As business begins to return to normal, many professionals are turning to Account-Based Marketing as a way to more effectively bring in revenue. This has led many to raise questions about Account-Based Marketing. When implemented correctly, it’s able to transform an organization and allow them to easily reach their growth goals.
Our very own Natalia Kochem and Adrian Barek recently spoke about the Demand Unit Waterfall and answered a number of questions regarding it. We’ve outlined the top 5 questions you may have and provided answers based on our years of client interactions.
How important is the aggregate score; should we use Salesforce or a third-party resource?
We always recommend starting by leveraging your existing CRM and use what you already have. You should start first by looking at the data you already have in your system so you can see if there are gaps, processes, and improvements that need to be made before you purchase an additional tool. A lot of discussions will need to happen between sales and marketing.
Your company may have unique needs, but we recommend trying to get the most out of what they have. Often the easiest solution is to buy a tool for each specific function. Unfortunately, this can cause issues over time as you layer more and more platforms on the foundation. We suggest optimizing Salesforce to the best of its ability then begin layering on top of it. This is not to say that external tools should never be used, the right tool at the right time can be a great win as well! Sometimes an external tool will be the best option to achieve your desired results.
Can you accomplish both opportunity scoring and account scoring by ensuring the lead object has a related account instead of using the opportunity contact role?
There are ways to do scoring at the lead level but it’s not our recommended approach when moving to an Account Centric model. Each of those actions layers on one another which can make it more difficult as you’re trying to get all teams toward the central approach. We suggest trying to encourage the use of opportunity contact roles.
There are ways to do it outside of this but to get groups on the opportunity and track them is the best option. Let’s recap some of our best practices; we recommend auto-converting Leads to Contacts for your matching Accounts, creating “Marketing” Opportunities, assign appropriate Contacts as Opportunity Contact Roles to these marketing Opportunities, and track marketing engagement of this group of Contacts at the Opportunity level.
Are you suggesting the lead value should not be used and all leads should be converted into contacts? For example, ZoomInfo data should be imported as contacts?
For targeted accounts we recommend if that if an account already exists in your system, go ahead and convert all leads at that company into contacts. If you don’t have accounts in your system, you probably want to do some manual due diligence on non-targeted accounts to see if they should become accounts. Some companies prefer this combination of a manual and automated approach.
Other clients prefer to automate all conversion without any manual oversight. This involves having their system do the due diligence on its own, flagging opportunities in error reports if a lead didn’t meet the criteria to make an account. Some do a hybrid model, they still use leads so the BDR team can work them for non-targeted accounts. There is not a one size fit all but specific companies may have needs that make one method more appropriate.
With this approach, how do you measure opportunity or lead or account velocity?
You can do simple timestamping at the opportunity level to check how long it takes to progress from marketing to the sales pipeline, and then to either closed won or close lost.
We will also look at the account level and field history tracking to determine the history of the account. We will see when an account became a target account and when the data was last updated. You can use the reporting available in Salesforce to do so. A lot of the reporting we work with clients on is around the opportunity. We look primarily at the conversion and duration metrics.
What is the average number of target accounts your clients attract?
We have gotten this question many times before and unfortunately, the answer is; it depends. It will depend on your own universe of potential customers and your industry. Some industries will only sell to 500 companies, healthcare is an example of this. A fraction of this number would become targeted accounts. Others aimed at enterprise companies may have a wider pool.
For people that want to get started, 70-200 target accounts may be a good place to begin. This will depend again on your industry as well as how large your sales and marketing teams are. You may also have preferences in how many accounts you would like to give to each salesperson.
At this point, we’re hoping you have a better understanding of what becoming Account Centric can look like, and whether or not it’s the right fit for your team. We hope many of your questions about the Demand Unit Waterfall and Account-Based Marketing have been answered. To see if the DUW is right for you, connect with one of our specialists and we can discuss it in more detail.
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