The Account-Based Everything Framework

July 31, 2019

Capture the value of account-based campaigns more effectively with the Account-Based Everything framework that features five key attributes.

The original version of this article, authored by Tom Scearce, was published by TOPO, now Gartner.

Account-based campaigns, known historically as integrated marketing campaigns, have long been a key tactic of business-to-business (B2B) selling, but organizations often struggle to capture its value because they lack enterprisewide commitment to mobilize efforts against a key set of target accounts.

TOPO designed the Account-Based Everything (ABE) framework to help companies understand the alignment and commitment required to succeed with an account-based go-to-market strategy. 

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Introduction to Account-Based Everything

Account-Based Everything is the coordination of personalized marketing, sales development, sales, and customer success efforts to drive engagement with, and conversion of, a targeted set of accounts. The principal focus is on driving the full life-cycle revenue chain from marketing through sales and customer success/account management.

As a by-product, account-based alignment extends across the entire organization, including finance, product development, engineering and the executive team.

The rise of account-based campaigning

Account-based selling has been around since salespeople started selling to big businesses. However, beginning in the early 2000s, the digital marketing revolution (e.g., Google AdWords, marketing automation, etc.) shifted the B2B marketing focus to industrial-strength demand generation engines capable of delivering massive numbers of leads at scale.

Now the pendulum is swinging back to account-based methods. There are three major drivers behind this shift. 

Improved economics

Advanced sales and marketing organizations have realized that specific types of accounts drive the most compelling customer acquisition costs (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV). A common example has been the move up-market into the enterprise and/or targeting specific vertical markets.

One client, for instance, identified three verticals that made up 80% of its customer installed base. Customers in these three segments outperformed all other key indicators like close rate, annual contract value (ACV) and churn. However, of the 6,000+ leads per month delivered by marketing, only 5% (300) fell within these key verticals. And of the 25 meetings/month generated by sales development representatives (SDRs), only three or four were with companies in these key industries.

To address these problems, the company reorganized toward Account-Based Everything. It began by focusing sales development efforts on key verticals and improved from four to 25 meetings per month in the target. Demand generation also became more focused; delivering far fewer leads overall, while yielding four times the previous number of leads in the key verticals.

Market dynamics

Over the past 10 years, scalable revenue growth has been driven by inbound volume and velocity models. For many companies, however, their inbound, volume and velocity models have peaked and they must now pursue targeted, account-based models to drive growth.

At a certain point, marketing just can’t increase inbound lead volume growth rates so these companies must focus their efforts on new markets (commonly upmarket). Volume and velocity models cannot feed these new markets and, as a result, they have to move to an account-based model.

Proven accounts-based results

The modern version of the account-based movement is still young, but early adopters report that programs are yielding impressive results particularly with respect to deal-size metrics such as ACV and LTV.

For example, best-in-class account-based programs yield a 75% increase in ACV and a 150% increase in LTV via account-based upsell campaigns.

5 defining attributes of Account-Based Everything

Account-Based Everything is the coordination of personalized marketing, sales development, sales and customer success efforts to drive engagement with, and conversion of, a targeted set of accounts. It is defined by five attributes:

1. Targeted, high-value accounts

Organizations align to a defined ideal customer profile (ICP) and focus all efforts across the organizations against ICP accounts. For example, an emerging ad tech company built its entire revenue strategy around landing and expanding the world’s 50 largest consumer advertisers.

2. Data and intelligence-driven programs/campaigns

Data and intelligence are the lifeblood of account-based programs. It starts with having complete data on the key target accounts. Account intelligence shared across multiple organizations informs account personalization.

3. Orchestration across marketing, sales development, sales and customer support

Organizations run multichannel, multitouch, multi-organization campaigns to drive initial customer acquisition and eventually upsell/cross-sell revenue.

4. Valuable and personalized buyer experiences

In the volume and velocity model, the incentive to personalize does not exist and the majority of touches across marketing and sales are templatized. The mass volume of leads allows for low conversion rates.

In Account-Based Everything, the number of accounts is more constrained and requires that vendors deliver relevant, personalized campaigns to those buyers.

