The DIY-guide to tracking your B2B ABM funnel 🛠

It’s important that you do good link tracking and identification. ✅

Listen to it. Man, it’s boring. Like, seriously boring. Watching paint dry and grass grow, boring. 😴

However to be data driven, to do good B2B attribution and to understand whether your accounts are progressing through the pipeline as you would like them to, it is absolutely vital. 📊

Here’s what you will get in this tracking-geeky post:

  • You will get understand what an identification event is

  • Know the four places across your platforms you must run tracking and identification on

  • Learn how set the tracking and identification code correctly to track your account based funnel

  • Understand how following this guide helps you solve the cross-device challenge

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Bad tracking, hence bad data, is the root cause of most bad decisions, on growth, on business, on most things, really. That so, even more if you run a B2B business. 

You’re, quite frankly, operating blindfolded, if you’re not doing what’s possible to improve your tracking and identification of your potential customers.

Not trusting Google Analytics as a single source of data-truth is a start. Implementing Segment for tracking is a step in the right direction. 

The most common flaw though, and the biggest room for improvement, is being super obsessed with doing identification everywhere possible, where you deal with known accounts.

It’s a standard process for us at Dreamdata.io as we start to onboard our B2B customers. We help close all the holes in their tracking and identification funnel. This makes them generate the data points needed to do proper attribution and enable them to make sense of all their data. 

And it’s part of the technology we use to show lifetime value of B2B ads and measuring ROI of B2B content.

Account lead to revenue time ⏱

The latest thing we are starting to be able to prove is measuring how long it takes from first impression of an account to close/win.

By doing account tracking as well, as we are going to describe below, you become able to build a timeline from when you saw an account on your website the first and track all the way to when the accounts are marked as closed/won by your sales people.

There’s a bunch of valuable learnings to take from this knowledge:

  • Knowing the average account journey gives a benchmark for trying to accelerate the journey. Should you send more mails? Run more ads? Pick up the phone?

  • Are the small deals worth having a physical touch on by an employee or would that make you lose money?

  • Large accounts takes long time. Make sure your account managers keep going at it beyond ie. +100 days, as the data from the two Dreamdata client below suggest.

  • Large accounts takes many users. If you’re only speaking to one person at the large account, you’re probably not close to winning. Who else is a stakeholder in your process?

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For the sake of better data and tracking future, we thought we might as well share this recipe with everybody (ever heard a more geeky sentence?).

Know why B2B attribution is hard?

Before you read on, make sure you are familiar with what’s particularly hard about B2B attribution and understanding the complexity of what goes on when one company purchase a product from another company. 

If you’re not familiar with B2B attribution and customer data, then please read this article before moving on.

What is an identification event?

In a nutshell, identification basically lets you know that: Person X from Y company did Z action. 

Upon identification of an action a small note can be made in your customer data: 

  • What action was taken? 

  • Where was the action taken? 

  • Who did this action? 

  • What company did this action belong to? 

  • What device did this?

  • What IP did this?

  • At what time did this happen?

All these small dots, helps you see the bigger picture.

The small dots combined enables you to understand how your account based funnel is progressing. 

It makes it possible to meaningfully attribute revenue back to each interaction the account had with your company before becoming a customer and revenue in your CRM.

You basically will become able to stitch together a timeline of what happens when one company is looking to purchase a product from your company, despite the torch keeps switching between different stakeholders in the account. 

The four places in your ABM funnel that you need to track and identify on

There’s four overall places where you need to ensure that you always, when possible, attach an identifying code snippet: 

In email links, on web forms, upon logins and from ad platforms. 

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Below you will get a description of what you can do to fix each of the four areas for identification. 

Get these done and you would be surprised how much your tracking improves.

It takes a bit of tech and patience, but we promise it’s going to be worth your data driven time.

Hint: The tracking code we suggest you to use is provided by Segment.com. Here’s a link to the documentation.

From ad platforms:

The first level of tracking to get right is making sure that your traffic arrives on your website with relevant UTM tags. This enables you to understand what platforms, campaigns and ads they come from and eventually drives revenue.

