Organizations looking to increase returns on marketing investment have started shifting their focus to an account-based strategy. Account-based marketing strategies are not new, but they are getting less expensive and more accessible because of advances in technology. This blog post focuses on how you can use an account-based marketing strategy as part of your current lead scoring process.
In a recent study, SiriusDecisions noted that 92% of B2B marketers worldwide consider Account Based Marketing extremely or very important to their overall marketing efforts. An account-based strategy “flips” your marketing funnel and helps you target key accounts. This approach aligns nicely with sales and will drive better product fit and quicker wins. Account-based strategies are meant to augment your current lead process, not replace it. As a way to cultivate new leads and target key accounts, we suggest adding an account score to your current leads scoring process.
Account Score – An account score indicates the propensity of a company to become your customer. This is particularly important for B2B companies.
This score is based on the aggregated activity of all of your leads associated with the given company. Sometimes, a single lead may not do enough to be passed to sales, but five of their colleagues are also engaging your content. Their cumulative activity suggests that the comjpany is a strong prospect and their account score will reflect it.
While firmographic information such as: revenue, number of employees, industry, location, technology fit, hiring trend, and funding are all part of account fit, they can be captured as part of a lead’s demographic score. A lead’s account score, as defined here, is based on the collective activity of everyone at a lead’s company. This is particularly helpful to a salesperson because it allows them to see the collective activity of all the leads for that account.
When your company publishes content, you do it with the intent of targeting certain personas. You might write one blog post for marketers, another for sales ops, and a third for CEOs. Consider the case where a marketer goes to lunch with their sales ops colleague and mentions your company. The sales ops person reads your blog and immediately tells their sales VP, who then tells the CEO. They all engage with your digital content, but alone none of them score high enough to MQL. Collectively, however, there is a strong signal that this company is interested in buying.
Account scoring offers a way to capture this interest by adding a third dimension to your lead scores. It is a great way to augment the behavior and demographic scoring you are already doing. A good way is to score account behavior from zero to 100. Zero implies no one at that lead’s company has interacted with your content. 100 indicates that there are multiple leads from one company engaging with your content and they are likely to buy.
Once you add an account-based score to your leads, you need to figure out how it will trigger leads to transition between stages. You will have to update your current criteria that uses demographic and behavior score. What was once a scoring matrix, is now a scoring cube. One suggestion is to require a minimum score of 25 in all three categories, and a total score of 100 before a lead becomes an MQL. The key is to make sure all three categories are fairly represented as part of a lead’s overall score and to correctly build the logic in your marketing automation platform.
Implementing account scoring on leads can get complex. While the concept is straightforward, your marketing automation platform is built around leads, not accounts. Because of this, aggregating all of an account’s activities into one account score requires creative thinking. If you are a marketing automation pro and have some free time, I am sure you can find a way to make it work. If you are like most of us, however, the best solution is to find a third-party integration to help. It will save you time and will ensure you are identifying your highest quality leads and accounts.
This wraps up our series on lead scoring. You are now ready to score your leads based on who they are (demographic), how they behave (behavior), and how likely their company will buy (account-based). At ORM we specialize in marketing analytics to include lead scoring and revenue attribution. If you have questions, or have some ideas to discuss, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on lead scoring, our white paper on creating an Effective Lead Scoring Model details how to use account, behavior, demographic, and social scores to obtain a full picture of your leads.