For years, bringing sales and marketing teams together has been a challenge, but surprisingly, the Account Base Marketing revolution has brought them closer together.
The fact that both teams aim to achieve better sales results from a defined set of accounts helps them to identify and target those companies (or accounts) that are most likely to make a purchase, thus prioritising potential customers.
And while account-based marketing is not new, it has become less expensive and more accessible thanks to advances in technology. One such tool that has made ABM more accessible is lead scoring.
Lead scoring is an automated scoring technique and is used to score leads in a database based on how close they are to the ideal customer (buyer persona), how interested they are in what the company offers, as well as where they are in the buying process.
Let's see then how Lead Scoring becomes a very important tool in the implementation of ABM.
As explained above, lead scoring is based on the cumulative activities within your different channels (also called implicit characteristics) and captured demographic information (also called explicit characteristics), this information can be: revenue, number of employees, industry, location, technology suitability, hiring trends among others.
It is important to recognise that this scoring is not universal. Instead, lead scoring criteria should be specific to your business interests. Another company's top-ranked lead may not offer much to your business in terms of potential revenue, which means your methodology must consider the variables that are most important to your business.
Then, to help marketing and sales understand the potential value of leads, those leads should be quantified according to a standardised scale.
In an ABM strategy, this scoring should focus on companies that fit that fit and that interest that Lead Scoring scores. So how is it put into practice? Let's look at the steps involved:
Decide on the ideal customer profile (ICP): Analyse your prospects and existing customers, what common characteristics and activities do they share? What is the content they are most interested in, which emails do they open and click on, who follows them on Facebook and/or LinkedIn, are they in rural or urban areas.
Marketers should also pay attention to the lead generation strategies currently in place; if your lead volume is low, methods to generate new contacts may be needed.
Scoring scheme: Once you have collected the activities and characteristics that make up your ideal customer profile, you need to score them. For example, in the case of email marketing, when a potential buyer opens the email, the lead can be assigned a score of '2', when they click on links in the email, the score increases to '6', and if there is any response to the email in terms of enquiries, the score increases further to '10'.
Account prioritisation: Once scores have been assigned, you should evaluate the highest scoring accounts and estimate their perceived value. In the context of building a framework, prioritisation is critical to understanding what to execute against.
Once you have an idea of how to prioritise your accounts, you need to consider your implementation plan. When multiple stakeholders are involved, the role that each stakeholder plays in the purchasing decision must be correctly identified. At this stage, try to answer some of the following questions: Who on your team will do what? When will they do it? How will they do it? And, of course, what does it all mean?
It is imperative to understand the level and type of involvement that each stakeholder assumes. This information is the backbone of the overall scoring strategy.
Whether you are scoring for demand generation or ABM, remember that the primary purpose of these rules-based methodologies is to improve your overall business results.
Scoring was never intended to be a set it and forget it tool. It is meant to evolve as your learning grows and conditions change, so always keep reviewing and validating your Lead Scoring as a goal.<<Learn more: Account-Based Marketing on LinkedIn>>