Account-based strategies have been a hot topic for a few years now, but getting it right is still not a science. With the opportunity to test ABM at multiple companies, I’ve found that no matter your goals, there are a few key ingredients that you need to drive success through ABM and I’m happy to share the secret recipe with you.
The right ingredients, in the right proportions
After much experimentation to get the proportions just right, I have found that the winning recipe for ABM looks like this:
- 1 cup Clean Data
- 2 tablespoons Content
- 2 tablespoons Marketing & Sales Alignment
- 1 teaspoon Personalization
- ¼ teaspoon Tactics
Whether you’re building a program from scratch or looking to optimize your existing marketing strategy based on ABM insights, Clean Data plays a key role for any organization. It not only impacts your ability to target the right organizations and individuals, but as you build out content, train your ABM team and figure out the tactics required, you’ll need data to understand both what works well for your company and how you keep the customer at the center of the program.
Selecting premium ingredients for your ABM program
As marketers and sales professionals, we oftentimes think of data in terms of the most basic criteria – name, email and phone. Yet as you build out your ABM programs, you’ll find you need more than basic contact details to target the right individuals and personalize the program effectively. Certain vendors will help you determine what fields are most important to your strategy and can even evaluate your current CRM or marketing automation system list so you can answer these key questions:
- How many contacts meet my ABM personas? (TAM)
- How am I able to target accounts? By industry, revenue segment or department?
- What tactics make the most sense for these contacts?
- Can I target contacts via social, direct mail, email or phone?
Aligning marketing and sales to get ABM ready
As you evaluate your existing database, you’re also able to determine any gaps that are impacting both marketing and sales—gaps that data enrichment can fill. What data is marketing missing that could help marketing determine the ideal customer profile (ICP)? What does sales need to build a premium account-based strategy on their end? Here is a sample of the types of fields that may be important for sales and marketing:
|Direct dial phones||Role in the org||Key skills|
|Time in role||Department||Demographic score|
|Related profiles||Social profiles||Company size|
It’s important to note that one marketer or one sales rep can’t run an ABM program. At the center of this recipe is sales and marketing alignment, so make sure that you prioritize data quality and tactics that are important to all members of the unified team.
Conducting a taste test
As with all marketing and sales programs, you don’t know how you’ve performed without defining your goals and metrics. Similar to other programs, ABM should have a revenue or sales target attached to it. Yet, given the longevity of the program and the differences between an account-based program and a standard marketing/sales campaign, it’s important to also set some strategic milestones and benchmarks as you taste test your initial ABM programs.
Developing these building blocks will be essential to optimizing your program over time and seeing what works best for your organization.
ABM success starts with clean data
There are many other factors that contribute to running a successful ABM program, but prioritizing data for both sales and marketing is essential to establishing your ABM framework and launching your initial pilot programs.
Recently, I presented a webinar alongside Nancy Nardin and Rob Weedn where we discussed the importance of data in this approach. Watch the on-demand webinar now and learn more about the importance of data as you cook up the perfect ABM strategy.
About the author: Tabitha Adams is a demand generation and marketing operations expert with 10+ years experience helping companies develop end-to-end strategies that encompass customer experience, campaign strategy and the supporting marketing operations processes + stack. She earned an MBA from UC Irvine and serves on the Board of The Growth Ops community. Follow Tabitha on Twitter @tneather.