The New Metrics For ABM: Finding Your Best Buyers Among Your Target Accounts

At the heart of any good ABM program is laser-like account targeting. But what often gets overlooked is that, even in ABM, we still need to market to people. All marketing is concerned with winning the hearts and minds of individual buyers. The real job of marketing – ABM or otherwise – is to educate and influence those buyers so they’re more qualified to have a conversation with sales.

But, if the goal of marketing is to educate buyers, why do we fall so short when determining if our prospects are sufficiently educated and qualified to talk to sales? Traditional metrics that determine sales-readiness at the contact or the account level, such as clicks or downloads, fail to highlight which companies are really in the throes of researching a purchase and which have accidentally clicked on your ad or landed on your website.

Today, we tend to treat all accounts that show any sign of life the same. But the true indicator of sales-readiness lies in how educated a buyer is. If all of your amazing ABM targeting gets people at your target accounts to click on your ads or visit your website, but none of those people stick around and actually consume any content, can you really call that campaign successful? And even more importantly, would that account really be worthy of sales attention? By looking only at the volume of behaviors and not the quality, we fail to truly understand which accounts are demonstrating buying behavior and which are simply getting caught in our ABM net.

To really gauge the interest and intent of your target accounts, the leading indicator is content consumption. Simply put, real buyers don’t consume content about products they have no intention of purchasing. Now and then I might click on an ad, end up on a website, or download a piece of content even though I have zero intention of buying the product that company sells. But, I would never spend 3 hours reading Consumer Reports about cars I don’t plan to buy.

In this ABM world, we do such a great job of targeting our ideal accounts that we shouldn’t be surprised when they get caught in our net – they click on our ad, arrive on our website, or engage with our social media post. But this means we need to do a better job of uncovering the signals of account interest and intent. Identifying the natural behavior of a qualified buyer and alerting sales when an account is showing real signs of readiness is key to creating valuable customers from target accounts.