There has been a growing shift in the go-to-market strategy world. Teams are moving from well-known Account-Based Marketing efforts to a newer idea of Account-Based Engagement. This movement has been signaled for years by marketing luminaries like Jon Miller of Engagio and is starting to gain real traction with big-time firms like BCG and Forrester. And it makes sense. Marketing to your target accounts is a fundamental step in the process, but engagements get you closer to buying decisions. You need marketing to get engagements and you need engagements to make good on marketing spend.
So, why aren’t more teams adopting Account-Based Engagement as their go-to-market strategy? There are a few factors: marketing and sales departments are often siloed (especially at larger companies), performance metrics aren’t aligned, and/or it’s simply not part of the daily workflow and discussion. The first two are things that rely quite heavily on leadership within your organization, but the third is something that can be shared between teams with best practices and learnings.
That’s where ABM and ABE dashboards come in.
- A solid dashboard (or a couple of dashboards) may seem trivial, but it can have an outsized impact on your sales and marketing teams. A dashboard:
Establishes the metrics that matter
- Makes performance against those metrics clear and accessible
- Prompts the right questions
- Facilitates alignment across stakeholders
In order to execute on a true Account-Based Engagement (aka ABE) strategy, your sales and marketing leaders need alignment on ABM/ABE goals and a clear understanding of how they are executing against them. In order to provide that clarity, we have compiled two sample sales and marketing dashboards with components dedicated to their logical workflows and success metrics.
Getting Started with an ABM/ABE Strategy
At Qualified, we use (and provide our customers) two dashboards that help us align on ABM/ABE strategy: one for marketing (ABM) and one for sales (ABE). Why two? Simple. The marketing team is focused on Pipeline Sources. A CMO wants to understand which sources are most effective at generating pipeline. The sales team is focused on Activities. A CRO wants to see their sales reps’ activity within target accounts and how that is translating into late-stage and Closed Won Opportunities.
Before we can get to the dashboards, there’s one prerequisite: an ABM/ABE Tier field for your Accounts.
We recommend creating a formula field on your Account object that evaluates other fields available on the Account record to determine its ABM Tier. This allows you to update the formula over time as your definitions evolve.
Create Your Salesforce ABM and ABE Dashboards
1. Your Marketing Dashboard
The first dashboard to cover is your Marketing Dashboard. Nine times out of ten, your team already has a Pipeline Dashboard that you use on a daily/weekly basis. As a result, you probably don’t need much guidance on what to measure, but below is a version that we use at Qualified with a couple of notable points.
Some of the key components that we recommend tracking:
- Pipeline Created in $ Amount by Major Source (Donut Chart)
- Pipeline Created in $ Amount by Major Source Over Time (Separated Bar Chart)
- Pipeline in % by Stage (Funnel Chart)
These give you an idea of where your Target Account pipeline is coming from, how it’s trending, and if it’s real pipeline (aka late-stage Opportunities).
The key to the dashboard, as it relates to this blog, is the Dashboard Filter.
This Filter easily enables your team to identify the pipeline generated within the different tiers of your ABM strategy. The process for creating it is simply adding a filter and referencing the “ABM Tier” formula field that you have created on the Account and Opportunity.
Since this is a C-level dashboard, we don’t get into the specific campaigns powering this pipeline. We have a separate dashboard for that.
2. Account-Based Engagement Dashboard for Sales
Now, onto the Account-Based Engagement Dashboard for Sales.
Before we get into the components, it’s important to note why this dashboard is powerful for sales: it’s based on Activities. Activities for us at Qualified can be Website Conversations, Website Visits, Calls, Emails, and Meetings. These all signal intent to Qualified. Moreover, these Activity types reveal what’s working for your team. For Qualified and Qualified customers, there is a lot of success that comes (unsurprisingly) from Website Visits and Conversations. That doesn’t mean we stop emailing and calling. Those are critical to our sales team’s success as well.
Below are the Cliffs Notes on what we’re tracking in this dashboard, with those that tend to drive most of the discussion in bold:
- Number of Engaged Target Accounts
- All Open Opportunity Amount in Target Accounts
- Late Stage Opportunity Amount in Target Accounts
- Top 10 Most Engaged Target Accounts
- Target Accounts with Open Opportunities
- Activities with Late Stage Target Opportunities
- Activities with Contacts at Target Accounts
- Target Account Engagement by Type
- Target Accounts with No Activity
This dashboard gives a quick snapshot of your Sales team’s penetration into Target Accounts, but again, the power lies in the Dashboard Filters. We recommend filtering by:
- Account Owner
- ABM Tier
- Account Type (Prospect vs. Customer)
These filters allow a sales leader to have a targeted discussion with each individual sales representative in their 1:1s. They can dive into their account penetration, breaking it down by ABM Tier. Even better, they can quickly understand, “Is my team maximizing our target opportunities within our existing target customer base?” and “Are we seeding the market well in our new target market Accounts?” These are the conversations that help align sales with marketing on ABM, and drive individual contributors to the activities that win meaningful business in your target accounts.
Account-Based Marketing and Account-Based Engagement are nothing new. However, the challenge of aligning an entire go-to-market team behind a targeted account approach remains as daunting as ever. It takes strategic alignment on vision and metrics, and a way to share the results of your labor.
At Qualified, we found success in:
- Building a tiering system,
- Retrofitting our marketing pipeline dashboard,
- Creating a new Account-Based Engagement dashboard for sales leaders.
It takes hard work to build the right configuration for your business, but doing it well will pay dividends for (fiscal) years to come.