABM platform for customer journey acceleration and faster ROI.
    • RollWorks — Integrated account-based marketing tools with attractive entry pricing.
    • Terminus — Flexible ABM platform with a wide range of customer engagement channels.
    • Triblio — An ABM platform with proprietary intent data capabilities.

    Overall, ABM software platforms offer a range of ABM metrics and reporting features that allow B2B firms to track the success of their ABM campaigns and make better data-driven decisions.

    Optional or Alternative B2B ABM Metrics

    A Few Less-Common ABM Metrics to Consider

    In addition to the more common ABM metrics outlined above, there are some less commonly used or more difficult-to-measure ABM metrics that you should also at least be aware of.

    Here are a few examples that may also be useful as ABM KPIs for your business.

    Account Influence

    This metric measures the level of influence that a target account has on other accounts or the industry as a whole. It can be difficult to measure as it requires analyzing external factors and market dynamics.

    Winning new or expanded deals with accounts of high industry influence provides at least a good qualitative indicator of ABM program success.

    Share of Wallet

    This measures the percentage of a customer’s spending in a particular category that is allocated to a particular vendor. It can be difficult to measure as it requires access to internal financial data from customers.

    Share of customer wallet is also a useful concept when assessing competitive opportunities or threats within an ABM target account.

    Customer Retention

    While customer acquisition is a common ABM metric, customer retention can be more difficult to measure as it requires tracking customer behavior over time and understanding the factors that contribute to customer churn.

    Did your ABM program and tactics help ‘save’ your business with existing key target accounts? If so, those are wins for a potential customer retention metric.

    Brand Awareness

    While account reach is a common ABM metric, measuring your brand awareness can be more difficult as it requires understanding the level of brand recognition and perception among target accounts and the broader market.

    This is an area where traditional market research tactics, such as customer or industry surveys, can help.

    Also, measuring your brand awareness within your ABM target account set, vs the larger B2B industry segment overall, can provide useful comparison data for gauging ABM program impact.

    Thought Leadership

    This metric measures the level of thought leadership or industry influence that a company has in a particular area. It can be difficult to measure as it requires analyzing content and social media engagement, as well as external recognition and reputation.

    Overall, while these less commonly used or more qualitative ABM metrics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of ABM campaigns, they may require more advanced measurement techniques and data analysis for B2B firms working to quantify these metrics.

    Even so, you may want to consider including some of these metrics — even on a qualitative or subjective basis — to add more value and context to ABM program measurement.

    ABM Metrics for B2B Marketing & Sales — Closing Thoughts

    Start with Simple ABM Metrics and Expand as Needed

    Ultimately, the set of ABM measures that is right for your business should flow directly from the nature of your ABM program, its scope and complexity, etc.

    Smaller-scale ABM campaigns, such as ‘one-to-one’ or ‘one-to-few’ ABM programs, can have fewer and simpler success metrics compared to large-scale ‘one-to-many’ ABM campaigns designed to reach and engage hundreds or even thousands of target accounts.

    Start with simpler ABM KPIs that are easy to measure or calculate, simple to understand for the entire ABM revenue team and management, and informative for sales and marketing tactical adjustments along the way.

    Then add more metrics, nuances, and complexity only as needed.

    Remember: The ABM team with the biggest and fanciest metrics dashboard doesn’t always win.

    Of course, look to your chosen ABM software tools to simplify and automate as much of the metrics collection, reporting, and visualization as you can.

    Questions or Comments?

    I hope you’ve found this discussion of ABM metrics and related topics to be helpful. Here are a few related questions for you:

    • How does your company measure ABM success today?
    • Besides business growth attributed to ABM, what other metrics does your revenue team track along the way?
    • Which ABM tools and platforms have you found to be most helpful in the area of ABM measurement, reporting, and dashboards?

    Feel free to add more in the comments below with any thoughts, feedback, or related questions. Thanks also for any social shares on this post via the buttons below!

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