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At least twice a week, marketers ask me how to best measure the performance of their company's account-based marketing (ABM) program.

It's the type of thoughtful question I'd expect from savvy marketers. After all, ITSMA research has shown that 85% of marketers measuring ROI are reporting ABM as delivering higher returns than any other approach. So, let the benchmarking commence, right?

Although I'd like to immediately give those colleagues a cut-and-dry answer, I instead often find myself digging a bit deeper. The truth is, before you can even start to effectively measure the success of your ABM efforts, you've got to first erect four strategic pillars:

  1. Identifying your target accounts
  2. Prioritizing your audience and resources for a particular campaign based on a tiered system
  3. Gaining agreement between Sales and Marketing on trigger events
  4. Tracking and optimizing results across a shared scorecard

All four are all critical, foundational components that must be in place before you crunch the numbers.

Not sure your marketing function has set itself up for future ABM analytics wins? Take these four steps to help you get your ducks in a row.

Step 1: Identify target accounts

The practice of ABM revolves around engaging and converting best-fit accounts that would provide the highest ROI for your business. Therefore, it makes sense that a key step in building a winning ABM program is deciding what kind of companies to target.

To do that, you'll want to create an ideal customer profile (ICP), defining the type of company that is a great fit for your product or service.

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image of Sangram Vajre

Sangram Vajre is a co-founder of Terminus and the author of two books on marketing. His latest is Amazon best-seller ABM Is B2B. He is the founder of the FlipMyFunnel community, where B2B marketing and sales innovators foster the account-based mindset and learn from each other.

LinkedIn: Sangram Vajre

Twitter: @sangramvajre