Picture this: You're standing in a room full of potential customers, but you only have the resources to engage a few. How do you decide who to approach? You identify those with the highest conversion and revenue potential for your business.
That’s account scoring.
Account scoring, a part of account-based marketing, helps you rank potential customers from the most to the least valuable. It's like a compass that helps you navigate the complex world of B2B sales and marketing, guiding you to accounts with the highest potential.
Businesses that use lead and account scoring models, see a 77% boost in lead generation ROI compared to those that do not.
In this article, we'll delve deep into account scoring, help you understand its importance, how it differs from lead scoring, and how to do it right.
Account scoring is a process of ranking potential customer accounts based on their estimated value. This value is determined by the account's proximity to the ideal customer profile (ICP) — which represents the perfect-fit persona for a company's product or service.
Account scoring is not just a fancy term in ABM—it guides you toward the most promising opportunities.
But why is account scoring so integral to ABM?
Well, ABM focuses marketing efforts on a select few high-value accounts. And to identify these accounts, you need a reliable scoring system.
Account scoring helps you sift through a sea of potential customers and zero in on those that are most likely to convert and bring the highest value.
In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into the intricacies of account scoring, including how to nail your ICP for effective scoring, the difference between account scoring and lead scoring, and a step-by-step guide to the account scoring process. So, stay tuned and get ready to become an account-scoring pro!
The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) serves as a blueprint for sales targeting. It represents the type of customer who derives the most value from your product or service, making them highly likely to convert and bring the highest value.
Scoring accounts without a well-defined ICP is like trying to hit a target with your eyes closed
Your ICP is a detailed description of who uses and buys your product, and who needs your product, dialed in by firmographic data (company size, geography, revenue, industry).
Here are some key reasons and benefits of nailing the ICP for effective account scoring:
To put this in perspective, suppose you're a B2B SaaS company offering project management software. Your ICP could be mid-sized tech companies with a remote workforce. If you focus your marketing and sales efforts on these companies, you're likely to see a higher conversion rate than if you were targeting small brick-and-mortar retailers.
Account scoring and lead scoring are both used to prioritize potential customers but there’s a slight difference in the approach for both.
Lead scoring is used to rank individual leads based on their perceived value to the company. This value is typically determined by a lead's behavior, such as their interactions with your website or email campaigns, and demographic information. The goal of lead scoring is to identify the leads that are most likely to convert into customers.
Account scoring takes a more holistic approach. Instead of focusing on individual leads, it considers the potential value of entire organizations. This value is determined by various factors, including the organization's size, industry, and fit with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). A powerful analytics tool like Factors can help you de-anonymize website traffic at an account-level.
Here's a quick comparison:
Let’s now dive into the process of scoring accounts for your business.
Account scoring is not a one-size-fits-all process. It varies based on your business model, target audience, and the tools you use. But, there are some common steps that most businesses follow when scoring accounts.
Your ICP is a description of the company that's a perfect fit for your product or service. This could include factors like industry, company size, and revenue. For example, your ICP might be a mid-sized tech company in the SaaS industry with a revenue of over $5 million.
To define your ICP, you need to:
Segment your target audience based on their motivations, frustrations, and needs. Identify their goals and assess where their needs/motivations and the benefits of your product/service intersect.
Key account attributes are the characteristics that make an account valuable to your business. They could include factors like the account's potential to purchase, its lifetime value, or its strategic importance to your business.
For instance, a key attribute might be a company's use of a competitor's product, indicating a potential to switch to your product.
The key attributes of an account can be identified by understanding your customer's journey and touchpoints in your funnel. Ask questions like:
These will help you add more detail and personality to your ICP.
Once you have a well-defined ICP, it’s time to move to data collection. This is where a tool like Factors can come in handy.
Factors unifies data across marketing, sales, and social media platforms under one roof, allowing you to collect holistic data on your accounts.
This could include your CRM data, third-party data (social, advertisements, website), and intent data from platforms like G2 and LinkedIn.
When it all comes together, you see a clear picture of how accounts that closely resemble your ICP behave across platforms and what type of messaging resonates with them.
