The Ultimate Guide for Account Based Marketing Tactics (ABM)

Aug 27, 2021

By the team at InnPulse.

Account based marketing (ABM) is just a new way to say that marketing teams and sales teams are very closely tied to driving B2B revenue around a group of highly valued accounts. It represents a philosophical decision that leaders make when they want to be something special to 1,000 customers instead of aware with 100,000 prospects. It’s an orientation that helps break down the barriers between marketing and sales, not because we say so, but strictly because of the way sales and marketing teams will have to work together in leveraging ABM strategy to create conversion in a target company. It’s very different from content marketing which is done almost in complete isolation from sales on the day-to-day. And it’s equally different from the typical outbound sales strategies companies use to target high-value accounts.

Why use ABM? Venture Growth Advantages

If you can make Account based mraketing work for your brand you’ll be able to enjoy some of these ABM performance statistics:
  • 30% reduction in cost of lead acquisition
  • 32% increase in revenues
  • 38% higher win rates
  • 36% more customers retained
  • 45% increase in current customer LTV (Life Time Valu

Most importantly you’ll be creating experiences that your customers will remember and share with others that will want to do business with your brand.

What is account-based marketing (ABM)?

A nuanced definition.

Account-based marketing or account-based everything, in its purest form, is leveraging data, technology, sales, relationships, and all the marketing tactics/strategies to create unique experiences that make you the only option (vs competitors) in your most desired target accounts eyes. There could be net new logo’s you want to land as lighthouse accounts, churn prevention in current customers where revenue is at risk, or in accounts where you’ve already done a great job and there’s new user groups, geographies, or use cases you know you can win if you’re successful in getting the attention of relevant decision-makers. Account based marketing is everything you’ll do beyond your core demand generation efforts to get to a meeting and then everything you’ll do to decimate the competition (aside from having a badass product or service) during the sales process. If that takes months then the Account based marketing motions last equally long.

Why use ABM?

(aside from the obvious answer, to target accounts better)

Account based marketing is a great way to rise above the noise in target accounts, increase global or nationwide exposure to the investments you make in your customers, and most importantly, get your marketing and sales teams to come together operationally and start speaking the same language around how you generate revenue. When both sides start ideating around how they’ll contribute to the different motions, they’ll start sharing the sense of a common goal. This common goal mindset starts eroding the traditional barriers and finger-pointing and fosters a sense of “being in IT together”. Moreover, you’ll see the creativity in your team start to bubble to the surface, and over time that muscle builds and starts to permeate throughout different areas of the company. THIS IS CULTURE. If want to step up your team’s ability to impress you and do amazing things for the company without you always having to be the one that comes up with and executes on ideas. Then this is the way.

Account based marketing types?

There are generally 3 types of account based marketing and they break out into 3 different scopes in terms of the size of the population being targeted either in terms of the number of accounts or in terms of the number of decision-makers and influencers.

Account based marketing (ABM) Pure Play (1:1)

There are a variety of definitions but the general consensus is that anytime you run an ABM play at a single target within a target account, you’re doing ABM in its purest form.

Account based marketing (ABM) Light Play

This version is actually the next logical progression and what your ABM Pure Play graduates to once you’ve won the right kind of attention.

Account based marketing (ABM) Programmatic or scale Plays

These plays are umbrella-shaped strategies focused on groups of accounts within specific segments in the verticals you’re targeting.
It’s been our experience across the brands we work with that if you’re convinced that being more personalized and relevant to your customers in specific segments will drive your revenue up through the roof, then you should start building ABM momentum using the ABM Scale Plays.

It’s a philosophical decision of whether you want to always worry about where your next “whale” is going to come from, or if you want to be concerned with the population size of the whales you have the attention of and have to choose which ones you’re going to fish out of the pond this quarter.

If you’re unsure (although you shouldn’t be) that being more personalized and relevant will help you create more relationships, then you should start running Pure and Light Plays to dip your toe in the water.

No matter your selection, ABM is a long-term strategy that can grow your business for years to come. and have very near-term business impacts. Quite the opposite of lead generation which services the desperate needs of just today and tomorrow.

What technologies are used for ABM?

Thousands of options, so little time.

Now before we get into the tech stack involved in attacking your target account list, we’d like to level set on something with an example.

