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Measuring the ROI of ABM - ABM in the House, Episode 8

Written by Declan Mulkeen

Aug 3 2020

ABM in the House: a series of conversations between Declan Mulkeen, CMO of Strategic IC and Alex Olley, Co-founder of Reachdesk, as they explore how to build an effective Account-based Marketing (ABM) programme.

Previous episodes have explored: How to Redefine Your ICP, How to Build a Target Account List, Building Out the Decision Making Unit (DMU), Focusing in on your Strategy and Goals, Building your Account-based Marketing Playbook at a One-to-many level, Building your Account-based Marketing Playbook at a One-to-few and One-to-one level, and Building your ABM Team.

Here, Episode 8 looks at Measuring the ROI of ABM.

ABM in the House - Measuring the ROI of ABM

Episode 8 - Transcript

Alex Olley, Reachdesk - Morning, Dec! Another week, another episode of ABM in the House. How are you today and how were your travels?

Declan Mulkeen, Strategic IC- Hey, Alex, morning. Lovely, great time away. A little bit of sun, a little bit of sand down the coast. And now back home here in Madrid.

Alex- Amazing. Very jealous, but I'm glad you got back in one piece. So look, we're coming to the end of the series. And this started as an idea back in May, I think, where we wanted to help shine some light on how to do account-based marketing whilst working from home. I think we've covered a lot over the past couple of months.

Let's see what else we've got left in us. But in the meantime, how about we crack on with episode eight?

Declan - Sounds like a great plan.

Alex - Good stuff. Okay, well, so, a quick recap for everyone. Last week, we talked about ABM team structure. The new skills required. The fact that 'ABMers' are a new type of marketer with much more commercial and data acumen. And while many companies choose to outsource part of their ABM programmes, obviously, agencies like yourselves can become hugely valuable. What'd you want to talk about today, Dec?

Dec - Well, today it's all about measurement and ROI, Alex. So I thought what I'd do is start with some statistics, just to share with the audience, really, when we talk about ABM. So, for example, 87% of marketeers that measure ROI say that ABM outperforms every other marketing investment that they make. Another interesting statistic is that 91% of companies that use ABM see an increase in their average deal size. So, I think those are a couple of statistics that kind of point to what we're going to talk about today. So, naturally, influenced revenue or pipeline creation tends to be the metric that most marketeers would look to measure. And so you can see there are some compelling numbers here and clearly show that ABM is a very different beast to other marketing tactics, and clearly needs to be measured in a very different way. Is that something you would agree with, Alex?

Alex - Absolutely, Dec. Yeah, I think, for me, the real difference between 'traditional marketing' and Account-based Marketing, we no longer talk about leads. Right? MQLs, lead scores. We're now talking the language of sales, right? It's all about accounts and what we can do to win, nurture, cross-sell, up-sell, position our brand, et cetera. This sort of concept of form fills and content downloads, they've become more like triggers to engage rather than marketing passing over leads to sales and handing off accounts. So that's the big differentiator. The real ROI of ABM is revenue, right? Close won revenue on the board. That's what we all want at the end of the day. I suppose what you're going to think about is, go back to those goals and objectives. We spoke about this a couple of weeks back. Re-align on those. What are you trying to achieve? Which metrics, measurement, improvement. It might be like close new accounts, acquire strategic accounts, increase your deal velocity, size, close rates, and these kind of things. Maybe even expand your existing customer base.

So, once you've got that determined, now, you can measure what you want to build your revenue ROI dashboard around. So, we kind of broke it down into two stages. The early stage, so, it might be measuring the increase in RFP invitations. Opportunities generated, meetings booked, discovery calls completed, sort of the actual value of pipeline qualified. So, that's quite an early stage metric, Then, you can be looking into the later stage. What's the actual dollar or pound amount in pipeline generated there? The account penetration, the portfolio penetration, share of wallet and win rate, those kinds of things. Get that in a dashboard, measure those things, because those will ultimately point back to the revenue side of things. But I suppose it's not just about revenue, though, is it, Dec?

Declan - No, you're absolutely right, Alex. I mean, here at the agency, we measure the impact of ABM programmes on three key business outcomes and they are namely Revenue, as you just mentioned, Relationships, and also Reputation. So we've actually built quite a sophisticated dashboard that allows us to track each of these and their overall contribution to the success of any ABM programme.

So I think you've covered really nicely, some of the, the ways to measure Revenue. But if you look at the other two 'Rs' for a moment. So, Relationships. So, what does that mean in terms of ABM? Your ABM programme should be looking to identify and engage key stakeholders. You should be looking to deepen relationships and you should be looking to develop advocates and brand ambassadors within your target accounts that would actually support and sponsor you. And so what you can measure, there, are things such as the number of key stakeholders that you've identified, the number of meetings with those stakeholders that you've achieved, or even, for example, the percentage engagement with content that you're actually serving up to those key stakeholders.

And then when we move on to the last 'R', which is obviously Reputation, here, this is really important. You're looking to influence the target account. You're looking to build reputation in new markets. You're looking to enhance credibility within that target account. And ultimately, you're looking for what we call the 'Coca-Cola moment', is that when they ask for the service, they're going to ask for you. And I think that's a key thing to look for.

Now in terms of metrics, you can measure, for example, the number of key contacts that have engaged with your content, the social reach that you are achieving within those target accounts. What is the brand perception that has been seen within those target accounts of your company, of your brand, event attendance, for example? Versus the percentage of people that you want to attend within that target account, what percentage actually attends an online event? And finally, testimonials, case studies, panel participation, et cetera. These are all great things to measure to see what your reputation is within that target account. So reputation, relationships, are you seeing those also, Alex, as key metrics for your ABM programmes with your clients?

Alex - Reputation? I hadn't really considered it, but relationships, absolutely. Yeah, but I'll be honest. I hadn't really factored in reputation. I can see how hugely important it is and how ABM can implement that. I think that's phenomenal, really nice reflection there. Okay, yeah, so, that's awesome. We mentioned in last week's episode the importance of data. This is doubly true when it comes to ROI and measurement. Knowing what to measure and how to feed this data back into your ABM programme to finetune, enhance, optimise, et cetera, is absolutely vital for ABM success. The really important thing, share that ABM ROI dashboard with sales.

That'll make a massive difference to success and failure of the programme, help you really get buy in from sales as well. So I think that's, I think we've covered most of what we need to from a measurement and ROI perspective. Dec, usually I would ask you what you want to cover next week, but I think we've pretty much covered everything everyone wants to hear, right? What do you think?

Declan - I think you're right. I mean, we've covered all the bases of a solid ABM programme. But you know what I was thinking, actually, Alex? I think maybe the best way to end this 'ABM in the House' series is to invite some of our ABM friends to our house and to get them to share some of their ABM magic potion with us. How does that sound?

Alex - Ah, that sounds awesome. Maybe we can supply our own magic potion for them to enjoy whilst we're doing it. So, well, let's get them over to our virtual homes and kind of dive into a bit more of the detail and see what they're doing. That sounds like a great idea.

Declan - Yeah.

Alex - Good stuff, okay. Well, that's kind of it from just you and me. Next time, there'll be more people, hopefully, and we'll be able to share a bit more of their insight, too. Dec, this has been awesome. It's definitely not the end of 'ABM in the House'. This is only going to get bigger, but I've really enjoyed, really enjoyed this dynamic duo. Hopefully we can keep sharing.

Declan - Likewise, Alex. Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week.

Alex - Awesome. You too, mate. Bye.

Declan - Thanks.

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