In ABM Measurement

WHEN MEASURING ABM success, marketers are noticing that tracking engagement within target accounts is enabling marketing and sales to work together to create valuable relationships with targets that have a higher propensity to buy.

For example, EMS Software, a provider of meeting and room scheduling solutions, has streamlined its sales funnel since implementing its ABM strategy at the beginning of 2016. The company has done so by fully embracing ABM throughout the entire organization, which in turn prevents the company from slipping back into old habits found in traditional demand generation.

“We’re building accounts, not MQLs; so we’re looking to drive engagement within those accounts.” Thomas Gallagher, EMS Software

One of those habits can be sticking with the same KPIs. While B2B companies often struggle with deciding whether or not to leverage traditional KPIs for their new ABM initiatives, EMS Software recognized that it was going to have to measure success differently compared to its past traditional efforts.

“We’re building accounts, not MQLs; so we’re looking to drive engagement within those accounts,” said Thomas Gallagher, Director of Integrated Demand Generation at EMS Software. “Very early on, we wanted a way to see activity at the account level.”

The company is now looking to measure overall awareness, marketing qualified account (MQA) state in the sales funnel, opportunities and close rates.

“I’m being judged by penetrating target markets, what [campaigns] we can provide to boost [MQA] status, as well as conversions,” said Gallagher.

The company also has different metrics depending on whether the target account is net-new or a current client, according to Londonne Corder, VP of Marketing at EMS Software.

“We have scorecards for our team that spotlight net-new account obtainment and average deal size,” said Corder. “On the existing customer side, it’s incremental sales into [overall] penetration.”

To analyze the insight of roughly 1,300 new and existing accounts, the company tapped Engagio’s ABM platform. The solution is designed to help match leads to existing accounts, as well as analyze engagement at the account level through the entire sales cycle.

“We committed to Engagio early on to help us see what we needed to see,” said Gallagher. “We’re looking at account coverage (data quality and completeness to address the account), awareness, engagement within the account, impact of campaigns on the account, and the influences (deal velocity, close rates).”

This engagement data can then be synched with the company’s Marketo and Salesforce plat- forms to gain a holistic view of which stakeholders from target accounts are engaging — posi- tioning sales development reps to engage with relevant and contextual information.

With the mix of a real-time personalization tool from Marketo and the ability to measure anonymous engagement through help from Terminus, EMS Software is able to “extend ABM to [the company’s] website,” explained Gallagher. “We can now address folks who come in that fit our model and address them uniquely.”


Both Gallagher and Corder noted that in order to measure this type of account engagement, their team has to gain insight at all stages of the sales funnel. This means that they also had to move away from the traditional handoff leads to sales.

“We walk [the account] all the way down the line — no hand- offs,” said Gallagher. “We walk them all the way through SDRs and sales. We’re doing marketing in pipeline to grow the account.”

We walk [the account] all the way down the line — no handoffs.” Thomas Gallagher, EMS Software

The goal of EMS Software’s marketing team is to generate activity within accounts, positioning sales to take advantage of that engagement to have relevant and contextual interactions, according to both Gallagher and Corder. However, both emphasized the importance of having all three teams — marketing, sales development reps (SDRs) and field sales — continuously drive awareness within high-value accounts.

“It takes all three teams [to drive awareness] because they all provide value and care through the sales cycle,” said Corder. “This helps bleed the delineation between the teams, and brings marketing and sales closer together.”

Since the company’s target account list is rather small, this ongoing connection between marketing and sales also enables marketing to hold sales accountable for not connecting with engaged accounts in a reasonable amount of time.

“We also are positioned to speak up about opportunities that are being missed,” said Corder. “We have as much insight as sales does. We can see this account generated a lot of activity; tell us why it’s not an opportunity at this stage. This communication helps identify loopholes in our funnel.”

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