5. Coordinated, high-frequency/effort outreach

The entire organization is committed to continuing the high-touch, high-frequency campaigns toward the target accounts over time until they become a customer. In a volume and velocity model, organizations look at activities in bulk (how many people attended our webinar).

In Account-Based Everything, organizations plan for and monitor the activities per target account. For example, “Over the course of the next 12 months, we will run quarterly multitouch campaigns into the target account against 45 identified stakeholders.”

77 elements across the Account-Based Everything framework

Account-Based_Everything_Framework.png

TOPO’s Account-Based Everything framework gives practitioners a detailed review of winning strategies and tactics in the development of account-based marketing, sales development, sales and customer success programs. More detail of the categories and elements in the framework are as follows.

Target accounts

In volume and velocity marketing, programs are executed against market segments where the company’s products are expected to be in demand. The focus is on attracting a sufficient number of buyers and influencers within these markets to fill the company’s demand generation funnel. In Account-Based Everything, the focus is on engaging specific named accounts to generate leads, pipeline and revenue.

The ICP defines the attributes of the accounts that the company wants to attract, retain and grow. The process starts with defining the ICP, the common attributes of customers that best match the company’s revenue and business objectives. 

Identifying the ICP criteria drives target account list creation and other key decisions throughout program execution, including go-to-market strategy, media planning, hiring, messaging, plays, and more. Involving key internal, customer-facing stakeholders at this stage produces a more accurate target list and supports stronger organizational alignment.

Ideal customer profile (ICP)

Identify the common attributes of accounts where the company has found success attracting, engaging, closing and retaining business. Create the ICP from three datasets:

  • Qualitative input such as sales team feedback
  • Internal data such as historical closed/won data by account type, account-level profitability, customer satisfaction
  • External data such as predictive data/analytics

Using these inputs to define ICP creates early alignment between sales, marketing and customer success. If these groups hold different ICP definitions, these differences must be resolved immediately as the ICP guides all further aspects of the Account-Based Everything program.

Buyer personas

Within the target accounts that match the ICP, it’s imperative to identify the key common stakeholder types and create composites for each. The composites, called buyer personas, describe the buyer’s daily activities, key challenges, career goals, role in the decision process and other buying motivations.

This exercise also ensures that the resulting list provides adequate coverage of the target accounts as marketing, SDRs, sales reps and customer success managers engage multiple stakeholders in each account.

Target account list

The result of a well-defined ICP and detailed buyer persona criteria is a target account list that serves as the cornerstone of all Account-Based Everything program activity. The target account list includes:

  • The named accounts (new or existing) that the company will engage
  • The contacts within those accounts who match buyer persona criteria

Strategy

A world-class Account-Based Everything strategy aligns the customer-facing functions for a coordinated process of engaging the target accounts.

Build a revenue model that attracts financial and executive support, set a foundation for cross-functional alignment throughout program execution, and define scalable processes and plays to guide the organization’s efforts.

A winning strategy communicates why an Account-Based Everything program is right for the company, how program success will be measured, and how each stakeholder and participant helps the organization achieve that success.

Revenue model

The Account-Based Everything revenue model demonstrates how marketing and sales investments will drive revenue within target accounts. This includes forecasting key program outcomes such as deals, revenue, lifetime value and acquisition costs.

To create this model, estimate the lead and opportunity creation goals, sales development and sales staffing plans, funnel conversion rates and advertising spend metrics (e.g., CPM rates for list appends, retargeted display or email platforms).

Organizational alignment

A successful Account-Based Everything program requires ongoing coordination among marketing, sales development, sales, customer success and executives. Part of the strategy is ensuring that this coordination is effective.

Before launching a program, the cross-functional Account-Based Everything team needs to align on program goals and clarify roles during program execution. It also needs to agree on how effectiveness will be measured, and the frequency and format of how results will be shared.

Process

Adoption of Account-Based Everything means change for the organization. This change will manifest in new functional roles, team structures, data management requirements, vendor relationships and customer interactions.

The processes needed to support Account-Based Everything are different from those that support volume and velocity marketing. Defining specific processes early in program implementation ensures visibility for stakeholders and facilitates organizational alignment.

