Many teams want to kick off ABM and sales programs but don’t know how to get started. What technologies should you invest in? How do you go about getting buy-in? What do you need to do to measure success? How can marketing effectively enable sales in an account-centric world? You need to give thought to each of these questions to ensure your program is a success.
Getting Buy In:
Executive sponsorship in both the sales and marketing departments are critical to the success of your account efforts. Your sales leadership may already be finding revenue within existing accounts. This is a great opportunity to pilot an ABM approach with these set targets. Set expectations for all executives that this strategy is not a quick fix, and revenue results may not be evident within the first few months of an ABM initiative.
Aligning Marketing & Sales:
Marketing is an important part of account-centric selling processes, so it’s critical to align both teams against your target accounts. It’s important that the marketing team understands the goal of each program to ensure that messages are clear and targeted, which will align both teams and provide a seamless user experience for customers and prospects.
Effective Tactics in Driving Successful ABM+S:
There are a few ways to make sure you’re driving successful programs for your company –
- Data review and cleanup – Identify common characteristics within your existing client accounts and use this information as a starting point for defining your ideal customer profile. Review these accounts with sales to determine to which segments accounts should be placed in. You will also want to identify any missing or dirty data in your instance, and perhaps run some data cleanup campaigns before launching.
- Assign responsibility – Determine who is responsible for different components of any account-centric program to ensure tasks are completed on time and proper resources are allocated to the project. Establish responsibilities at the outset so those people are involved in the entire process.
- Define key metrics – Marketing and sales teams should unite to determine the key metrics to report on to determine the success of account-centric initiatives. Document the metrics and determine the frequency in which reports will be pulled and reviewed.
- Evaluate – ABM/ABS programs need to be reviewed and revised similar to any other kind of campaign. There might be additional factors that need to be taken into consideration, or a new piece of information that was identified as a key indicator that needs to be included in future campaigns. Most importantly, remember that ABM initiatives may take longer than you expect show ROI. It’s important let the ABM program run over several months (or years) to understand their influence on sales pipeline.
All that’s left is to kick it off! There are a few key technologies that will help you launch a successful account-centric program at your company. The two main ones that will help scale your program from 10 to 100 accounts are marketing automation and predictive analytics. Your marketing automation platform will help you structure the touches of the campaign, while your predictive analytics solution will enable you to gather account-level insights to determine who your best accounts are, and use details about those accounts to create targeted messaging for your campaigns.
It may seem overwhelming, but lots of companies have gone through the same process outlined above and seen amazing results. Cisco/OpenDNS uses account-centric programs to improve the efficiency of their direct mail campaigns, while Hootsuite is driving increased pipeline for their enterprise business. To learn more about these campaigns, and gather some best practices for executing your own account-based marketing and sales programs, join our webinar with Lattice Engines on February 28 at 10 am PT/1 pm ET. Register here.
*This blog post was written in a joint effort with Caitlin Ridge, Director of Corporate Marketing at Lattice Engines.