The Latest from the ABM Experts
July 31, 2018
How to Accelerate Sales and Marketing Results with Engagement
Do you know which of your target accounts are currently most engaged with your company? Tracking and measuring the engagement of your target accounts and then using that data to trigger highly personalized, coordinated sales and marketing touches is the single most powerful way to accelerate opportunity creation and pipeline velocity.
There’s no argument that targeting the accounts that are a good fit for your product and prioritizing the most engaged accounts will achieve amazing results.
However, the challenge is in how to execute this.
Here is how you can start using engagement to supercharge your opportunity creation and pipeline velocity.
What Is Engagement?
Before we get into the details of how to execute and measure the success of your account-based engagement program, let’s first define engagement.
Engagement is any interaction that a person has with your company, online or offline.
In this post, I will mostly be talking about web engagement: people from target accounts coming to your website.
There is no clearer signal that an account is interested in your product than when there is a meaningful increase in the number of people from the buying committee researching your product on your website. However, how do you know when the buying committee is coming to your site if most of those people haven’t filled out a form, and how do you define a meaningful increase — much less track and measure that increase? I will show you how to easily do just that, but before I do, let’s look at why you should be using engagement as a KPI.
Why Should Marketers Care About Engagement?
Engagement is the holy grail of account-based marketing and sales. With engagement, you can:
- Easily prioritize your hottest target accounts.
- Efficiently allocate limited sales and marketing resources.
- Increase opportunity creation.
- Accelerate pipeline velocity.
- Proactively identify when open opportunities are heating up or cooling off.
- Measure the success and prove the value of your ABM program.
How can tracking and measuring your target accounts’ engagement and then triggering highly personalized and coordinated sales and marketing campaigns achieve all of the items above?
When you can tell which target accounts’ buying committees are actively researching your product, you can prioritize the accounts that are most likely to buy. You can truly align sales and marketing activities to convert these accounts into opportunities. These aren’t accounts that were reluctantly talked into taking a demo; they were actively researching your product, so they will convert into opportunities more quickly and go through the sales cycle faster.
Conversely, you can create campaigns for target accounts that are showing less engagement. These campaigns can be specifically tailored based on their current level of engagement.
The 6 Stages of Account Engagement
Here are the levels of engagement we track and how we use them:
- No engagement
- Low engagement
- Brand engagement
- Surging engagement
- Open opportunities
You can proactively see when an account is heating up or cooling off by tracking and measuring its web engagement. You should see various levels of engagement throughout the sales cycle. A drop in engagement can signal that an account is cooling off.
You can get an even clearer picture of an account’s propensity to buy when you combine engagement insights with intent data from sources like G2 Crowd and Bombora.
At Terminus, we layer G2 Crowd data that tells us which accounts are reading reviews about our product and Bombora data that tells us which accounts are researching us on third-party sites. This, on top of our engagement data, gives us clear visibility into how an account is behaving.
I probably need to explain what I mean by surging engagement. Surging engagement is a spike in engagement from a target account on your most important web pages and content — whether the people are known (filled out a form) or anonymous (haven’t filled out a form). We use Terminus Engagement Spike to measure this spike.
When an account is surging, we automatically trigger highly personalized and coordinated sales touches and marketing campaigns, which can include:
- One-to-one, company-specific ads.
- Coordinated LinkedIn ads.
- One-to-one, company-specific Uberflip streams.
- One-to-one, company-specific content.
- Product nurture retargeting ads.
- Direct mail with a handwritten note.
- Product nurture emails.
- Personalized sales cadences.
- Personalized videos from a sales development rep.
- Executive-to-executive emails.
When a company is surging, we always launch a one-to-one ad that has the company’s name in the creative.The ad links back to a company-specific Uberflip content stream or Marketo landing page with the company’s name and a customized piece of content created just for them. We also orchestrate LinkedIn campaigns with coordinated ads.
When a company hits one of these content streams or landing pages, they are put into a retargeting campaign. After the ads have been running for two weeks, we send cupcakes, using Sendoso, to the team we are targeting.
Next, we place the company into a Marketo product nurture and coordinated SalesLoft sales cadence. In the SalesLoft sales cadence, the sales development reps send emails, send a personalized video, and make targeted phone calls.
After each Marketo nurture email is sent, a new Terminus ad tactic is triggered. The new ads have similar messaging to the next Marketo nurture email the company will receive. We do this for two reasons. First, we see better response to your ads when we regularly refresh the creative. Second, we see a better response to our emails when an ad with similar messaging has been running a few weeks to the contacts receiving the email.
Brand engagement refers to a target account’s engagement with your top-of-funnel content as opposed to your product-specific pages. They are reading your blogs, downloading content, and registering for your webinars.
This is a great indication that your company is building a richer relationship with the people at your target account. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ready to buy. Unfortunately, these are the types of insights that most companies, even a lot of mature ABM organizations, are delivering to sales.
Instead of having your sales team follow up on this type of engagement, you can trigger campaigns that are designed to progress an account from engaging with your content to surging on your product. A good example is placing them into a product nurture via account-based advertising, LinkedIn Sponsored Content, and email.
Low engagement can be anything from someone clicking on an ad and bouncing to just a couple of people viewing your product page. If sales is calling into these accounts, then they are calling way too early. At this point, you should be delivering campaigns that enable the people in the account that are engaging with your brand to become better advocates. You should also deliver campaigns to build awareness with the rest of the buying committee who has not yet engaged with your company.
Finally, we have no engagement. If no one is coming to your site from an account, it probably means they either don’t know who you are or don’t understand the value you provide. Here is where we use account-based advertising to start building awareness.
Prove the Value of Marketing
What better way to measure demand than by showing how much of the buying committee is engaged with your company? Instead of using form fills to measure demand, we can now use engagement. This is what sales has been asking from marketing for decades: give us the hot
Engagement is the new king! It is the most powerful and accurate indication of an account’s propensity to buy. By using engagement data, you can truly start prioritizing the hottest accounts and effectively allocate sales and marketing’s limited time and money.