Playbook

The playbook defines the plays, process, people, metrics, technology and coordination of resources to launch and scale a successful Account-Based Everything program. This playbook is the operating manual for the program, containing details such as account-specific touch strategies (e.g., channels, number/frequency/timing of touches, email templates, creative unit specs, etc.) over the course of the program.

Data

Effective Account-Based Everything includes a well-structured and continually refreshed dataset that covers all target accounts and the key contacts within those accounts. The next step is creating a plan for how to build, manage and organize the database of accounts and contacts.

A data management process that delivers accuracy at scale will significantly impact the overall success of the Account-Based Everything program. It’s important to secure expertise for the proper provisioning and maintenance of this asset.

Additionally, organizations that adopt this approach must ensure that all customer-facing reps use the same database.

Database build out

The database must include all target accounts and contacts that match the buyer personas. First, analyze current in-house data and determine coverage of each persona at each account. Then, fill gaps in the data by acquiring or appending records until 100% of the target accounts and at least 70% to 80% of buyer personas are represented in the database.

Data management process

Given constant changes in business and personal information, target account list accuracy declines at a rate of 20% or more each year. The data management process enables the consistent cleansing of bad records, appending of incomplete records and updating of records as they change.

Set an objective to maintain 100% coverage of the target accounts and 70% to 80% coverage of key stakeholder contacts. Data automation vendors can help scale this process over time. In the short run, manual data management may be justified by the revenue and customer lifetime assumption in the Account-Based Everything revenue model.

Account data structure

Account data structure organizes the numerous subsidiaries, business units and buying centers within each target account into parent/child relationships. Properly structured, account data ensures all marketing, sales and customer success activities are directed toward the correct contacts and business units.

Account planning

Account intelligence helps marketing, sales development, sales and customer success collaborate on customized, account-centric campaigns that resonate and convert.

Standardize the account planning process by assigning key team members to each account or set of accounts, equipping all teams with actionable account intelligence, defining reusable Account-Based Everything campaigns and plays, and holding regular review sessions.

Ensure all four functions (marketing, sales development, sales and customer success) are represented in account planning and team assignment. A thorough and inclusive planning process allows multiple teams to identify opportunities to customize campaigns and execute quickly at scale.

Cross-functional account teams

Account-Based Everything account teams consist of cross-functional stakeholders assigned to a particular account or set of accounts. For example, a company with over 300,000 employees spread across nine major business units may warrant its own account team. Or the specialized nature of the financial services industry may justify a single team dedicated to all financial services accounts.

Account teams are typically led by the sales manager or account executive with support from sales development, customer success and marketing. An emerging practice in Account-Based Everything is to assign executives as an overlay support for multiple account teams.

Account plans

Account plans leverage intelligence to identify the key business objectives and challenges that target accounts are facing. Account teams use this intelligence to craft campaigns and plays that address these objectives and challenges.

Account research

Account-Based Everything organizations will typically collect and analyze account research in three different areas:

  • Markets. Competitors, regulatory changes, regional developments
  • Companies. Organizational hierarchy, financials, key initiatives and challenges
  • Contacts. Job promotions, social media posts, relationships/connections, customer service interactions

Account reviews

Regular account reviews summarize progress and lessons learned, and prioritize actions for the coming period. As executive stakeholders attend these reviews, the meeting format and analytics are standardized to maintain flow and facilitate comparison.

Between reviews, most companies hold account team meetings (some use the daily stand-up format common to agile/lean project teams) to share intelligence, monitor campaign performance and agree on tactical adjustments.

Account campaign design

Account plans include the campaigns or plays that will achieve the account’s objectives. To minimize one-off or custom campaigns, define several templates for common Account-Based Everything scenarios, such as:

  • Acquisition plays targeting “new logo” accounts
  • Expansion within existing accounts
  • Scalable, personalized plays targeting top-of-funnel contacts
  • Ad hoc plays to capitalize on change events such as new hires, mergers, competitor announcements

Account-based content and offers

Content and offers are designed to be customized to the goals and challenges of each target account and/or stakeholder, at each life cycle stage.

Account-Based Everything teams create a significant quantity of offers that appeal to multiple stakeholders in a target account, and that engage these accounts at different life cycle stages.

