Understanding ABM – Account Based Marketing – is one thing, succeeding with it is another one. I wanted to share with you a few guidelines on how to turn your ABM strategy into effective dollars.
Work closely with sales
This is extremely important. You need to develop this initiative together with sales leaders because your success will depend on the good alignment between marketing and sales.
Identify target accounts
Identify with them the list of key accounts and determine specific goals for each of them along with tactics to achieve those goals. Be clear on responsibilities and define who is responsible for what and how you will measure the impact of combined efforts.
Prepare your team
Make sure your team is properly trained on the methodology and knows how to actionate it. ABM is in many ways different than classic marketing and you need to make sure your team understands the goals and challenges and is ready and able to execute efficiently.
Define your ABM activity calendar
ABM is powerful but leading associated activities takes a lot of resources on the marketing side. You need to prepare targeted messaging, supporting assets and build specific Web pages along with dedicated tracking and reporting. Pick up a few strategic key accounts – where you have the largest potential for additional business – and schedule relevant activities in a calendar shared with your sales peer.
Research everyone on the buying committee
Work with sales to understand their key account planning and identify the right people who influence and participate to the buying decision.
Regularly check alignment with sales
Before launching any ABM activity, make sure the goals are still valid and the needs from the sales team haven’t evolved.
Create content to target accounts
Develop compelling, engaging content that speaks to each person on the buying committee and the larger strategic business initiative they share.
Equip your sales team to engage accounts
Hand over to sales all insights, information and guidance about each account, including which content assets to use when. You can also train them on content engagement tools such as Highspot to better track efficiency of those assets in the targeted accounts.
Measure the impact of your account-based marketing
Your reporting dashboards should have been set up upfront, before starting the initiative. A common mistake is to think it won’t take much time to build and can wait until the ABM activity is launched. Discuss the performance with sales and compare the effectiveness across the different target accounts and across the different activities. Success is above all a matter of measuring, correcting and iterating.