Effective B2B marketing teams have always scored leads, often with statuses like Marketing Qualified (MQL), Sales Accepted, and BANT. These lead scores traditionally have been the backbone for marketers who need to drive sales pipeline and revenue. Often, a lead score is independent of other information an organization might have about an account, leading to poor prioritization and outreach at the wrong time.
How do marketers balance the need to drive full funnel leads, while factoring in other pieces of data about an account? Account Scores can help.
An Account Score can help indicate the likelihood of an account to purchase, helping marketing teams better focus their resources for outreach. This score combines the activity from all of associated leads with other data sources like Intent Data to show overall interest and engagement associated with that account. An account score can be a great indicator of overall purchase intent, showing position in the buying cycle, and can be a better indicator for outreach than just a lead alone.
Account scores, especially those using Intent Data, can help to to prioritize outreach to potential buyers- allowing marketers to get a better understanding of which leads at the right accounts to engage at the right time.
Why Account Scoring Has Become Prevalent
Traditional lead scoring is starting to lose ground in today’s data-driven, account-based marketing world. Established marketing strategies depend on predetermined factors such as demographic attributes, lead source and estimated budget. While leads driven from these traditional practices might contain behavioral data such as online activity, page views, email engagement and content downloads baked into a score, they cannot not tell the full story about an account.
According to Gartner, on average, six to ten people get involved in B2B solution purchases. If your sales representative talks to a prospect who doesn’t have the decision-making authority inside a vacuum, it might be a waste of time and effort. However, that person might also be part of a Buying Group at the account, and still worthy of attention. Traditional lead scoring might not indicate that.
The rise of the Buying Group highlights the need for a more sophisticated system with Account Scoring and Account journey mapping.
Don’t Self-Limit with Assumption-Based Lead Scoring
Lead scoring isn’t an exact science. Each company and marketing department have different objectives and goals. And, they most likely have different lead scoring and ranking methodologies.
When a lead flows into a Marketing Automation Platform or CRM, sometimes that’s where the data flow stops. Without Account Scoring, marketers might lose an opportunity for appropriate next outreach. That leads to guesswork and assumptions.
This is where an Account Score can help. By combining intent signals, first party data, and multiple lead scores together, B2B Marketers now have a more precise and better indicator of what the status of an account is.
Account-Based Marketing influences a move away from Lead Scoring
With multiple stakeholders now involved in B2B purchase decisions, account-based marketing (ABM) is now a vital part of most organizations’ marketing strategies. Instead of targeting individual leads, ABM focuses on reaching and engaging qualified accounts through appropriate outreach and campaigns.
Account-based marketing benefits:
1 – Robust alignment between sales and marketing teams
2 – Consistent voice and customized messages with the account
3 – Expand and upsell through existing account relationships
That’s probably why 67% of B2B companies use account-based marketing over other traditional marketing strategies for better ROI. For these companies, Lead Scoring alone becomes less effective, and should be just 1 component to the Account Score that ABM marketers care about.
Account Scoring in ABM with Intent Data
Both first-party and third-party intent data should be an integral component to your organization’s Account Scoring method. Your first-party data sends real-time indicators of behavior of active accounts on your website, or any other interactions that might have directly with your brand through any outreach you control. Third-party intent data can indicate account interest across the web, in other places you might not have direct visibility into.
Using this data as the backbone for an Account Score, you can set other scoring attributes such as revenue, size, geography, wallet share , number of employees or industry vertical.
The resulting Account Score can help to better allocate your time and resources towards accounts that have the best possibility of conversion, rather than those who don’t have a genuine interest or intent to buy.
Efficiency and Accuracy with Intent-Based Account Scoring
Now that it’s clear how intent-based account scoring is better than the traditional lead scoring. It’s time to implement the process in your business, streamline sales and marketing activities, and make them more efficient.
Want to learn more about account-based marketing? Continue with these articles:
1 – The Force Behind High-Performing Account-Based Marketing
2 – Quality Contact Data Makes the Difference in Account-Based Marketing