These offers are packaged in diverse formats and optimized for different channels to maximize relevance and drive conversion.

Personalization

In volume-based, lead-centric demand generation, content and offers are created to capture the widest audience possible. In Account-Based Everything, content and offers are designed to drive engagement within specific accounts.

To achieve this objective, they must be personalized on three levels:

  • Account: addressing the current situation at a specific account or set of accounts
  • Persona: addressing the professional needs of specific buyer-types within target accounts
  • Buyer: created or custom-packaged for consumption by named individuals within target accounts

Marketing content and offers

  • Short-form content offers can be consumed within seconds or minutes. They include blog posts, videos, infographics and other content that requires very little of a prospect’s cognitive processing power. In an Account-Based Everything context, short-form content is a way to deliver messages to target accounts to initiate or expand buyer engagement. For example, many organizations engage busy executive personas with 20- to 30-second videos personalized at the account and buyer level by embedding target account logos and executive names.
  • Long-form content offers such as white papers require more cognitive investment from the buyer, and in return, provide greater value. For example, some IT security vendors will perform a diagnostic scan of a target account’s public-facing network, then invest five to eight hours (prior to initial outreach) producing a customized report of potential vulnerabilities for the CIO. This is highly personalized long-form content that the intended audience will be highly motivated to consume.
  • Physical events are in-person gatherings between the vendor and the target account that fall into three main categories: 
    • Third-party events hosted by neither the target account nor the vendor, such as an industry tradeshow.
    • Owned, one-to-many events hosted by vendors targeting multiple prospects or customer accounts, such as a business dinner with six CFOs from companies on the target account list.
    • Owned, one-to-one events staged for the benefit of one target account, such as a series of lunchtime educational sessions held at the target account’s headquarters.
  • Virtual events like webinars and online trade shows are often used in volume-based demand generation. However, they can also be used to engage contacts on the target account list.
  • Physical promotional items are a way to gain the attention of busy buyers. For example, one very successful Account-Based Everything program includes the monthly delivery of business leadership books to key contacts within target accounts.

Sales development content and offers

  • Custom messaging. Traditional B2B messaging statements describe the seller’s business to a wide range of stakeholders. Often that language is too generic to effectively engage target accounts. Custom messaging leverages account intelligence to describe the vendor’s business and offering with words that resonate with specific buyer personas in each target account.
  • Custom content. The manifestations of custom messaging are email and voicemail templates, customer stories, phone talking points, and other custom content tuned to each account and the targeted buyer personas within those accounts. An example is an email template with a customer story highlighting challenges and solutions relevant to CIOs at large retail companies.
  • Calls-to-action are defined as the next steps the SDR requests from the prospect during outreach. Emerging strategies in account-based sales development include requesting time for an objective, high-value offer, such as a free, no obligation audit, or to present a relevant customer story or demonstration.

Sales content and offers

  • Custom messaging is tailored to the target account, the stakeholder(s) and their current situation. Custom messaging is used throughout the sales process in prospecting, value propositions, sales presentations, demonstrations and proposals.
  • Insights have proven effective at both engaging prospects and re-engaging buyers who are otherwise unresponsive. An example is a seller inviting a target account buyer to review and discuss recent data collected by the vendor. Advanced account-based organizations will further customize this offer by including the target account in the delivery of insights. For example, one social media analytics vendor’s campaign included a competitive benchmark analysis of their prospect’s social media effectiveness.
  • Custom workshops are interactive engagements led by the seller for a potential buyer. These workshops can be delivered in-person or virtually. Workshops provide a unique opportunity for deep engagement between the seller and multiple stakeholders within the target account. For example, many sellers use workshops to conduct an in-depth diagnosis of an organization’s business challenges, then follow up with an executive presentation of findings and recommendations.
  • Custom demonstrations. Effective demonstrations are tailored to solve the specific goals and challenges of an account and the key stakeholders.
  • Custom presentations. Unlike template-based, high-level corporate presentations, custom presentations provide another opportunity to address specific target account goals and challenges.
  • Custom proposals demonstrate an understanding of the buyer’s objectives and how the vendor’s solution will help to achieve those objectives.
  • Business case/ROI. A business case is a quantifiable model that justifies the purchase decision. Using data gathered during deep discovery, account-based sales reps co-create custom business cases with buyers.
  • White-glove trials allow buyers to experience the product before buying the full solution. In a white-glove trial, the seller’s organization tightly manages the schedule, scope and budget, ensuring a high level of buyer engagement and a successful trial.

