April 6, 2017

Kristen Wendel: Measuring Account-Based Marketing Success

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Tags: Podcast

In this final Revenue Summit episode of our B2B Nation podcast, we talked to Kristen Wendel, director of marketing operations at VersionOne, an agile project management software provider. We discussed:

    • How to measure your success in account-based marketing
    • What to look out for when you build your ABM pipeline
    • Building executive investment into ABM efforts

Below are some highlights from our conversation. 

ABM as a Trend

“Account-based marketing isn’t new, but a lot of companies are trying to sell up-market and in the enterprise. The only type of marketing that makes sense in those markets is account-based. Although we can’t outspend some of the bigger players in the space, with ABM, you can outsmart them.”

The Measure of ABM

“I find ABM from a measuring and reporting standpoint to be a lot easier than traditional marketing. You have your tier one accounts that are your top 100 accounts for a quarter, and I can measure awareness and engagement of those accounts, all the way through the appointment and pipeline. MQLs are always a moving target. If historically I needed 500 MQLs, but my sales team didn’t take care of them, it may not result in the same ROI. However, with some of the new account tools, the reporting is automated.

“We chose to go with Engagio primarily because of John Miller, and we were an early adopter there. It was so simple, and it has a high-reporting component.

“Engagio measures engagement and all along the funnel, so the tool really takes a lot of the guesswork out of measuring where your prospects. It maps into a Salesforce dashboard, as well, and you can see exactly which marketing assets each account has interacted with. This made it possible for us to prove that our tier one accounts had 97 percent engagement, and 40 percent of the engagement was with product rather than content.”

Getting Started

“Don’t try to be an expert at ABM all at once. We started with lead-based metrics, and we still use those, but the account-based metrics are what our C-levels care about.

“Also, when you begin selling up the account tree, your C-levels will not fill out forms. You need to use tools that show anonymous data and aggregate that data within the account.

“We do a lot of cross-channel marketing, and we put a lot of investment in those tier one accounts. This includes personalized content hubs, direct mail, and ads that are relevant to the company through Terminus. That way, they see us everywhere. We look big, but we don’t have to be big.“

Building Investment

“It’s a tough conversation to have when you try to get your executive team to invest in ABM. You can’t be account-based until your executive team is in on it, because it’s just not feasible. There are tactics you have to have: social selling, predictive models, intent data. These things require an investment, and if your company isn’t ready to make that investment, then you won’t succeed.”

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Find Kristen Wendel on Twitter @KEWendel and at versionone.com

B2B Nation is a podcast for B2B sales and marketing professionals, featuring expert opinions and advice on the most important topics in the industry. Check out our other episodes on SoundCloud, or follow us on Twitter: @Technology_Adv.