How to do ABM Without an ABM Tool- Part III

Written by Lorraine (Poet) Benson, Sr. Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

Welcome to Part 3 of How to Do ABM Without the ABM Tool! In this installment, I will delve into each of the functions, processes, and precedents you need to get listed in Part One. Having the right mix of tools for ABM is important, but the toolkit can only be effective if the person using the tools has enough basic knowledge, practice, and experience to use them properly. Along the same lines, your ABM tool mix is ​​only as effective as the foundational elements of your marketing strategy and operations.

Without further ado, here’s what’s needed to drive larger deal volumes, achieve faster sales cycles, and improve profit rates.

Jobs, processes and precedents you need to have:

Target account alignment between marketing and sales

If marketing targets one set of potential customers while sales focus their efforts on another, how is ABM supposed to operate? In theory, it seems easy to make marketing and sales perfectly aligned with target accounts. But in reality, there are many drawbacks.

The first step to creating a list of target accounts is to identify your ideal customer. With aggregate data and logic from both marketing and sales, as well as a determination to debate respectfully and compromise when necessary, your organization should have no problem developing a target account definition that makes everyone happy.

Ensure stakeholders are on the same page by having as many meetings as it takes to agree on a set of accounts to focus efforts on. This requires a concerted effort from both teams to listen to each other’s reasons behind why certain accounts for ABM have matured, and then walk away from that discussion with a list that everyone can come up with.

Once this initial set of accounts is solidified, discuss the marketing and sales tactics that will be used in each stage of the funnel. For example, Sales have the opportunity to let marketing know that they don’t want marketing to touch a prospect as soon as the prospect and salesperson have spoken on the phone. On the flip side, marketing can let sales know – ideally through automated tracking software – what tactics have been used on potential customers so far.

It is very important to iterate constantly in the list of the target account. So, keep reviewing the list every quarter (or whatever makes sense for your organization) with both marketing and sales in the room. As your teams learn more about their prospects, update the list in a collaborative setting.

Target Account Priority Model

After creating the list of the target account using a set of criteria from the agreed upon ideal customer profile And Input of the sales organization, the real work begins. Account segmentation allows you to isolate the accounts in the target list that have the absolute highest priority from those that still have priority, but less so.

To select high priority accounts, you must organize the list of target accounts by specific characteristics. Every organization is unique, but if you’re not sure how to dig deeper into targeting insanity when you’ve already developed a list of target accounts, I’d suggest starting with one of these characteristics: revenue potential, engagement, or conversion potential.

Account segmentation results in different levels of computation – the simplest model uses 3 levels:

1 = High priority accounts

2 = Medium priority accounts

3 = Low priority accounts

Let’s say you choose to share as your defining characteristic of degree based. The target accounts that show the highest engagement will be Level 1, the next highest Level 2, and your least engaging Level 3.

Depending on the sharing scenario, this could result in existing customers as your Tier 1s, accounts you’ve been targeting for a while now as Tier 2, and accounts you’ve never targeted as Tier 3. The key is to define a range of values ​​- like sharing points Or the minutes – which represent each layer.

And if experience after a quarter of a year shows you that some Level 1 accounts should already be Level 2 and vice versa, you can simply modify your class definitions. This is the beauty of ABM! Its repetitive nature allows you to work with Market rather than on your own, so that no return opportunities are left on the table.

Maximum integration of all tools

This can be challenging for some organizations, and for various reasons – anywhere from disagreement about what tools to buy, to a lack of financial or IT resources to accomplish an integration.

But this resistance and those challenges do not make it any less important to a successful ABM program. If anything, it proves how important it is to fully integrate all platforms.

Integrating your marketing technologies is a key component of ABM because it allows your prospects and clients to have a seamless, comprehensive experience with your business. Marketing needs to see what happens once potential customers have conversations with sales, and sales need to see the contribution of marketing.

The full vision provided by full enterprise integration means:

  • Marketing sees how MQLs/MQAs evolve, so it can constantly improve its processes, definitions, and tactics
  • The sales department understands the work that marketing puts into generating demand, sees the touches their potential customers have previously had with the company, thus letting them know exactly how to adapt their approach to each lead/account

Good data management

Bad data management looks like this:

  • Old and outdated values ​​that make the data irrelevant
  • Incomplete data sets/missing fields, making it difficult to draw a comprehensive picture of an account or person
  • Nonsense entries from potential customers filling out forms via free text name, company, or address fields, making it impossible to collect data at all
  • Lack of data standardization, making it difficult to accurately segment forecasts and effectively automate programs

On the contrary, good data management is the solid foundation your ABM software needs to start off strong. Your accurate, up-to-date, and unified database provides your entire revenue team with an integrated view of your target accounts and their purchasing committee members.

The Account-Based Marketing Consortium has developed a “step-by-step guide” for the data management process; Read it to learn about collecting, analyzing, and appending data in a way that enables your revenue team to take strategic, streamlined action.

This was the third installment in the How to do ABM series without an ABM tool. If you haven’t already, check out Parts 1 and 2. I hope you feel educated about the functions, processes, and precedents that must be in place for ABM to thrive. Which of the functions, processes, and precedents have you already created? What’s next on your to-do list? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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