FlipMyFunnel Post

The 5 Best Ways to Measure ABM Success

It can be intimidating to shift from 100% inbound marketing to ABM.

You’re probably not entirely positive on how you’ll prove to leadership that ABM works for your organization.

In fact, I know you’re not positive because otherwise, you wouldn’t be searching for the best ways to measure ABM success, right?

Lucky for you, we recently discussed ABM metrics with two industry experts. Jen Spencer, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at SmartBug, and Todd McCormick, CRO right here at Terminus give us some industry-leading advice on measuring ABM success.

Here’s what we’re unpacking today:

  • Setting KPIs that matter
  • Mixing inbound and ABM
  • Finding the best SaaS product
  • Testing different verticals

This post is based on a webinar and podcast with Jen Spencer and Todd McCormick. You can listen to the full episode here and below.

1. Set KPIs related to revenue (ditch MQLs and SQLs)

Successfully implementing an ABM approach and measuring its success is contingent on the type of KPIs you set. MQLs and SQLs just don’t cut it anymore.

Before you start planning a funeral for all your lead gen records, you should know that this is good news!

You’re no longer tied to that ambiguous number that may or may not make a difference for your bottom line. Now, you can turn all your attention to what really makes an impact on your organization.

Todd points out that KPIs tied directly to revenue will give marketing and sales the opportunity to work towards the same number. So, if you’re struggling to get the two teams on the same page, try giving them the same goal. 

Furthermore, KPIs related to revenue will give each individual a chance to buy into the company a little more. They will be able to see exactly how their work is making a difference. Teams, then, start to own that metric and collaborate to reach it.

Since marketing can see exactly how they’re affecting the bottom line, so will leadership.

2. Un-gate your content, use heatmaps

Here, the inbound gods cry.

Jen expresses that un-gating her team’s content was one of the best things they could’ve done. However, SmartBug didn’t unleash total anarchy upon the internet.

Heatmaps were added to all of their content, making it easy for the team to track activity on each page. Since SmartBug was no longer tracking MQLs and SQLs, goals were set that concerned the heatmap metrics.

SmartBug’s experience demonstrates an organic mixture of inbound marketing and ABM. Though they were actively shifting to ABM, there were still plenty of inbound tactics that persisted.

3. Test different software

Todd points out that the #1 challenge he encounters is teams using multiple SaaS products and not understanding how to bring all the data together in a way that makes sense. When there are different data-collecting tools involved, it’s difficult to know how to use the numbers collected to develop real action steps.

He suggests taking advantage of SaaS product free trials to test more holistic products against your current process. Testing different software tools will help you find the best way to measure the most important metrics to your organization.

The software you choose should help you run ABM programs at scale. It should either have all the capabilities you’re searching for to track and organize metrics or have seamless integrations to make your processes as smooth and action-oriented as possible.

4. Track engagement data

Throughout the transition from completely inbound to ABM, one of your priorities should be tracking engagement on your website and content.

Like we mentioned before, heatmaps are the best way to see what sections of the page are performing the best. While engagement data is top-of-the-funnel, it’s imperative for measuring the success of your ABM processes.

Engagement data is one of the best ways to recognize early on if your ABM efforts are driving the right accounts to your website and content.

5. Test different verticals

If you’re getting your toes wet in the ABM realm, Jen suggests testing a few different verticals. Testing several industries will give your team a chance to experience ABM while also maintaining the inbound tactics you have in place.

SmartBug found this process worked best when they:

  • Chose three industries that they’d already had success in
  • Developed an ABM campaign for each chosen vertical
  • Compared the collected data to identify which industry/campaign performed the best
  • Moved on to different verticals or expanded upon the successful ones
  • Kept the inbound engine running all the while

There’s no magic recipe

Landing on the best way to measure ABM success is always dependent on your unique organization. Using these five methods as guidelines, however, should give you a good start in transitioning to an ABM approach.