Content Reposted from Triblio.

If you’re just “tuning in,” we recently kicked off a blog series around ABM ROI. You can catch up on part 1 here. In it, we break down why you should consider running a cohort analysis to measure ROI. 

We know that not everyone is comfortable with the reliability of cohort analyses. That’s why today’s blog post addresses some of the most common concerns we get from customers. And if we end up convincing you that cohort analyses are worth your time, we’ve made sure that this blog doesn’t leave you hanging. Scroll to the end to check out some practical advice on how to decide which metrics to measure and why.

Common Concerns for Cohort Analyses

For a quick refresher, a cohort analysis compares the performance of ABM accounts to non-ABM accounts. This allows you to answer the question of, “What difference did ABM investment make across your business,” based on the accounts that got that treatment (ABM accounts) versus those that didn’t (non-ABM accounts). However, there are a few challenges that B2B marketers can come across when running a cohort analysis. 

  • Seasonality: For example, if you’re looking at the last three months versus the next three months, things will obviously change in the market and the competitive landscape. You could add a sales rep to your team or conversely lose one. A product launch or service restructuring could also have an effect on your analysis. 
  • Internal Friction: If you’re running a control group, internal friction can be an issue. This can occur when you split a list of accounts down the middle, putting half into ABM campaigns and leaving the other half alone over the course of three to six months. Internally, if your sales team finds out that other reps are getting ABM on their accounts and they’re not, that’s where you’ll experience friction. 
  • List size: Specifically when taking the control group route, you should aim to have a large list of no less than 100 to split down the middle. Anything smaller is prone to outliers where you have one account that does really poorly or one that does really well and it throws everything else off. It’ll depend on things like your deal size, too.

So why are we even suggesting the cohort analysis? The thing is, no experiment is perfect. In the end, the best report is the one that answers the questions you’re asking. If leadership loves to stay on top of the number of leads that fill out forms on your website, then by all means, continue reporting on that number.

But from our experience, most executives aren’t satisfied with vanity metrics–as some would call web traffic, form conversions, and the like. What they really want to know is, are your programs contributing to pipeline and revenue growth?

Instead of getting hung up on the flaws in your reporting, focus on what you want to test, measure, and prove. When it comes to showing ABM ROI, our Chief Customer Officer Andrew Mahr sees two main goals.

1.) Optimizing Inbound

ABM can be used to optimize inbound. What kind of metrics are relevant to the ROI discussion when it comes to inbound optimization? Well, consider these four inbound goals:

  • Awareness: Making sure that target accounts, especially those with high intent, know who you are and have the opportunity to engage with your campaigns
  • Personalization: Promoting the best possible offer across channels from email to homepage messaging 
  • Prioritization: Going beyond lead scoring and identifying whether an account is actively in a buying cycle (get a sample of Triblio Smart Score data here)
  • Higher BDR Conversion: Supporting follow-up messaging, content, and cadences to increases throughput to pipeline

For each of these objectives, how do your ABM vs non-ABM accounts compare?

2.) Optimizing Outbound

The second area where teams leverage ABM is in their outbound strategy. To measure ROI here, look at ABM vs non-ABM accounts when it comes to:

  • Increasing Capacity: Automating the processes that drain sales’ time and limit volume to boost sales productivity (Here’s where we pitch ABM orchestration technology. Platforms like Triblio can help you find accounts that fit your ICP, enrich the data with intent signals, clean the list, and prioritize highest-interest accounts and contacts for outreach.)
  • Improving Quality: Building lists and signing off on rules across all relevant parties, using marketing data/insights as well as sales intelligence/relationships
  • Adding More Reminders: Providing air cover for the pipeline accounts to keep your brand top of mind
  • Improving Nurture: Calling better plays and leveraging personalized content

What are you measuring as you work on each of these points, and how is ABM impacting your success?

While cohort analyses aren’t perfect, they can help gauge how well your ABM program is doing on your key objectives. The next blog post in this series walks through “3 Proven Sales Orchestration Plays” that will help you act on the results of our ROI analyses and improve results. 

Want to learn more about measuring your ABM program and gain practical tips on how to improve your ROI? Triblio is an IDG company; Book a meeting with one of our ABM experts today.