There is no shortage of companies out there willing to tell you why ABM is important (and it is) or explain to you how they can help you with one facet of your ABM program, but we’ve found the biggest struggles sales and marketing teams face come with just getting started.
While sales teams have been doing some form of account-based selling for years, and while digital marketers know the importance of deeply targeted campaigns, there is much confusion over how account-based programs work across an organization and what needs to be done to ensure they are successful.
In a recent webinar with Terminus, Marketo, and Heinz Marketing, we discussed four things that need to be done before you can really start any account-based marketing program:
- Assign roles- Because ABM is a team sport, you need to know who is quarterbacking what.
- Align around data – A much overlooked, but extremely key element of any account-based program is the data. And it’s key throughout the process, not just when selecting accounts.
- Build your ABM stack and connect it to your current infrastructure – Aligning on roles and data does no good if that data lives in disparate systems. Connecting your infrastructure and building the right ABM stack is key.
- Make sure your teams have the right mindset for an account-based program and make a shift in both strategy and technology.
We circled back with these experts and pulled a few words of advice from each (including my own advice) on how to start and scale your ABM programs. If you’d like to hear more, you can watch the complete webinar on demand.
Sangram Vajre – CMO, Terminus:
- The goal of ABM is to generate revenue and your sales and marketing teams have to be aligned around that goal.
- Three Tips to Smarketing (Sales/Marketing) Alignment: Warming up new accounts, creating pipeline velocity for opportunity accounts, nurturing customer accounts
- A sample “Smarketing Team”
Steve Pogorzelski – CEO, Avention:
- An effective ABM process does not start with engagement. Execution without proper account selection wastes effort. Engagement without sales and marketing alignment wastes opportunity.
- Align your Sales and Marketing teams around both processes AND data.
Charm Bianchini – Sr. Director Enterprise Marketing, Marketo:
- The MarTech landscape is expanding and has gone from ~150 providers in 2011 to over 2500 in 2016! This creates both an opportunity and a challenge for marketers trying to build their ABM tech stacks.
- You need a single, unified platform at the core that provides all essential components for ABM (manage accounts, personalize engagement, and measure). Marketing automation is great for this.
Matt Heinz- President, Heinz Marketing:
- An outstanding account-based marketer has revenue responsibility.
- Buildings don’t write checks, people do, but you want the company logo on your wall. So we need to target the right people within the organization and target the accounts that matter.
- Technology is an enabler; it’s not your strategy. Your comfort level with technology is really going to make or break your ability to do successful account-based marketing.
With over 84% of companies in a recent ITSMA survey saying that Account-Based Marketing delivers a higher ROI than other marketing programs, it’s an approach you can’t afford to ignore. As we enter the last quarter of the year, it’s the perfect time to incorporate ABM into your 2017 plans. Feel free to ask a question in the comments, tweet to @AventionInc, or watch the complete webinar with our expert panel on demand.
As a bonus, we are hosting another webinar with guest speaker Laura Ramos from Forrester research on the topic of turning ABM into a revenue reality and would love to see you there.
Today’s post is by guest author Steve Pogorzelski, CEO of Avention. OneSource Solutions by Avention help companies get a more comprehensive understanding of their customers, prospects, and market opportunities – helping them turn this data into real business opportunity.