The Undeniable Impact of Account Tiering on ROI

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December 13, 2023

3 mins read

Account Tiering ROI Cookbook

The Undeniable Impact of Account Tiering on ROI

Account tiering: The secret to faster ROI … with limited resources

Account tiering, categorizing accounts based on their projected value and aligning them with tailored sales engagement strategies, isn’t just a nice-to-have tactic; it’s an operational imperative in today’s B2B sales world. 

When done correctly, account tiering places a disproportionate amount of time, budget, and resources towards the “highest value” accounts.

Unfair to the “lesser” accounts? Sure. But sales is not about being equitable; it’s about working smarter and more efficiently. Low lift; high impact.

Too many organizations fall into the trap of measuring and engaging all accounts the exact same way. #AllAccountsTreatedEqually.


As companies evolve from pure demand gen/MQL-focused activities … to ABM … to ABX (what’s the difference?), it’s imperative we match what we do for each account to what we know and the expected value of each account. Again, working smarter.

Top-performing organizations aren’t smashing all accounts together, treating them all as the same. It’s time to break out target accounts into tiers, as follows: 

  • Tier 1(A): turn the burner up; most valuable
  • Tier 2(B): medium to medium-low; less valuable
  • Tier 3 (C): simmer time; least valuable

Matching entitlements (what we do as sellers and marketers) to account tiers ensures we focus our limited resources on the accounts with the highest potential … aka, “do more with less!”

Why account tiering is an ROI driver in ABM

More efficient resource allocation. 

More strategic sales approaches.

That’s really the main reason account tiering is essential. 

Why? Both approaches lead to higher ROI. And that’s why we’re all here in salesland, right?

Some examples: 

Resource optimization: Account tiering ensures resources are not spread too thinly over your most important accounts and not over-spent on accounts less likely to yield high returns. Time/effort/budget is more aligned with that potential return.

Net result: Higher ROI

Higher customer satisfaction (and retention): More attention and customized service for your highest value accounts tend to lead to happy customers … and customers who are less likely to churn.

Net result: Higher ROI

Data-driven decision-making: Account tiering is not a one-time exercise. It requires ongoing refinement and tweaks driven by data. Sales teams must recalibrate their efforts in real-time. 

Net result: Higher ROI

Scalability and growth: Ideally, the number (and value) of accounts grow as your business grows. Account tiering is a scalable strategy that can grow with your company, ensuring that even as the account list expands, the focus remains on tier-resource alignment.

Net result: Higher ROI

Try out this 7-step, Tier 1 account advertising campaign pilot

  1. Find a target account list from an active advertising campaign (preferably an always-on campaign, but you can use any campaign available).
  2. Identify a subset of accounts deemed the most important to sales and the overall organization.
  3. Validate this is the “best” subset by aligning with sales reps on their top accounts and/or using company-wide priority initiatives (e.g., “In 2023, we are focusing on XYZ industry/geo/solution”).
  4. Clone the advertising campaign with the more all-encompassing account list. Drop in the new subset list — the one with the more highly prioritized accounts. Keep all other aspects and deliverables of the campaign exactly the same.
  5. Set a budget for this new campaign at a higher spend per account. Note: The overall cost should not be significantly higher as this subset account list is smaller.
  6. Update the all-encompassing account list to exclude the subset of prioritized accounts.
  7. Compare engagement and lift for the two campaigns over time. Any increase from the smaller set can be attributed to incremental spend.


Lift by Account Tier image

Lift by Account Tier for several anonymized Demandbase customers

"These results resonate with sales teams that are not yet tiering or are not as deliberate about it. By showing the reps the increased impact to the prioritized accounts, this drives the account tiering effort overall, not to mention all the other exponential benefits of sales and marketing aligning on which accounts are most critical."
John Eitel Headshot
John Eitel Executive Sales Leader

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