Have you made several attempts to bring together account-based marketing (ABM) strategies but like the adventures from the Animaniacs episode of Pinky and the Brain — the ultimate result is utter failure? For a lot of B2B marketers, account-level strategies have been just as large and seemingly unachievable as the goal of two mice repeatedly trying to control the world.
But here’s the good news we have for you: in the last two years, new tools have been developed with the capability to fully handle the rigor and discipline required for account targeting strategies without causing an unmanageable workload for sales and marketing.
This article details the five key components supported by advanced marketing automation solutions, which will enhance and accelerate your creation and implementation of an ABM plan:
- Develop the Sales Bridge
A crucial aspect of creating a successful ABM plan is to create alignment between marketing and sales leadership. Marketing and sales approaches have a conflicted relationship as a result of the fact that it has been difficult to quickly manage and map strategic communication at the account level. The most recent marketing automation solutions for account-based marketing can easily segment accounts with higher granularity and without overburdening the company.
By reducing the effort and time required to work at or near the particular account level, an organization’s marketing strategy can be much more closely linked to territory and region-level sales efforts. In order to deliver satisfactory results, it is necessary for your marketing department to walk the sales leadership through the modern capabilities and brainstorm on the best ways to progress with account-based marketing.
For instance, the organization can organize an introduction to account-based marketing and follow up on it by hosting another meeting to conclude on shared tactics. Ultimately, educate your sales team on the advantages of account-based marketing and communicate it’s importance to them. This will help you to improve buy-in and follow-through on leads generated from your account-based marketing initiatives.
- Define Your Segments
You must target the right audience with the appropriate tactics so as to see remarkable improvements in your campaign outcomes. To achieve this with account-based marketing, it’s important that you define a framework that assists in segmenting your database in such a way that boosts your go-to-market strategy. Accounting-based marketing programs offer value largely via focused messaging and activities to certain segments.
Segmentation dimensions may include:
- Company classification (Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, etc.)
- Organization size
- Annual revenue
- Current spend
- Projected spend
- Products purchased
- Targeted products
- Open opportunities
- Closed opportunities
Take out time to clearly define your audience segments as well as the anticipated message that will resonate with them. Thereafter, you can then share the plan with your team members to ascertain if it can be executed without overcomplicating implementation.
To make life easier, sophisticated marketing automation platforms have triggers and filters that are uniquely designed to consume and act on account-related information. ABM strategies require inclusion/exclusion rules to be applied across contacts that are associated with the account record and therefore must be tied to the latest technology that can process individual and aggregate interactions. Platforms that have pre-programmed these functions will not only make it easier to execute an ABM strategy but will improve the timing and effectiveness of it as well.
- Aligning Your Plays
In addition to the first 2 steps, proceed by reviewing your go-to-market strategy and anticipated audiences with your sales team. This is the period to collaborate with the sales leadership to add both sales and targeted messaging tactics. The stronger the ties between marketing touchpoints and sales activities, the more likely account-based marketing programs will deliver great results.
You can leverage marketing automation workflows, thereby coordinating the timing between customer engagements and sales follow-up. With pre-programmed follow-up, flow-based alerts, tasks, and other steps, the efforts of sales and marketing can be aligned to center on and close the accounts with the highest priorities.
- Empower Marketing and Sales
If you’re unable to deliver measurable results, then your ABM efforts is at the risk of falling apart. This is true for the program level, campaign level, and the territory level as well. Top marketing automation platforms are however able to deliver insights and metrics at all of these stages with little-to-no effort on behalf of the marketing or sales team.
Example reports are named account list summaries, consolidated opportunity history, and account activity scoring. Both marketing and sales can share these results to develop a feedback loop so that a shared and holistic view of the targeted accounts emerges as the centerpiece for advancing your go-to-market tactics.
Having all the above components at your disposal, a complete 360o approach can be executed that includes:
- ABM strategy definition
- Audience-messaging-execution alignment
- Results tracking
- Continuous optimization
However, the ideal account-based marketing execution finds it difficult to take root since each of these aspects is key to a sustainable program. An account-based marketing solution that is native to a marketing automation platform is vital for supporting the complete 360o tactic within a single platform.
- Organize Consistent Planning Sessions with Territory-level Managers
As the final step to creating a successful ABM program, organize frequent review meetings with territory-level managers and sales leadership. You can accomplish this via a bi-weekly or monthly program that uses in-system information to coordinate and review go-forward initiatives.
Wrapping up, it is pertinent to emphasize how ABM programs are enhancing go-to-market strategies as they deliver a coordinated and differentiated experience for targeted accounts. Modern technologies are also aiding execution of ABM strategies in ways that were previously impossible, and determining the best solution is vital to supporting the right account-based marketing approach and having sustainable results that channel efforts on the accounts that matter most, engaging decision-makers from target accounts across channels, and analyzing and optimizing account-based programs.