Customer success content and offers

  • Welcome calls help build trust in target accounts through a smooth transition of ownership from sales to customer success. Account-Based Everything organizations use this opportunity to meet new stakeholders who can later guide upsell and cross-sell activities.
  • Training builds awareness of additional resources for target accounts, such as upcoming user events, product certification paths, and online or local user communities.
  • Surveys are commonly used to measure customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores, but they are also useful in uncovering the target account’s unmet needs. Account-Based Everything leaders use survey findings to create customer stories that support account expansion efforts.
  • Customer stories are an excellent example of personalized content where the featured customer is also the employer of the intended reader.
  • Quarterly business reviews are executive-level meetings, often held in person, where vendors and buyers exchange reports and feedback on the state of the business relationship. Use quarterly business reviews to uncover referrals to new buyers and business units inside the target account or as a forum for upcoming product releases that address the target account’s unmet needs.
  • User events range from annual global customer conferences to regional meetings of practitioners. These events provide a setting for Account-Based Everything organizations to enroll key customer stakeholders into their wider community of customers and partners. User events provide a relaxed setting ideal for product demonstrations or interactive workshops.
  • Workshops provide high-value, highly personalized customer experiences that build trust and a sense of partnership with target accounts. A compelling Account-Based Everything workshop format involves vendor product architects meeting with product champions in key target accounts to preview product roadmap features and show potential use cases and value drivers. Vendors use these workshops to surface unmet business needs and make agreements linking new feature development to account expansion, referrals and PR activities.

Account-based channels and plays

Successful Account-Based Everything programs leverage a mix of channels and plays. They deliver content and offers to buyers within target accounts when and where  they are most likely to engage.  

The collaborative nature of Account-Based Everything involves many functions, people, systems and processes. These elements must be managed to minimize internal confusion and ensure a positive customer experience. Successful organizations excel at orchestrating all of these moving parts.

Orchestration in Account-Based Everything is defined as:

  • The coordination of different activities, programs and campaigns used by marketing, sales development, sales and customer success to engage the target accounts
  • The use of these activities, programs and campaigns to connect with multiple stakeholders within the target accounts
  • Intelligence-driven timing and sequencing of activities, programs and campaigns to maximize conversion within these accounts

Marketing channels and plays

  • Account-based advertising is frequently used and can drive initial brand awareness to target account contacts or deliver additional brand impressions and offers to contacts that have already visited the website.
  • Web personalization allows organizations to dynamically present custom content to target accounts in real time. For example, if an unknown insurance employee visits the website and that employee’s company is on the target account list, that user is shown a site tile offering a live product demonstration tailored to the business.
  • Email is a key component of the Account-Based Everything orchestration mix. Email campaigns can be personalized to engage each stakeholder on the account list with precise timing and frequency. When executing Account-Based Everything email campaigns, ensure that all delivery and response actions are measured at the account level and the contact level.
  • Direct mail has seen a revival with the resurgence of Account-Based Everything. Like email, direct mail enables personalization and relevance. Examples include dimensional mailers or boxed items that require signature upon delivery. Innovative direct mail offers get more attention, and the time-stamped proof of delivery enables orchestration of timely SDR or account executive follow-up.
  • Content syndication for traditional lead generation requires marketers to filter registrations according to criteria such as employee count or job titles. Account-Based Everything marketers require these providers to filter their target account list.
  • Social is another key channel to reach buyers. A simple example is the use of LinkedIn InMail to reach busy executives.

