Alignment challenges between sales and marketing teams have been around for a long time, but there are certain tactics, like ABM, that allow them to come together and work toward a common goal. In many cases, advancements in technology and available data have also enabled these teams to better coordinate their tactical efforts, like account scoring, to win over their target customers.
In this quick primer, we’ll walk you through the basics of both ABM and account scoring and discuss how they can intersect to create better sales and marketing opportunities.
What is account scoring?
Account scoring refers to the process of ordering all potential customers from the most valuable to the least valuable. The “value” of each account depends on a variety of attributes:
- How close that prospect is to your ICP, or Ideal Customer Profile
- How interested they are in your offerings
- Where they are in the buyer journey
Account scoring can be done in a variety of ways. The simplest (and most manual) involves an Excel model that ascribes weights to different criteria. More advanced methods would use technology intelligence to build upon different data sets (e.g., internal, firmographic, and publicly available data).
In today’s market environment, traditional account scoring can be outdated and ambiguous. The models that have been historically used focus on behavioral attributes at the top of the funnel, but many B2B buyer journeys are more complex and nonlinear, making this less effective. The more advanced methods that utilize technology intelligence—or even AI—are much more impactful.
What is ABM?
ABM, or account-based marketing, brings sales and marketing together to focus resources on a set of target accounts. It starts by using attributes you know about a specific account—that they’ve engaged with a specific piece of content or have a certain configuration in their technology stack, for example—and enables the marketing organization to deliver highly personalized, precise messages to the right prospect.
This customized messaging can be built to address an account’s specific pain points. And the more specific your outreach, the more it will resonate with those you want to target.
An ABM-centric marketing organization is able to support, enable, and empower much of the heavy lifting that a sales organization is doing. In this way, sales and marketing can work together to close target accounts and avoid some of the friction that often accompanies the relationship between departments.
Account-based marketing is not a new tactic, but it has become cheaper and more convenient thanks to technology and complementary marketing strategies, including account scoring.
How to do account scoring in ABM
Both of these tactics have been used by marketers for years. However, account scoring is a crucial piece of effective ABM as it enables marketing teams to help sales understand which accounts they should prioritize.
There are a few key steps to using account scoring in ABM:
- Define your ICP – If you haven’t nailed down your Ideal Customer Profile yet, now is the time. Take a look at your current customers and prospects and start finding patterns in characteristics and behaviors. If your lead volume isn’t cutting it, your ICP may need to be adjusted.
- Create an account scoring system – This will depend on the model you use, but generally account scoring will involve assigning lead scores to different activities or attributes. Higher value characteristics can be weighted appropriately.
- Identify best fit prospects – Account-based sales and marketing initiatives are only as good as the accounts you choose to target them towards. Identify which of your prospects are the best fit for your offerings and have the highest revenue opportunity.
- Prioritize based on spend potential – Accounts with the highest propensity to buy and greatest revenue potential should be prioritized for ABM campaigns. This helps you avoid wasting valuable marketing and sales resources on accounts that have inadequate budgets or technology stacks that aren’t compatible with your products.
Building an ABM and account scoring machine with HG Insights
Some companies struggle to find the best fit accounts and close sales. Others have hundreds of leads coming in each day and don’t know how to prioritize them. In both cases, organizations need an intelligent technology platform to effectively score accounts and build ABM campaigns that get results.
Using technology intelligence to empower and inform your ABM activities ensures that you’re delivering the most relevant message to the right prospect at the right moment.
The typical way for ABM and Demand Gen teams to target accounts is by looking at arbitrary attributes like ARR, company size or industry—sometimes with additional third-party intent data. This modeling is imprecise, however, because they are missing the data that HG Insights provides: intent, tech stack visibility, dollar allocation or technology investment, contract intelligence, and spend data.
When ABM and Demand Gen teams have this data, they can better score and rank their target accounts. This then allows them to score inbound leads correctly based on these prioritization criteria. When data guides all marketing efforts, it becomes more efficient and effective.
HG Insights provides business decision-makers with actionable insights they can use to identify and prioritize their best prospects and opportunities. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help support you and your organization.