If you were telling your friend that you’d love to have an easy way to travel long distances in comfort, on-demand. And suppose you also told your friend you wanted to be able to do it like yesterday because you’ve got places to go, people to see, and there’s a lot riding on your success personally if you can’t mobilize at will. If that friend told you to go down to Auto-zone and get a JC Whitney catalog (a car parts manufacturer) and order the alternator, transmission, engine, exhaust, radiator, wheels, paint, interior electronics, seating & fabric, etc., have it shipped to your house and hire mechanics to build a car just the way you like it. If that friend told you that you’d say you’re nuts! Not no, but hell no. I’ll just order one from Carvana and have it dropped off tomorrow and I’ll get the results I need immediately.

End story here.

You need to know what goes into an Account based marketing stack so you can leverage it to the best benefits of your business, but you really have no business trying to build one on your own unless you’re doing it as a core business process. Otherwise, you’ll get all the parts home and you and the team will toil around for a year or more trying to get the results you read about above and your internal street cred is shot!

Without further a due, here are some of the technology functions that you’ll want to see utilize in an Account based marketing stack to capture high-value targets.

  • B2b Data Sources
  • Customer Data Platforms
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Omnichannel Sales Playbooks (sequencing)
  • Advertising Platforms
  • Social Media Profiles
  • Revenue Forecasting Platforms
  • Direct mail/gifting platforms
  • Email Service Platforms
  • Email Signature Marketing Platforms
  • Virtual Events (vEvents) Platforms
  • Content Creation Calendar Platform
  • Content Experience Platforms
  • Landing Page Customization
  • 3rd Party Buyer Intent Data Sourcing
  • Content Syndication Platforms
As you can see, the list can get pretty big really quick and so can the price tag. All before you’ve built buy-in and selected a vendor for each platform, gotten past security requirements from IT, and then trained or hired teams with expert skill sets on all of them and then integrated them to share the actionable signals they all give off.

Operational Benefits of ABM

Alignment like this never felt this good.

As mentioned, account-based marketing offers an opportunity for B2B marketers and sales teams to generate more revenue and ROI in target accounts in a shorter period of time. Below are the key elements of ABM.

Leading with Brand

The very nature of Account based marketing forces teams to lead with brand over product. Regardless of company or account size, you’ll be leading with brand. Sure product features will be peppered in there, but by virtue of being engaged in an Account based marketing play you’re saying something about yourself, your teams, and what targeted accounts mean to you, and the length you’re willing to go to with your brand to show prospects how great a fit your product is.

Personalized Marketing Approach

Personalization is great but relevancy is substantially more important to high-value targets. Account based marketing, with all its data, tech, and insight combined with your people’s creativity and account-specific knowledge come together so your brand can be more human when your target accounts interact with them.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

As we said before, the traditional B2B marketing approach leaves marketers and sales teams on separate islands sometimes salvoing responsibility for low performance back and forth at each other. Account based marketing tactics pull those islands closer to a single landmass for long-term organizational and mindset benefits.

Shorter Sales Cycles

When you approach an account with a marketing machine geared for Account based marketing, no one is left unimpressed (when it’s done right). When you create personalized experiences, buyers feel the ease of access to the answers that solve their buyer problems. In a way, Account based marketing is a very real form of buyer enablement where you’re going the extra mile to recognize pain points and painting a clear picture of the buyer’s future with you in it. This shortens the research timeline they have to do and thus your sales cycles.

Clearer and Improved ROI

Companies using Account based marketing marketing strategies on specific accounts have a crystal clear ROI. When you target only 100 accounts over a 6 month period you can easily segment what investment was used and the revenue created from the portfolio of landed accounts. There’s power in that because it’s tangible, repeatable, and scalable. Even down to the time spent in meetings between sales teams and marketing teams are real hard costs that can go into the total cost of ownership calculations.

Better Allocation of Resources

When teams work together on generating specific revenue results that are confined to a controlled and known number of outcomes across accounts. And because of the High-value nature of the accounts as it relates it your business. This is often the better, if not best, allocation of the assets you have at your disposal.

Disadvantages of ABM

There’s a downside to everything, depending on how you look at things.

While ABM may sound like a marketing panacea, there are pitfalls to consider. We’ve outlined a few of these below.

1. It costs to dominate target accounts

It takes what it takes is an amazing phrase that illuminates the hard work entailed in doing something special. It takes work, strategy, conversation, new budget allocation, alignment, a willingness to take an approach that isn’t what you’ve always done. Account-level strategies for ABM programs take thought, creativity, a movement away from valuing leads to valuing the experiences you’re creating, and it doesn’t matter what size your company is. Don’t believe the hype. Small companies can run multiple Account based marketing program strategies without overinvesting or misallocating resources.

