You’ve heard the rumors. Account-based marketing is the hottest marketing buzzword of the day in 2020. But, the truth is, ABM has worked wonders for B2B businesses for decades.
It’s just beginning to catch fire.
The problem is, many managers don’t know where to start. And this usually means teams get confused about ABM goals, their different roles, and how to operate like a well-oiled machine.
Well, the fact is, ABM implementation can be simple. Here’s how.
1. Create Trust Between Marketing & Sales
Your marketing and sales teams aren’t enemies. But they often feel that way. The common reason? Lack of trust.Oftentimes, sales teams don’t trust the quality of leads their marketing teams provide them.
And guess what? Marketing teams don’t trust their sales teams’ ability to actually convert those leads. When things go well, both departments are quick to take credit. But, when things go sour, both departments are quick to point fingers.
If you want to uproot years of finger-pointing and unhealthy competition, you’ll need to lay a foundation of trust across departments.
So where do you start?
2. Let Marketing Create a “Fit-and-intent” Model
Let your marketing team run your account selection process. Let them create a fit-and-intent model. Categorize different accounts by how “fit” they are to do business with you. And categorize them by how much “intention” they have in actually doing business with you.
This will help your organization establish just how much of the market you’ll have to sell to.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a simple lead scoring process. Instead of letting your marketing team overflow your sales team with an enormous amount of questionable leads, they’re only passing along companies with the right specs who show interest in working with you.
This ABM process instills trust in both departments. Sales will understand marketing knows the market, and have taken the initiative to prioritize potential accounts who are worthwhile to reach out to.
Once your sales team receives marketing’s priority list, they can begin pursuing those accounts showing the most interest in your company.
Accounts that have the right qualities but aren’t necessarily showing intent can be tackled by your marketing and sales teams… together. Let both departments work side by side to create engagement with those accounts. Your marketing team can lead the way with sales to help measure which engagement methods work - or don’t work.
This works best as an ongoing process. By taking on this challenge together, your teams can act as a single unit with support from both sides. Ultimately, you’ll have a better shot pulling in new accounts while working together.
3. Identify Meaningful KPIs
Forget wasting time trying to prove marketing works. Instead, focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) that help improve decisions. Track engagement by contribution to your pipeline, the number of qualified leads, new accounts, and how many meetings have been set.
Measure win-rates, overall sales, and attribution.
Tracking and measuring are easier said than done. It can be stressful when an account drifts online and offline, uses multiple channels, takes months or even years, and involves a huge team of decision-makers. But this is often completely unavoidable while implementing ABM.
However, you can reduce the stress of the process by creating the right KPIs. Don’t forget to track website visits and email open rates.
Remember to define the results you’re aiming to achieve. And be on your toes to make rapid course corrections when necessary, such as top or mid-funnel measurements (meetings, demos, MQLs, etc.).
4. Get Everyone On the Same Platform
One of the biggest challenges of account-based marketing is making sure everyone’s on the same page, especially when it comes to marketing and sales teams. It’s easy for your teams to get confused. Lack of constant communication is an ongoing source of problems.
The best solution?
Get everyone on the same platform.
Use an ABM platform to help both teams track leads and stay in the loop. Account-based marketing is a data-intensive process, and if you want to succeed with it, you’ll need to make it easy for your teams to track the numbers.
Once you have the right strategy, you’ll need to adopt the right technology.
An integrated work management dashboard like HubSpot makes it easy for different departments to use a single platform to collaborate. Two other ABM platforms that help marketing and sales teams interlink data and track their funnels are Terminus and Demandbase.
5. Start Using An Accountable Scorecard
Once you’ve built trust among your teams, created meaningful KPIs, and collaboration becomes the norm through a seamless software solution, what’s next?
It’s time to ditch the old “sales vs. marketing” scorecard that’s traditionally used whether consciously or unconsciously to measure who gets credit for which results.
Instead of analyzing whether sales or marketing was responsible for a specific touchpoint, create a modern scorecard to analyze target accounts (and marketing-qualified, or “fit” accounts). Look at:
- Which accounts are engaged
- What opportunities are created
- The value of those opportunities
- The closed-won details to help you measure success
This single scorecard method helps keep both sales and marketing accountable for the pipeline and revenue, allowing account progress to be properly tracked and optimized.
In the end, the hardest part of effective ABM execution is getting your teams to cooperate. By following this strategy, you’ll be able to implement a simple account-based marketing system based on a “one team” mindset.
A company that operates as a single team will always be more successful than one who caters to individuals chasing their own goals.
Ready to Launch Your ABM Plan?
Executing an account-based marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Rizen is a modern marketing agency that helps you make more money in less time through an effective marketing strategy.
Whether you’re brand new to ABM, or you’re looking to optimize your strategy, our ABM specialists will help you get the results you’re wanting.
If you want more sales with less wasted time and money, reach out to us today!