How to decide if you need an account-based marketing platform
Start here: Understand your marketing process. Know the measure of success. Identify areas needing improvement.
Deciding if your company needs any marketing software application starts by answering a couple of simple questions. Deciding if your company needs an account-based marketing (ABM) platform is no exception. Assess your organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support and financial resources.
These questions will help you determine the answer.
- Have we identified our account-based marketing goals?
Implementing an ABM strategy can provide many benefits to the organization. The first step is determining what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase upsell and cross-sell opportunities? Do you want to expand into a new market, territory, or geography? Will an account-based reduce the average time it takes to close a sale?
- Can sales and marketing agree on the list of target accounts?
Sales and marketing must agree on the accounts to target. They must be on the same page when choosing target accounts and when to add (or remove) them from the ABM program. Marketing’s definition of a high-priority account needs to match sales’ idea of a high-priority account. Key decision-makers must cooperate on target account definition and selection.
- Do we have management buy-in?
Account-based marketing is often championed by executives at the highest level of the organization. If it is not, getting their buy-in is key to success. A mandate from the top of the organization ensures that the ABM initiative will be funded adequately. A comprehensive forecast of return-on-investment and expenses is key to winning executive management support. Ask your chief financial officer for help in preparing any presentation involving spending and RIO. She will be a needed ally during management presentations.
- Are we including all of the costs?
Account-based marketing is a strategy, not just an investment in software. All stakeholders must understand the components of your ABM strategy. Hiring new team members or retraining current staff will be required. Both are expenses that should be included.
Many account-based marketing software vendors offer an array of add-on professional services to help with strategy, onboarding and training.
- Are we prepared to measure and report results?
Agreeing on the definition of success for your account-based marketing program should be done prior to implementation. To maintain support of executive management, reporting must be consistent and understandable. Implementing ABM with new marketing software will be disruptive. Your goals should include some short-term achievements, in addition to the longer-term RIO. Those short-term results will establish credibility for the project.
Account-based marketing: A snapshot
What it is. Account-based marketing, or ABM, is a B2B marketing strategy that aligns sales and marketing efforts to focus on high-value accounts.
This customer acquisition strategy focuses on delivering promotions — advertising, direct mail, content syndication, etc. — to targeted accounts. Individuals who may be involved in the purchase decision are targeted in a variety of ways, in order to soften the earth for the sales organization.
Why it’s hot. Account-based marketing addresses changes in B2B buyer behavior. Buyers now do extensive online research before contacting sales, a trend that has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of marketing’s tasks in an ABM strategy is to make certain its company’s message is reaching potential customers while they are doing their research.
Why we care. Account engagement, win rate, average deal size, and ROI increase after implementing account-based marketing, according to a recent Forrester/SiriusDecisions survey. While B2B marketers benefit from that win rate, ABM vendors are also reaping the benefits as B2B marketers invest in these technologies and apply them to their channels.