3. Failure to Align on the Right Target Accounts

There is a fair amount of hypothesis development in marketing in general but in Account based marketing, we are betting a little more than usual that we know who the right businesses are to target. There may very well be a bucket of off-target accounts that you want to sell to that are building alignment towards another solution or service. This means that no matter how special an experience you create, their technology, strategy, and philosophy doesn’t align with yours and they’ll not make the conversion, or the probability of it happening is quite low.

5. The Wrong Mindset / Unrealistic Expectations

When you engage in account-based marketing, Account based marketing, you’re making the bet that engaging in long-term brand-building practices will have near-term results and exponential benefits in the long run. This is the old bull vs young bull mentality shift. If you can’t make it, you’ll always be worrying about where your next fish is going to come from instead of the population strength and quality in your hatchery (to thoroughly mix my metaphors!). Marketing and sales teams may also have an overnight sensationalism that misses the entire ABM boat. As a B2B marketer and high ACV salesperson, there’s the tendency to want things to happen instantaneously. Who doesn’t! But that’s not the play here.

2. ABM Narrows the Pool of Target Customers

Some say this is a downside, and it is if what you’re selling has no LTV growth in larger accounts. If your LTV does grow as target accounts get larger then we say getting more focused is a good thing. You probably only need 20 accounts worth $127k to $1M to make your new revenue budget this year. And ABM isn’t going to account for your whole quota. But it can absolutely be a strong contributor to your portfolio of strategies.

4. Lack of Accurate Shared Data

We could talk here about the garbage in/garbage out phenomena but instead, we’ll talk about data sources. There are multiple types of data used in Account based marketing. B2B contact data, power structure data, 3rd party intent data, technographic data, firmographic data, psychographic data, 1st party data, competitive market data, and so much more. Funding rounds, department strength and growth rates, 10-k reports, annual reports, quarterly earnings updates, and historical transactional data. The point is that it’s almost never binary meaning you never have all the data you need, there’s just increasing and decreasing variations of the market basket of data as it relates to the target accounts you’re hunting.

Account based marketing Strategic Recipe

Or Blueprint, or code, choose your own metaphor.
Building the Business Case

The first place to start is building the business case for your Account based marketing and sales strategy. You’re going to have to justify why you want to spend time in meetings, extra budget, and do things you’ve never had to do to keep on winning. If it’s a current customer you’ll want to outline the organizational structure, who has legitimate power, who has referential power, who the blockers to growth are, what champions do you have as assets, the current use case performance data, the potential revenue you stand to gain, and the potential revenue you stand to lose if the customer churns on you. These are the building blocks of your analysis that should be well documented in a single-page canvas to set the business framework for your activities. You’ll get this by sitting marketing and sales down in a room, whoever owns the account from the bottom up, and breaking these items out in a single session.

Budget Authorization

Unless you want to get a look from your CEO (insert whoever you report to) like you’ve lost your damn mind, then you had better start small in an account that there’s a high likelihood of winning. Yes, you’re building the business case for this Account based marketing play on 1 high-value account, but you’ll want to run ABM Strategy on a portfolio of high-value targets in the future. This will be your internal business case. Start with something around $500 to $1000 for the whole play. Sit down with whoever owns the purse strings and present your business case. Make sure the upside is large enough to justify a 10x return on the investment (if not more) and make sure the downside risk is going to be shockingly painful to lose and make the investment an absolute no-brainer. This sounds like “Would you be willing to spend $1k to keep $80k in revenue from a customer if it had a 30% chance of working?”. If the answer is yes, you’re all systems go on the play.

Ideation

This is a critical element in the play and should be driven by the business case. Your threats, champions, and allies are an important piece in this. You’ll want to appeal to them personally, and or professionally in your concept. Find something deep-rooted in their business that signals the alignment that you feel about them and find an expressive way to manifest it.

Operationalizing

You’ll be using both sales and marketing to land this whale. That means email marketing, a phone call, text messages, direct mail, hyper-customized ads, carrier pigeons, gifting, PR, custom design, and way more directed at the right people, will be involved in the execution of the motion. Create an agile framework to understand who is going to own what and layout drop-dead dates for all of them. the goal is to get out of the shoot and in motion to your customers as fast as possible.

