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ABM KPIs are Underused and Overlooked, Thwarting Your Team’s Impact (and Value)

3 min
Marketer studies dashboards to examine KPIs.

ABM practices are associated with better financial performance. But to get the full benefit, you need to measure the specific outcomes of this newer and better way of B2Bing.

A startling percentage of B2B marketers lack insights into important ABM KPIs.

For our report The Impact of ABM and Measurement on Companies’ Financial Performance, we asked marketers how they measure their contributions to the business. To put the answers in context, we also asked whether their organizations had an ABM or target account program.

A whopping 78% of the nearly 400 survey respondents said their organizations have an ABM or target account program. 

Survey Reveals Many Missing Metrics

Missing Data: Marketing Contribution to Pipeline

If you are a marketer using an ABM strategy, you are undoubtedly using intent in some way to identify accounts that might be in-market. Very likely, you’re using it to trigger ads and other tactics directed toward those accounts. 

But… only 57% of organizations represented in our sample reported measuring the number of accounts they detected via intent data. Respondents with an ABM practice were more likely to measure it (62%) than those that didn’t use ABM (38%). So, that’s good, I guess. 

Measuring the number of active accounts and opportunities that were sourced through marketing efforts is so important that, in my previous role at SiriusDecisions/Forrester, we devoted a stage to it in the Demand Unit Waterfall and then B2B Revenue Waterfall.

Clearly, many of our survey respondents were not on the SD/Forrester bandwagon. 

Missing Data: Opportunities Identified Through Intent Data

Third-party intent is a marketer’s window into the Dark Funnel™ as we call it at 6sense — all those accounts that are looking for solutions somewhere on the internet. If you don’t know which accounts (aka companies) are in-market, you’re probably going to find out late about a lot of potential opportunities, or not at all. 

For our survey, we also asked: Do you measure how many of the opportunities you got through your ABM or target account program were first identified with intent data? Only 46% of companies do this.

If you want to be able to justify your spend on intent data, you need to measure whether the accounts and opportunities you first see that way become opportunities, pipeline and revenue.

Missing Data: Most of Your Own Website Traffic!

There’s another form of intent that ABMers should be experts in: anonymous traffic.

We know from prior research that about 97% of B2B web traffic is anonymous. In fact, it would be fair to say that just about all of your web traffic is anonymous. Collectively, we devote many millions of dollars to getting those anonymous visitors to fill out a Contact Us or Request a Demo webform.

So, certainly we do everything in our legal power to know which accounts are generating that traffic, right? 

Our earlier research demonstrated that this is not the case. Only 26% of all marketers we surveyed de-anonymize their web traffic

But think of it. If you have an ABM program, and if you target a specific set of accounts, the vast majority of the response you get is going to be even more anonymous traffic from those precious accounts that you can’t track.

Even among those with ABM practices, only 54% of respondents measure opportunities that were first identified through those practices. 

Again, this is almost certainly how most opportunities first appear. And many marketers are retargeting anonymous visitors. So, shouldn’t you know how often those turn into pipeline and revenue?

Why Aren’t Marketers Measuring These Things?

Hopefully, I’ve made the logical case that you should be measuring these things. But how? Is it hard? The answer is, yes, it is hard if you’re relying on your CRM (that’s most of you) and homegrown or generalist Business Intelligence tools. 

But if you are using an ABM platform (such as 6sense), the information is there at your fingertips. 

ABMers, you’re doing the right thing. ABM practices are associated with better financial performance. But to get the full benefit, you need to measure the specific outcomes of this newer and better way of B2Bing.

The 6sense Research Team

6sense Research applies objective statistical analyses to primary research that delivers data-driven insights to B2B revenue teams. We empower revenue teams to more effectively plan, execute, and measure their go-to-market strategies, informed by the latest insights about what works, what doesn’t, and why.

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