A Brief Introduction to Account Scoring

A Brief Introduction to Account Scoring

A Brief Introduction to Account Scoring

Do you have enough insight into your best-fit accounts?

As your revenue teams shift toward account-based marketing and sales, you need to be able to prioritize accounts at scale. This requires a system that accurately scores accounts, automatically.

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account-based marketing is highly personalized, holistic marketing, focused on a company rather than a lead. The aim of ABM is essentially two-fold:

  1. To focus on the account, rather than the lead. Employees come and go, and an average of seven people are part of a buying process; your sales qualification process of any individual should start by ensuring that their company is a good fit.

  2. To hook a high lifetime value account - one that won't disappear if a contact leaves the company - rather than casting a wide net and hoping for the best. The anti "spray and pray" method.

Determining the best-fit companies to target for ABM will deliver a higher ROI on marketing and sales spend by driving larger deals that require less time to close. To determine an accurate account score, you must first really understand what makes a good account - ask, "what are the characteristics of my best customers?" The path to finding these companies starts with finding your ICP.

What is an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is  the set of traits that indicate a prospect's likelihood to buy, based on existing customers' traits.

There are two approaches for determining an ICP: the data-driven way (getting previous customer information from CRM) and the qualitative way (conducting sales interviews). There is a ton of value in dissecting the data set, but nothing can replace the intuition and actual experience that sales reps bring to the table. Leveraging both is key to getting a complete picture of your best accounts.

Use granular data to truly understand what makes a good company for you! Account-level data that should be factored into an ICP analysis include:

  • Firmographics - e.g. company size, location, revenue

  • Signals - e.g. reported user growth, new office openings, new funding rounds, key hires

  • Technographics - e.g. Salesforce, Magento, Google Analytics, Office 365 Mail, Hadoop

These are determined by extracting commonalities among current or previous high-value accounts.

Running a check for ICP attributes over your current CRM can help you determine best-fit accounts - but only if the data is accurate and complete. Bad data yields inexact results. Learn how to clean your CRM database like a pro before comparing ICP attributes with your CRM data. You can perform basic to complex attribute comparisons with CRM data by using VLOOKUP in Excel.

This technique is used extensively, exemplified by an audience comment in a Meetup we chaired - "I do, but I do it in Excel. I look at past data, draw conclusions, and create my own model [pause] based off of bad data."

How does account scoring work?

Account scoring prioritizes accounts, to see where to concentrate your sales and marketing time/effort, automatically. It also requires the ability to customize to the same degree that you would be able to in Excel.

Ultimately, you want to fit your accounts to a model such as this:

  • Tier 1 Accounts: Perfect ICP fit, highest lifetime value (< 100 accounts, requires completely tailored marketing)

  • Tier 2 Ac counts: Strong ICP fit, medium lifetime value (< 1000 accounts, requires tailored marketing)

  • Tier 3 Accounts: Medium ICP fit, lower lifetime value (1000+ accounts, requires simple personalized marketing)

Account scoring starts with giving an account a score based on how well it fits your ICP. Each tier will have a score level that an account must exceed to qualify.

Not all data points are made equal

But not all firmographics, technographics, and signals are equal. Data points need weighting, too.

For instance, let's assume we are selling a per-user B2B product and have the following accounts surfaced from our CRM data matching activity:

  • Account #1: almost perfect ICP, 5000+ employees

  • Account #2: almost perfect ICP, <10 employees

You can see we need to classify Account #1 as a Tier 1 prospect and Account #3 as a Tier 3. We will need an account scoring solution that is able to weigh Employee Count more heavily than other technographics. This is possible, but can be complex to build internally.

Datafox account scoring lets you choose important firmographics, technographics, and signals and weigh them according to your insider sales knowledge.

Looking to implement your account-based strategy in the near future? Learn more about how to do account scoring with Datafox.