Execution and Analysis

It’s important to have your target ROI and success laid out well in advance of execution. More advanced strategies will have success milestones that when met, earn additional investment so you can capitalize on your win strength and channel that momentum into a bigger play. Remember to not let sales and marketing go back to their respective corners. Hold regular meetings and keep people accountable.

Account based marketing In-action

Account based marketing should be applied in an omnichannel fashion, something B2B marketers are quite familiar with. In its best form, it’s running concurrently to an inbound demand gen engine, outbound sales processes, and is highly focused on targeted accounts.

Virtual Events – First, throw this term away. We’re solving for Customer Experiences

These are the only kind of events in 2021 that actually matter, and under an Account based marketing strategy, they’re even more different/important. Successful events should be focused on creating value for your current customers, channel, and target accounts. The key to do events is to stop being so damn lazy. Imagine you’d never been to a crappy webinar that beat you over the head with their product for an hour. If you were redesigning events for your company in 2021 what would they look like? Who would show up? Why are you running the event in the first place?! (if you said leads in your head just now please leave)

B2B marketing teams and sellers can all agree on this principle. Nobody likes boring!

Let’s set the stage, in your outbound to a target account you’ve connected with a decision-maker in the buying council. Our goal is to get a “shields down” discovery on what their company strengths are, where the opportunities lie, and what’s on the road-map over the next 12 months for the company. As an invited speaker to a fireside chat, a panel, or a clubhouse session, your teams will have to get familiar with them before the event.

Ideally, we’d be inviting prospects in other high-value accounts to come as attendees and active unscripted participants in the 45-minute session. This is one tactic among many experience tactics we use to create a highly cultivated intimate session with many accounts at once.

This is where the fun comes in. The options are literally endless but let’s take something simple. Your goal is to create an experience that brings their brand closer to yours in the mind of the buyer. You’re also going to want to get a 1:1 with each high-value account, if not all the accounts, that attend. Use a gifting strategy. Near the end of the even run a give away as simple as picking a number, spinning a wheel, and going around the room. Plan to have some high-quality gifts an some ok gifts and some gag gifts.

Let’s pause here, in order to get the attention of this target account using Account based marketing tactics you would check off the following list:

B2B Marketing Team Approach:
  • Run paid advertising on social media, google ads, and other channels specifically to the accounts you want at the event, speaker included.
  • Create personalized landing pages that include the company name and pipes in the prospects name from salesforce or your CRM. Also include the target account logo if you can at the top.
B2B Sales Team Approach:
  • Use the business case you developed at the beginning to justify your ABM strategy to complete the organizational chart for the areas of the accounts you’re trying to penetrate.
  • Pick up the phone. Call the entire power structure and leave a voicemail about the entire engagement’s intent. (finally something juicy to call a prospect with!)
  • Hit up your network with ties to the target account. Lean on lose relationships, other vendors, anyone you know, loose acquaintances included, to broker the sales conversation. (even though you’re just selling the experience, not your product pitch)
  • Hopefully, you’re noticing a consistent theme here. Marketing and sales teams work together to chase down sales within high-value accounts. This is also known as a revenue operation.
Hopefully, you’re noticing a consistent theme here. Marketing and sales teams work together to chase down sales within high-value accounts. This is also known as a revenue operation.

Account-based marketing vs. inbound marketing:

And still effective on their own.

Inbound marketing works by leveraging content marketing, social, SEO, SEM, and paid advertising, and PR to drive customers to your website taking it from a billboard to a monetization asset. Inbound is a strategy you use when you want anyone who searches for what you do to find you.

But what if you want to offer a service to a brand that doesn’t know who you are or even how to search for you. There are many other scenarios but they all end in going out and telling people in target accounts who you are and what you do and trying to get them on the phone. (sounds a lot like sales right).

If we capture the nuance in that juxtaposition it’s that the people who know the least about what you do, who you are, and are not actively searching for a/your solution to their problem online. They need a significant amount of education.

Account based marketing is about blending sales activities with the experiential power of marketing to use all the senses of the prospects to educate and pique curiosity so they start walking towards you.

When it comes to high-value accounts, sales and marketing teams working together, and creating an impact on customers who know nothing about you (or worse they know you and don’t care), then you want to leverage ABM and elevate your approach to become a target accounts only option.

So inbound marketing and Account based marketing, they’re better together.