Sales development channels and plays

  • Multichannel campaigns increase a prospect’s likelihood of accepting a connection attempt. Account-based sales development plays include multiple touches across multiple channels. Multichannel campaigns typically include eight to 12 SDR touches over a two- or three-week period, on top of the touches generated by marketing.
  • Inbound leads are followed up by SDRs only from their assigned target accounts. Unassigned leads are typically referred to a separate inbound-only SDR team. For some organizations, leads from accounts outside the ICP are routed directly to a nurture program, bypassing the SDR function entirely.
  • Outbound. SDRs are efficient at finding and analyzing account intelligence that informs and prioritizes the SDR’s next steps. For example, a trigger event (e.g., breaking news on new regulations affecting a target account’s whole business) is likely a higher priority for outreach than calling a single junior-level contact who recently downloaded a white paper.
  • Email is currently the highest converting channel in an SDR’s multitouch campaign. Train account-based SDRs on:
    • Email best practices such as optimized email subject lines, customized value propositions
    • Email sending tips such as how and when to send emails to ensure maximize opens and conversion
    • Efficiency hacks such as how to choose and customize templates that increase personalization with minimal time commitment
  • Phone has been making a comeback. Connect rates remain low, but when used in concert with other channels like email and social, the phone is a highly effective channel.
  • Social. After an initial jolt of popularity, social interactions declined due to weak performance in comparison to phone and email. However, social (in particular, LinkedIn) has recently enjoyed a rebirth as SDRs expand the channels used to engage buyers. SDRs who layer social on top of phone and email are reporting significantly higher conversion rates.

Sales channels and plays

  • Multitouch communications. Account-based sales reps are adept at using multiple channels to communicate with the customer including email, phone, social and in-person.
  • Referrals are used by sales reps to generate warm introductions to new stakeholders within an account or to buyers at new accounts. Referrals are typically the most successful tactic for reaching and ultimately driving engagement with buyers.
  • Networking is another channel for sales reps to target accounts. Sales reps network with buyers at live events or with influencers who can connect to buyers.
  • Deep prospecting. Sales reps are typically required to prospect into their target accounts. To be successful, prospecting is driven by custom messaging based on an account’s or stakeholder’s current situation. It is supported by marketing efforts such as direct mail or account-based advertising.
  • Deep discovery. An early step in the sales process in which sales reps use questions and custom messaging to map the current situation and key stakeholders within an account. Deep discovery enables relevant buyer interactions throughout the process.
  • High-value selling plays. High-value selling plays convey important information, such as data and insights, to buyers early in the sales process. These plays build trust with stakeholders and open the door to customized interactions as the process continues. For example, many Account-Based Everything organizations offer interactive workshops during the early stages of the sales process. These collaborative and valuable buyer interactions facilitate the deep discovery needed to make later-stage plays (e.g., presentations, demonstrations, proposals) more relevant to target accounts and buyers.
  • Negotiation/closing are core to every sale, but with a finite target account list, the stakes are higher and there is less margin for error. Account-Based Everything organizations create specialized plays to facilitate negotiations and manage deals to a successful close. A close plan, for example, is a set of deliverables that the buyer and sales rep agree will be completed before a sale is made.

Customer success channels and plays

  • Onboarding programs. TOPO reviewed the onboarding activities of leading customer success teams. Thematically, many of these activities map to one or more of TOPO’s five key attributes of Account-Based Everything. Some of these activities include (with attribute noted):
    • Documenting and making visible all onboarding success criteria, key milestones, project team responsibilities and potential barriers using simple red/yellow/green status dashboards. (Orchestration)
    • Building executive-to-executive relationships with the target account sponsor, scheduling recurring progress check calls in advance. (Orchestration, personalization)
    • Tightly managing initial rollouts/pilot deployments, identifying each individual in the customer’s pilot group to quickly remove success barriers and ensure a white glove experience. (Account intelligence, personalization, coordinated outreach)
    • Defining a “red phone” executive escalation path for customer success managers. (Account intelligence, high-value accounts, orchestration)
    • Monitoring progress via account reviews, led by customer success managers, with support from sales, sales development, marketing and executives. (High-value accounts, orchestration)
  • Adoption campaigns activities used by Account-Based Everything leaders also align to the five key attributes of the framework. Examples include:
    • Identifying the full rollout group by email, social, phone and geo-location, integrating with product platform to distinguish deployed users from not-yet-deployed. (Intelligence-driven campaigns, orchestration)
    • Target the full rollout group with account-based ads showing training setup guides on desktop, social and mobile. (Orchestration, coordinated outreach, valuable, personalized)
    • Creating an internal marketing kit including CEO email announcements to end users and middle management, announcement posters for common areas, intranet banners/tiles and content, and success-based charitable giving. (Valuable, personalized buyer experiences)
  • Account expansion programs. An emerging practice at leading Account-Based Everything companies is the creation of growth SDR teams dedicated to executing upsell and cross-sell plays inside existing accounts. Examples of these plays include:
    • Customer story campaigns: Outreach to buyers and influencers in business units, subsidiaries and other affiliated companies that have been targeted for product adoption in the account planning process.
    • User event campaigns: Outreach to new champions and advocates inside the target account to drive attendance at regional or global user events and relevant industry trade shows.