To improve further, keep track of your ICP accounts and the conversion rates. You need to determine what are the common attributes of your highest converting accounts.
Based on the data you collected and the attributes you identify as high-value, begin assigning an importance score.
If mid-size companies convert better for you, the company size attribute should be given a high score. Assign the scores for each of your ICP’s attributes between 1-10 or 1-100 as preferred. Then, when the total score for an attribute goes beyond a set threshold, the account can be considered sales-ready.
Let’s consider an example:
Let’s assume you identify that mid-size companies with $5+ million in revenue convert best for you, after their 5th interaction with your content.
The important attributes here are company size, revenue, and engagements.
Based on this, here’s how we can score the attributes on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest importance:
Now, if another one of your accounts has an annual revenue of $7 million, is small-to-midsize, and has interacted with more than 5 of your content pieces, the score will be 25.
This means that account meets all the criteria. In fact, since the account exceeds the $5 million revenue mark, you can assign a higher score to it.
For simplicity, we’ll set the sales-ready threshold to 25.
Whenever an account reaches this score, your sales team can be automatically notified to reach out and make contact.
Once you've scored your accounts, you can prioritize them based on their scores. Accounts with higher scores are more likely to convert and should be given priority for outreach or ABM targeting.
Factors offers AI-fueled insights that can help you prioritize accounts by understanding what interactions they’ve had with your website and across different platforms. It can help you visualize the user timeline giving you a view of how a specific account has interacted with your content since the first touchpoint.
Remember, this is a basic process of account scoring. But it isn’t the whole picture. Account scoring needs to be customized according to your sales cycle, ICP, and approach.
Account scoring requires constant evaluation and refinement to ensure that it remains effective. Here are some additional questions you should ask to make your account scoring more effective:
What is the potential revenue from this account?
If an account can bring in more revenue due to its size, assign a higher score. These will offer higher ROI for the same amount of marketing and sales effort.
For instance, an enterprise account requesting a custom plan might have a higher potential deal size than a small business account.
How engaged is this account with our brand?
Engagement is a strong indicator of an account's interest in your product or service.
Accounts that visit your website frequently or engage with your emails can be assigned higher scores. You should also determine the type of engagement before assigning higher scores.
What is the account's purchase intent?
Purchase intent is essentially little signals that tell if a visitor is interested in your products or services or not.
For instance, if a visitor goes and downloads one of your industry-focused resources like a trends report, or an ebook, they show higher purchase intent than someone who only reads your blog content.
How well does this account fit into our long-term strategic plans?
An account's fit with your strategic plans can also influence its score.
Suppose you plan to target the martech industry—an account from that industry should receive a higher score than an equally qualified account from another industry.
That’s because it aligns with your long-term strategic plans and represents a potential growth opportunity.
What is the level of competition for this account?
With ABM and account scoring, you’re prioritizing accounts that show the highest potential for conversions and ROI with lower effort.
If you’re going after an account that’s already targeted by your competitors, it might be more challenging to win. In such a case, you need to decide if it is worth pursuing the account or does it make more sense to prioritize another one with lower competition.
Account scoring is not just a tool, it's a game-changer. It's the secret sauce that guides your ABM efforts toward the accounts that are likely to convert and can bring in significant revenue.
It demands precision, understanding, and constant refinement — all of which may seem time-consuming. But when done right, account scoring can make your marketing more targeted, efficient, and ultimately, successful.
What if there was an easy way? What if a tool could help you identify accounts with ease and give you a holistic view of your audience — across all platforms?
Factors helps you discover anonymous companies visiting your website and brings together data from social media, website analytics, G2, and advertising platforms giving you all the information on a single convenient dashboard.
So, as you venture into account scoring, remember this: account scoring is more than assigning numbers; it's about understanding value.
And with Factors, you're always one step ahead in this game. Get ready to use this secret sauce for your ABM campaigns. Because with Factors, the game is always in your favor.
Get the latest best practices in Marketing Analytics
delivered to your inbox. You don't want to miss this!!