Account-based marketing vs. lead generation: Which is better depends on the targeted companies

As we’ve highlighted, traditional lead generation uses a broad approach to generate as many leads as possible whereas ABM addresses a select set of high-value accounts. Typically, ABM accounts are known entities and not necessarily new leads whereas lead generation can actually identify brand new leads. Depending on your product or service mix, you may have the need for both. The key is to have the bandwidth and resources to do both.

Moreover, you may have sales and marketing folks, and some sales enablement teams, and some social media teams, but if you don’t have them focused on how they’ll implement ABM strategy, YOU DON’T have an ABM team.

The sprints, the operations, the workstreams are actually quite different. How the work gets done is different. It’s like going from working on building a hotel to working on building a tiny home (don’t let that deter you from the revenue impacts of ABM). The measurements and cuts are shorter, everything has a deliberate purpose for 1 custom-built-customer journey.

Account-based marketing vs. Persona-based marketing: A False Dichotomy

In persona-based marketing, you’re focusing on getting intimate with your different buyers in the segments you’re targeting. It’s about developing a deep understanding of your buyer’s problems in relation to the product or service you’re trying to help them buy from you. It looks like analyzing how buyers develop and satisfy that curiosity during the buying cycle you lead them on. What’s value, and what’s not valuable in terms of increasing their understanding or moving them further along the buying process to a go or no/go decision. This works to the advantage of marketing teams and sales teams. When you’re trying to only attract high-value accounts you want to offer your services selectively to the best-fit customers. If you’re in a take-all-comers type of business (which almost no one should be, except for a few segments like payment processing and other commodities services.) you should be using this approach in all your marketing, ABM or otherwise.

Let's get to work!

Next year's revenue targets aren't going to hit themselves. A managed ABM program will help you win the right deals.

How to implement account-based marketing

Don’t underestimate the time, human resources, and budget it takes to design, implement, and manage an ABM program. When you commit to being special to 1000 of the right people this is a business decision so you’re likely to be all in and that has to start at the top. If you don’t have this kind of alignment, you’re going to get all kinds of questions that miss the forest or the tree. Understanding the phases and steps will help ensure you start from a strong foundation.

Phase 1 – The ABM Mind Meld

Develop a baseline analysis before you go to anyone in leadership to start selling your ABM dreams and new revenue fantasies, you’re going to want to understand the key points of friction the business has felt in the marketing team and sales team so you can justify WHY you want to stop doing the same old things and expecting a different result.

You’ll need qualitative and quantitative analysis you create a substantial position that’s inarguable or rather quite defensible.

Build Consensus with peers and other influencers within your internal buying council. Understand who will feel you’re encroaching on their turf or potentially calling them out for less than optimal performance. The point is not to build the solution in a vacuum or you’ll be destined to get stuck before you get out of the gate.

Timing your delivery can be quite critical. There’s planting seeds and then there’s pitching other marketers and leaders your ABM strategy. If you expect resistance then you’ll want to court marketing and sales during a moment where there’s an attitude of winning in the air and they’re looking for ways to smash the gas or if there’s an air of “we need to get better” and we need alternative approaches.

If your teams are in a position of despair and are not known for seeing deeper than the surface in a strategy, they’ll have a knee-jerk reaction to ABM the moment it’s suggested. The point is to clock the leadership, marketing, and sales psychology when timing approach.

Phase II – Building the team

In a perfect world, the optimal ABM team should be comprised of the following responsibilities, and many times one person will be responsible for delivering for multiple capabilities. It should be noted that in order to keep an agile posture, you shouldn’t push this structure to its lean minimum of 3-5 people. Quality goes down and delivery takes longer.

The Data person

The Ads person

The Content/Copy person

The Designer

The Landing Page/site Developer

The Automation person

The Sales leader/ Rotating representatives from the Sales organization

The Business Analyst

The ABM lead

The Project Manager

The Executive sponsor

Phase II – Building the team

Step 1: Identify High-Value Target Accounts. This can include existing accounts you want to expand, accounts you have previously engaged with, and new accounts. Start your ABM endeavor by developing the criteria you will use to target the right accounts.

Step 2: Map Individuals to Accounts. Once you have selected the accounts to target, identify key influencers and decision-makers within each account. Then, develop a strategy and content to engage them on both an individual and a group basis.

Step 3:Define and Develop Targeted Marketing Campaigns. Individualization is a key ABM component. Identify the channels most likely to succeed and why, then create customized campaigns and budgets per channel.