Metrics

Account-Based Everything metrics provide an account-centric view of program success that builds on traditional conversion measures. The metrics enable visibility of progress against the target account list throughout the customer life cycle.

Account-Based Everything requires investment and is typically not expected to produce instant revenue. It takes time for these strategies to start influencing leads, pipeline and revenue. However, the business impact of Account-Based Everything can be measured from day one.

Focus on coverage analysis in the planning phase, engagement metrics as campaigns take flight and activity metrics as offers are delivered across channels. As the program matures, gauge how the collective effort is driving pipeline, opportunity velocity, win rates, deal size and LTV.

Coverage analysis

A core set of Account-Based Everything metrics revolves around coverage, which indicates the level of database completeness. For example, if 40% of accounts lack contacts that match buyer personas, this gap in the data will need to be closed or significantly narrowed.

Engagement metrics

Engagement metrics (e.g., unique visitors, visit duration) are important leading indicators of Account-Based Everything program performance. A best practice is to record a prelaunch baseline period (e.g., 90 days) of engagement levels within the target accounts. Once the program launches, compare target account engagement to the baseline period. This analysis informs adjustments to targeting, advertising, content and other program elements.

Activity metrics

As target accounts engage with offers, the website and the SDR/sales team, account-level views into campaign effectiveness (e.g., spend, impressions, outreach touches, leads, opportunities) will drive account plan adjustments and enable comparison across account teams.

Pipeline and revenue metrics

Account-Based Everything may generate fewer leads at the top of the funnel than lead-centric demand generation, but it delivers greater results lower in the funnel, such as pipeline growth, deal velocity, average deal size and closed/win rates.

A simple method for evaluating overall Account-Based Everything effectiveness is to compare pipeline and revenue performance of target accounts to two cohorts of nontargeted accounts. One cohort could be a random sample of existing customers. A second cohort could be a handpicked look-alike group of nontargeted accounts with comparable longevity (e.g., account creation dates) to the companies on the target list.

Life cycle metrics

Account-Based Everything program effectiveness is measured by using cohort analysis within the context of life cycle metrics (e.g., activation rate, retention rate, LTV) to compare target accounts against each other or against nontarget accounts.

Technology

The Account-Based Everything technology stack enables target list management, personalization at scale, orchestration across channels and account-centric analytics. To effectively scale a strategic Account-Based Everything program and enable the tactics described throughout this framework, organizations call upon a range of technologies as foundational elements. 

Data automation

Data automation is essential for the build-out, appending and cleansing of the target list. 

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics uses internal and external data to define target accounts and prioritize activities.

Account-based advertising

Advertising directed programmatically at target accounts at scale, including B2B, horizontal and social ad networks.

Web personalization

Web personalization allows organizations to dynamically present custom web content to target accounts in real time.

Sales communications

Sales communications apps connect to standard email platforms, offer advanced templates and tracking/analytics features, and enable SDRs and sales reps to personalize outreach at scale.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation, originally built to support lead-centric demand generation, is central to the Account-Based Everything stack. It is the system of record for contacts and the delivery vehicle for scaled email campaigns.

Account-based marketing management

The promise of account-based marketing/Account-Based Everything is enabling marketers to orchestrate people, data, technology and process to engage target accounts at scale. The current vendor landscape addresses this need in parts but not in whole.

We see a new category emerging in the stack called account-based marketing management consisting of applications that augment and extend traditional platforms such as CRM  and marketing automation to better support account-based programs.

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