Sales and Marketing Alignment with Account Based Scoring

Rekener's account based analytics aligns sales and marketing teams with account based scoring.

Sales and marketing alignment is crucial in the era of account based everything.  If your marketing team is investing in account based marketing initiatives but your sales team isn't taking advantage of it, then better alignment can be a big win.

TOPO defines account based everything as "the coordination of personalized marketing, sales development, sales and customer success efforts to drive engagement and conversion at a targeted set of accounts."

The starting point is to target accounts that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP).  Typically, these are accounts that have the potential to have a large customer lifetime value (LTV).  The ICP analysis will identify accounts that are in strong segments.  It will also identify target personas.  

That's when the real work begins.  Aligning the sales and marketing teams on the target accounts and personas is a beautiful thing, in theory.  But making it work in practice is a big challenge for B2B teams.

In this post, we'll show you how to use account based scoring to achieve sales and marketing alignment.  Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Sales and marketing alignment with account based scoring
  2. How to build Sales Activity Scores
  3. How to build Marketing Scores
  4. How to test alignment at the persona level

Sales and Marketing Alignment with Account Based Scoring

Account based scoring assigns a score to activities that touch an account.  You can create activity scores for any team that touches your accounts, including sales, marketing, customer success and support. 

There are three basic steps to creating an account based score.

  1. Identify the key activities that touch your accounts.  Organize your activities by sales, marketing, customer success and support.
  2. Assign values to each of the activities.  Typically, higher values are assigned to activities that correlate strongly with bookings.
  3. Create metrics that measure each of your activities and a formula for calculating the overall activity score.

You can measure sales and marketing alignment by visualizing sales activity scores next to marketing scores.  Marketing and sales should both have a high activity scores for target accounts. 

In Rekener's Account Based Analytics application, it's very easy to see accounts where marketing and sales are aligned.  It's also easy to see when things go out of alignment.  When you know what isn't working, then you can take action to get the team aligned.

The following screenshot shows how Rekener can be used to continuously assess the alignment of your sales and marketing activities.  In this example, there are a couple of accounts that have high Marketing Scores but zero for a Sales Activity Score.  When a sales manager sees this, she can steer her account executives to focus more activity on those accounts.

Account based scoring aligns sales and marketing teams by measuring sales and marketing activities at the account level.

How to Build Sales Activity Scores

Sales Activity Score is a calculated metric.  First, you need to identify the sales activities that touch your accounts.  This can vary from business to business, but most B2B sales teams include metrics similar to this list.

  • Emails 
  • Calls 
  • Connects 
  • Meaningful Conversations - often based on connects with a duration of a few minutes or more
  • Demos or Meetings Scheduled
  • Demos or Meetings Confirmed
  • Demos or Meetings Completed
  • Proposals sent
  • Post-close follow up email
  • Post-close follow up calls
  • Post-close follow up meetings

If you are setting up a Sales Activity Score for the first time, try starting with this list and then adjust it to suit your business.

The next step is to assign scores to the different activities.  Typically, meaningful conversations, demos and meetings will have the highest scores.  These activities are dependent on the participation of customers.

You can do a correlation analysis to assess the correlation of each activity to bookings, or you can base the values based on the milestones that are most important for your sales process.  It is not necessary to figure out perfect scores per activity because you can always adjust the values as you gain experience with your sales process.

How to Build Marketing Scores

A Marketing Score is also a calculated metric.  Like Sales Activity Score, you start by identifying the activities that should go into the calculation.  You want to include activities that show customer interest. 

For example, counting the number of times you send a marketing email to a customer isn't valuable.  But counting the number of emails that are clicked or opened shows possible interest by the prospect.

You can also break the activities into top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel from a marketing perspective.  For instance, pageviews on your blog would likely be top of funnel activity, and get a small number of points.  Reading an ungated case study or whitepaper is in the middle of the funnel.  Requesting a demo or submitting contact information to get an in-depth case study is toward the bottom of the funnel and should score many points.

Here is a list of typical metrics that you can include in your Marketing Score.

  • Email opens
  • Email clicks
  • Blog visits
  • Website visits
  • Signing up for webinars
  • Attending webinars
  • Attending a company sponsored event
  • Visiting a company booth at a conference/trade show
  • Completing a demo form
  • Subscribing to a blog or newsletter
  • Watching a video
  • Downloading a whitepaper

This list of metrics can be customized to reflect your process.  Once you have your list, you need to assign values to each of the metrics.  You can do a correlation analysis to figure out which metrics should have a higher score.  Or you can start by assigning higher values to activities that are lower in the funnel.

As with your Sales Activity Score, perfection shouldn't be the goal.  The important thing is to get started and iterate from there.

Test Alignment at the Persona Level

Account Based Scoring can be extremely powerful at the persona level.  

The goal is to figure out if your sales and marketing activities are coordinated with the right leads and contacts in your target accounts.  

To do this, you need to roll up the Sales Activity Score and Marketing Score metrics to the lead and contact level.  This is challenging if not impossible to do without automation.  

The value to sales and marketing leaders is enormous.  They can see if their teams are collaborating on the targets who will have an impact on the buying decision. 

It also prevents false positives.  The sales and marketing scores might be aligned at the account level, but drilling into leads and contacts will show if sales and marketing are collaborating on the right people.

Rekener automates Sales Activity Scores and Marketing Scores at the lead and contact level.  The following screen shot reveals that the sales activities are not aligned with the contacts who are responding to the marketing activities.  Sales managers can use this information to focus the sales team on the contacts with high Marketing Scores.

Rekener calculates sales activity scores and marketing scores down to the lead and account level to drive sales and marketing alignment.

Using Rekener Account Based Analytics to Achieve Alignment

Rekener automates the calculation of complex metrics like Sales Activity Score and Marketing Score.  From there, Rekener's Account Based Analytics application can be used to show alignment at the account level.  Rekener can also roll up the scores to the lead and contact level in order to figure out if there is alignment on the target personas.

Sales and marketing alignment is critical to success with account based programs.  Success requires alignment of the entire organization on the right personas at target accounts that will drive lifetime value for your business.

Here's a screen shot that shows how Account Based Analytics can show trends over time for both results as well as Account Based Scores.  This can be done at the account level, for groups of accounts (such as territories), and for the entire company.

Rekener shows how Marketing Scores change over time, and the impact on sales results.

Learn More:

Rekener's Account Based Analytics app gives you a single pane of glass to see which accounts to target and how your account based strategy is working.  Rekener helps world-class businesses align their sales and marketing teams with account based scoring.

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Alex Laats

Alex is CEO and Founder of Rekener. Previously, he served as President and COO at ZeroTurnaround and as President of the Delta Division of BBN Technologies. At ZeroTurnaround, he grew high velocity inside sales by 6x in 3 years. At BBN, Alex co-founded RAMP and AVOKE, both recurring SaaS businesses based on BBN's world class speech recognition and natural language processing tech. Alex started his entrepreneurial career as founder and COO of NBX Corporation, which led the transformation of business telephone systems to Voice over IP. Alex’s companies have generated $500M in liquidity events and more than $1B in sales.

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