Let’s quickly break down how a UTM look. Here’s an example:

utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ole-podcast

Confusing? Perhaps a bit for the untrained eye. 

Let’s explain:

utm_source=: This explains the source of the traffic ie. Facebook

utm_medium=: This explains what type of link click ie. Paid ad

utm_campaign=: This explains the specific ad ie. ACME paid ad

To really get the full effect of the UTMs you kind of need to go to extremes. You should not run a single ad that do not link to a UTM. 

On web forms

Every single web form you have should be used to the outmost helping you to understand the account flow. 

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The actions you need to take can be split into a metrics of two categories depending on how the users arrive to the webform and what to track upon arrival and after submission of the form.

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Deep link to form

  • On arrival to the form:

    • If you deep link to the webform from somewhere outside your website ie. from a newsletter or in an ad, then you should make sure to set a UTM.

    • You should also consider throwing an event that describes what took place ie. demo requested, free signup, newsletter signup etc. so you know what the exact event is about. 

  • Upon submission of the form:

    • Make sure you link user id with email and attach an event of what was done.

      • This code snippet could look like this: 

        • analytics.identify(, {email: , …. });

        • analytics.track();

Ordinary visit to form: 

  • On arrival to the form:

    • If someone found their way to your webform while browsing your website and decides to fill out your form or sign up to your newsletter, then you already know where this person came from and a UTM can’t be set. 

  • Upon submission of the form:

    • Make sure you link user id with email and attach an event of what was done.

      • This code snippet could look like this: 

        • analytics.identify(, {email: , …. });

        • analytics.track();

Links in emails

We eat our own dog food at Dreamdata.io so when we send newsletters to our customers and leads we obsess about doing superior B2B tracking and attribution. 

As an example check this email newsletter we just sent.

In the email we linked the content to several places on our site. 

One of the links we used looked like this: https://dreamdata.io/blog/b2b-content-roi?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ole-podcast&ajs_uid=*|USERID|*&ajs_event=emailClicked

The tracking-savvy will see the first part reflects a normal usage of UTM parameters:

?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ole-podcast

That’s a good tracking start. 

What is even more critical to follow when you doing B2B and want to follow specific accounts progress in your funnel is the latter part:

&ajs_uid=*|USERID|*&ajs_event=emailClicked

What happens with this is:

ajs_uid: Auto identify by given userid

ajs_event: Auto throw event on link click

Having set this up the clicks in the email generate super useful datapoints for us. 

Here’s an example on a click from Julio Paulillo, a cofounder of Brazils biggest CRM Agendor:

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If Julio ends up becoming a customer of Dreamdata.io (which we are trying to make happen 🙊) we will now be able to attribute value to the newsletter we shipped and our efforts in making it.

You can apply the same line of thinking to your cold outreach process, your newsletter flow and your onboarding emails. 

Do this consistently and it will elevate your understanding of what takes place in your account based funnel.

Upon login:

The login places to your software represents another great opportunity to identify users, log their device, IPs, sort them to accounts etc. 

The code that needs to run upon login is:

    • This code snippet could look like this: 

      • analytics.identify(, {email: , …. });

      • analytics.track();

The user that logs in or is invited to the product might be the one who started the accounts user journey, but did not finish it and you did not know it. 

Now that the user ID, with its history, suddenly is linked to a particular account and you can glue the information together in a new way to see a new a larger picture and go back and correct your B2B attribution model. 

Magic, right? 🔮

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If you get the identification action of all these different accounts done correctly, your attribution model will come alive and constantly get better and more elaborate as time progresses.

Yes, it can be quite trivial to be consistent with the above at every single opportunity and touch point to do the above, but it’s very valuable. 

You might also want to consider this, when you are hiring a person to be in charge of your data. It often takes less creativity and innovation and more consistency and rigidness.

"By not being able to correctly attribute conversions by account, it's very hard to precisely measure LTV/CAC per channel and make precise projections about how you are going to scale your channels. It's almost impossible to nail it, but there're ways to get very close to it"

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Júlio Paulillo, CRO and Cofounder, Agendor:

"B2B attribution is a pain. By not being able to correctly attribute conversions by account you easily lose tracking. That makes being data-driven hard.

