It’s well known that 87% of B2B marketers agree that ABM delivers a higher ROI than any other method (ITSMA). The next question everyone asks is, “where should I start?” ABM for beginners is a complex strategy, and newcomers can quickly become intimidated by the time and effort it takes to run. The truth is, even a company with 10 employees can successfully execute an ABM strategy. All it takes is knowing how to start correctly with a solid foundation. Businesses just don’t start ABM with 200 accounts on day one; they start out with a few accounts, show ROI and success, correct themselves, and continue to scale. ABM for beginners starts with building the right team.
1. Form the Team
An ABM strategy is only as great as the team that develops it. It’s pivotal that ABM teams are built correctly with the right people. They will be responsible for defining the goals and KPIs, developing the strategy, and executing to produce results. There is no magic number for the right team as it varies based on the company’s size. Recommended team members include the heads of Sales and Marketing, including those involved with content strategy, technology management, and media managers. Once the team is assembled, it’s time to decide on who your customers will be with your ABM strategy.
2. Identify Target Accounts
With hundreds and even thousands of accounts on file, is there a trick to pinpointing the ones that would provide the highest chance of ROI? There is, creating your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). An ICP is a description of a company that is the perfect fit for your solution. Criteria can include industry, budget, employee headcount, the technology they use, etc. Based on how many criteria a company meets, they should be segmented or tiered. Those that meet more criteria of the ICP should produce the most ROI, so they should be tiered higher and given more attention and resources. For example, if your solution is perfect for a company in the manufacturing industry with a budget of $30k, has 400 employees whom all use Gmail, that would be a Tier 1 client. If an account comes in that meets only one out of eight potential criteria, they would be a tier 3 client. Once some tier 1 accounts are segmented, we can then target and message the decision-making contacts at the account.
3. Highlight Decision-Makers
Finding out those who will ultimately say yes or no to your solution at a company will help your team market to them, swaying them to say yes. These decision-makers usually are c-level, but it’s also important to find out those who may not be in the c-suite but still have a major influence on this decision. Finding out who these contacts are can be done through interactions with the company as well as conducting research. The value here is having the confidence that you know who you’re speaking to will ultimately be the ones making the decision on your solution. A buyer persona should be filled out for each decision-maker, and include info on their daily activities and pain points. Knowing about your buyers’ pain points will help marketing create their content, and help sales with their outreach since they’ll know what pains to address. Having these contacts highlighted will help you in the next step when you create custom content for each decision-maker.
4. Design Outreach Plan
In traditional marketing, the same content is usually blasted out to everyone in all types of roles. ABM is about sending custom content about how your solution(s) will help the recipient in their specific role. This requires research to be done on what challenges they face daily, and how your offering will solve it. For example, a VP of Marketing at a tier 1 account will receive content from your company on how your solution will help produce more quality leads because it is a pain point for them. This can be time-consuming, but well worth the investment. Once the content is finalized, incorporating it into the larger outreach plan will help paint the larger picture for everyone. You’ll designate who will receive content and when, when a call from sales will go out, when they will see an ad about your solution, etc.
5. Expand Accounts, ROI Reporting
ABM requires an abundance of research, but the time and resources is well worth the investment. Due to all the research your company will do, they can find additional ways that your solution(s) can help a customer that would have never been found through traditional marketing. This stops the one-and-done projects and allows a longer engagement and more success for both your company and the customer. After ABM has been running for some time, it’s time to report on your success, did ABM work for your company? ABM reporting can be one of the more difficult efforts to track unless you have the right technology. It’s not recommended to track efforts manually as it would be too time-consuming, and not scalable. Our recommended tool is Salesforce’s Einstein B2B Marketing Analytics as it helps see top-level KPIs, identifies top-engaging accounts, see current stages, and much more.
ABM for Beginners: Final Thoughts
Account-Based Marketing will take time to show revenue due to the deals typically being larger in size. With ABM’s marketing efforts generating 200% more revenue than others, it’s well worth it (Flip My Funnel). In addition to having a great strategy, the technology used is also an important factor. Tried and true for both ourselves and our customers, the Salesforce platform has all the tools and connections to accomplish your ABM campaigns. Corrao Group offers services that both help set up your system for ABM training and campaigns, as well as execute and run it for your organization. If you’d like to download our full Account-Based Marketing Guide for B2B Marketers, please fill out the form below.