MQA – The All Important Account Milestone (Engagio on Engagio)

The first installment of the Engagio on Engagio blog series talked about how we’re running Engagio’s first Account Based Everything Campaign. In this article, let’s drill down into the MQA, an important milestone in an account’s journey to becoming a customer. For more information on what an MQA is, check out our post: What is a Marketing Qualified Account (MQA)?

If sales does not treat each account or lead the same, why should marketing? Your Account Executives probably prefer to close large enterprises on the Fortune 2000 (all else being equal), so General Electric shouldn’t have the same scoring threshold as the mom and pop bakery shop down the street.

Different Thresholds for Different Account Funnels

At Engagio, we have 3 different account funnels. Funnel 1 has the lowest threshold to be “Marketing Qualified” because it’s the group of accounts we want to be the most proactive with, following up early in the sales cycle. They’re also the most lucrative accounts, as they’re our target accounts. Funnel 3 has the highest threshold. Here’s a closer look at our 3 account funnels.

Engagio's 3 funnelsWe also differentiate between smaller and larger companies because there is simply more people to get engagement minutes at a larger company. So smaller companies get a lower threshold because the buying centers are simply smaller.

Here’s how our engagement minutes are set up internally:

Engagi's Marketing Qualified Accounts

So if you’re keeping tabs, the following would be examples of activities that together constitute a MQA for each Funnel class.

  • Funnel 1 (target accounts): We host an executive dinner for the VP Marketing and she shows up
  • Funnel 2 (in-profile accounts): The Director of Sales Development watches an Engagio whitepaper, and the Demand Generation Manager downloads our Clear and Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing
  • Funnel 3 (other): The VP of Sales reads the C&C to Account Based Sales Development, the Marketing Ops Director watches an Engagio webinar, the Sales Ops Manager visits our booth at Dreamforce, and the marketing analyst visits 5 pages on our website over 1 month.

Involve Sales Early and Often

Everyone in sales and marketing needs to understand the importance of the MQA. In fact, you might argue that getting the MQA right is more important than actually doing marketing programs well. If there’s no action taken on good interactions inside good accounts, then it’ll all be for nothing.

The only way to get sales bought into the MQA system is to get them into a room and ask for their help in weighting the engagement minutes for each activity or campaign. Have one leader or a small group of people represent the sales development function if you have a large organization.

Some of the questions to ask them:

  • How many minutes should a tradeshow booth visit get?
  • What about a dinner that we sponsor and present at for 5 minutes?
  • Should we give multipliers to VPs vs. Managers?
  • Are there actions that should automatically make an account an MQA such as demo requests, other hand raises, etc.?

At our weekly Marketing <> Account Development Rep (ADR) meeting, we continually discuss this threshold and talk about if any adjustments need to be made. We also look at upcoming events and together figure out how many minutes each type of interaction gets. Just like with traditional lead scoring, good MQA definitions require constant tuning; some even adjust the thresholds based on ADR seasonal bandwidth.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) & MQAs

Once an account is MQA, there needs to be a mutual understanding about what needs to occur afterwards.

We have ours internally hooked up to an Engagio PlayMaker play. Once an Account hits MQA, a play is automatically triggered to the Account Development Rep assigned to that account and the ADR needs to personalize it and start the response within 24 hours if they’re a Funnel 1 Target Account (48 hours if they’re in Funnel 2 or 3). If the play is not started in time, this sets off a series of escalating alerts starting with the ADR’s manager escalating all the way up the chain of command to the CEO if no action after 72 hours.

Conclusion

“When you know that the buying journey involves multiple people at target accounts, the concept of MQLs becomes diluted. The Marketing Qualified Account (MQA) accounts for multiple stakeholders at an account & promotes the team selling model into key accounts.” — Hussam Almukhtar, Marketing Ops, Grand Rounds

Every org is different. The biggest takeaway is to work with sales on setting the right MQA threshold and establishing clear expectations upon what happens when an account is Marketing Qualified. The MQA is an important milestone that your entire revenue org should rally around and prioritize, so work together to make it happen.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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