It's very hard to precisely measure LTV/CAC per channel and to make precise projections about how you are going to scale your channels. It used to be almost impossible to nail it, but Dreamdata seems like a way to get very close to it"

Now how big a problem is the cross-device challenge for B2Bs with account based funnels in this light?

One of the things we hear digital marketers obsessing the most about these days is the cross-device challenge caused by users being represented by an increasing amount of devices. 

A “modern employee” can easily have a work phone, a work computer, a private phone and a private computer. That’s a fact and just how things are nowadays. 

Not a problem for the common civilisation, you might add. 

However, if you’re Google Analytics and have built your tracking tool for an era where one device, almost defacto was one person, then you’re in a not so nice world to live in. 

This means if you are judging your performance in Google Analytics and the user saw an ad on the phone and later opens a computer and purchases your product, your tracking is lost. 

It’s good, you sold, but you are utterly in a bad place, because your data represents a different story. You can’t act based on the data you have available. You’re left with guessing. Guessing can be ok if you’re playing games, but if you are running a business and want to grow through calculated risk and metrics, you’re in bad waters.

In the simple(r) B2C space Facebook has managed to fix a good part of this cross-device challenge with their people based attribution. It works because people tend to be logged into their Facebook account on most of their devices. 

But the world of digital growth never stops turning. 

Neither does the competition between Apple, Facebook or Google. As Apple have introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) the formerly so successful cookie is starting to get deleted in Safari as fast as down to 24 hours. 

If your customer journey is longer than 24 hours Facebook will not be able to understand the value created by its ads. Ouch. 

Now, we haven’t even begun discussing how the attribution picture looks in B2B. 

B2B marketers eat the B2C marketers attribution problems for breakfast. 

The tracking torch passes multiple times when you deal with a company that’s represented by multiple stakeholders and that breaks the tracking for both Google Analytics and Facebook.

Note: As mentioned earlier there are some prerequisites that you need to get in place before you can do all of the magic mentioned in this post. You can read about them here. But Hey! What would the fun be if it was easy to do?

With these introduction words of context to the subtitle, let’s get back to the case at hand:

How big a problem is the cross-device challenge for B2Bs with account funnels?

Well if you are you are super thorough and do as we have described in this DIY guide, it’s actually not as big you would think. 

If you consider the time and length of the full B2B funnel; 1st visit, MQL, SQL, 1st deal and LTV. 

The cross-device challenge is primarily present in the early steps of your B2B account funnel. 

As you make progress on accounts, you get to know and track more users and more devices and the picture gets clearer. 

Should you get as far as closing the deal as won you should not stop doing attribution or building knowledge on your accounts. 

The post 1st deal time is actually often the moment, where the image gets clearer. It’s now the full picture of the account crystallizes: 

Somebody who signed up with a private email is invited to a company account and can now be linked to that particular company as the business email is now known. 

A USERID that has a device with a lot of research activity logged is also invited to the account and yet more attribution magic can happen.

Makes sense?

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If your business/industry is won by marketing and leads, then the cross-device challenge is very important to focus on.

If your business/industry is won by a strong sales process and hungry sales people, then the cross-device challenge will obviously play a lot smaller role for your business.

Either way, being able to put a better light to what happens through your accounts based funnel will make your marketing and sales teams feel more aligned as well as appreciative of each others action. 

Both teams are most likely mutually depending on each other. Follow this guides recommendation, and the teams will have a lot better chance of seeing this.

Last remarks and reservations 

It’s an important notion that these UTMs, identifys and events do not give you a closed funnel, where you know all the moving parts. 

There’s almost always going to be people and things affecting the decision making that you’re not aware of. 

Instead it gives you an organic set of information that continually gets smarter and more elaborate in its knowledge and width on what’s going on in your account based funnel.

That’s what B2B Attribution is about: 

Building a truthful set of data that represents the actions involved in a transaction where one business is purchasing a product from another business that you trust enough to take action on.

If you work with B2B attribution or want to learn more about please write us or sign up to our newsletter. We’re also eager to help you in case you need to get the identify’s done right.