It might seem weird, but marketing teams used to measure their success on lead generation. They would analyze where leads came from, how qualified they were, and whether or not they converted to customers as a part of some weird calculation of bringing in more leads as cheap as possible. Crazy, right?
Now let’s skip ahead to the present (and future) of marketing teams. If ‘leads’ are no longer the main goal for your go-to-market team, what should you focus on instead to measure success? We’re so glad you asked.
First and foremost, the only marketing metric that matters is revenue. That might make some marketers squirm, but the more readily you accept that, the happier and more successful you’ll be. Sure, hot leads are great, but a traditional leads-based funnel is unreliable and– frankly– results in pretty crappy marketing. On the flip-side of that, this becomes the beauty of account-based marketing. Rather than waiting on leads to come to them, marketers and sellers are teaming up to go out and proactively create revenue by focusing on the right accounts.
When marketers are focusing on the same lists of target accounts as their sales team, great things happen. This includes higher win rates, faster sales cycles, and improved retention rates (just to name a few). In fact, mature ABM programs are responsible for 73% of their companies’ overall revenue according to Terminus’ 2020 State of ABM report.
First let’s look at what a basic funnel looks like for a modern go-to-market team (a more in-depth overview can be found here). This funnel might be a little more complicated or nuanced for your particular business, but this should be fundamentally similar to most sales processes.
Target Accounts → Engaged Accounts →Opportunities Created → Won Customers.
Think of this as the number of accounts you’re targeting when running a coordinated campaign. This can be a number in the thousands if you’re going after a broad set of companies with low commonality (e.g. ‘manufacturers located in the US) or just a few companies (e.g. your ‘white whale’ account list).
How To Measure Target Accounts: Easy! Count the number of accounts on a given target account list.
The number of accounts in a given target account list that are clicking your ads, visiting your website, opening your emails, or showing any other digital interaction with your brand.
How To Measure Engaged Accounts: [Engaged Accounts ÷ Target Account List]
The accounts that have engaged with your brand (both digitally and in person), have shown interest, and have been qualified as a legitimate opportunity.
How To Measure Opportunities Created: [Open Opportunities ÷ Engaged Accounts]
The average number of days from when an opportunity is created to when they become a new customer.
How To Measure Sales Velocity: This can be measured simply by averaging the number of days an opportunity existed before closing, but you may want to apply some more measurement discipline to this. Consider creating cohorts of opportunities– by segment, company size, etc., so you can measure the velocity of different sorts of companies.
The best metric in this whole list. When your sales team closes a deal that came in from a lead you generated, you might chalk it up to luck. When you were closely partnered with your sales team to create brand new customers out of thin air, you’re just as responsible for success– and that feels great!
That’s it! Sometimes keeping it simple is best. Of course there are other micro metrics that do help measure your success along the way, but these are fundamentally the most important. And no matter what your metrics may be, the most important takeaway here is to measure something so you can take action on it. Measure your progress, continue to do what works best, recognize what’s not working, and then optimize it for your next go-to-market campaign.