Step 4: Identify and Target Best Marketing Channels.Generally speaking, an effective ABM campaign usually involves a multi-channel strategy. For example, a key decision-maker who is rarely in the office probably isn’t the best candidate for direct mail marketing whereas someone who is likely to be in the office is. LinkedIn Ads and webinars can appeal to both, especially the traveling executive.

Step 5: Measure, Learn, and Test ABM Campaigns.Especially if you are new to ABM, a trial using one or two accounts makes sense. It lets you flesh out and fix potential problems on a smaller scale, and accurately identify the amount of resources required and the tracking metrics to use. It can also help marketing and sales learn how to effectively work together to create a successful campaign. As with any kind of marketing program, measuring success (and ROI), learning what went wrong if the campaign doesn’t reach its goals and what went right if it was successful, helps you plan the next one.

What’s different about Measuring ABM success

There’s probably nothing measured more in business than pipe. all executives want to know what its deal velocity is, whats pipeline coverage looks like, hows our MQL to SQL – Closed/won ratio’s doing. All of these things are right, but this is the norm for any team. Finally, the easy way to measure any ABM success is by the holy grail of results. Sales. Sales. Sales! Everything else is measuring nuances and progress.

First off, if you don’t have any of the stats above measured on a regular basis (pretty standard for B2B companies) you may find it easier to measure ABM but harder to justify an experimental first-time investment. With that said let’s look at what you should be using ABM strategy to accomplish for the organization.

Top business outcomes that ABM serves well:
Going higher and wider in current accounts.

Most companies are leaving up to 67% of the Lifetime Value of a customer on the table because they can’t sell any higher or wider than the first deal. This is quite problematic because your first deal is the hardest, always costs the most from a cost of customer acquisition view, and (according to Mckinsey who’s not cited here but you can easily google it). With that said, you’re going to want to measure the increase in average contract value in high-value accounts that you run an ABM play on (as a portfolio) versus the increase in average contract value in high-value accounts that you did not run an ABM play on. Using this control variable of only high-value accounts can show you the hard dollar return on your investment.

Winning more revenue with the leads you already have.

Target companies that make their way to your funnel that don’t know they are among your target companies can be pleasantly surprised to find even the smallest of investment in the sales process. ABM helps you stand apart from the rest, on-brand (let’s just assume you have a badass product), with high-value accounts or and target account so you lose less, and win more with the leads you already have. We advise testing with your sales and marketing teams how little you can invest in accounts and get them to convert faster at high beachheads (don’t take that a license to be cheap, that’s nowhere near the point). You’ll want to measure the value in the reduction in Close/lost leads (how much CAC went out the door because they didn’t convert, this will be the net new impact on your closed/won ratio that contributed net new revenue from losing less. There’s actually a whole way to think about these tactics and just how much you should be willing to test sufficiently, but that’s another article.

Churn Prevention.

Protecting the revenues you have is almost as critical as adding net new accounts. Measuring this is quite easy and even though you may have a customer success program in place, that’s not the same as having marketing and sales get involved in the account to sprinkle in some ABM tactics to win the hearts and minds of accounts. This may mean AE’s from sales teams complete the business case for why this opportunity justifies the play. Often what we see an account has $X Million at risk of churn and there’s a known opportunity in the next 6 months where an additional $Y million could be earned IF we just had the attention of others in a different buying council in Z accounts. The key here is not to be afraid to be more than you’ve ever been to the companies you’re already working with. Measurement comes down to identifying companies that are a churn risk and the revenues on the table (churn + net new revenue) over the cost you’re willing to spend to prevent the account from churning which should have a 5% of Lifetime value ceiling.

Sales Cycle Length.

This is the holy grail of return on investment for ABM. Reducing sales cycle length has an amazing variety of impacts on what a business does and when it does it. The trouble starts with the data and having a baseline that doesn’t consist of non-anecdotal conjecture. This means having descriptive statistics around what you think your sales cycle is and a confidence interval (degree of certainty) associated with that figure. You’ll want to measure the number of days reduced, the reduction of meetings (hard hourly costs for all involved), the Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) for the business as a whole vs accounts included in ABM, and many others, like the reduction in working capital required to support that new sales cycle versus the old, but this is a start.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

This index, ranging from -100 to 100, measures customers’ willingness to recommend your products or services to anyone or everyone else. You’re either getting good at creating fans or your just creating customers and ABM is an approach that indicates what you’re solving for over the long term. That says a lot about everything your marketers, sales teams, and product are doing and how the customer feels about it. ABM creates fans in decision-makers in the B2B accounts you’re trying to help buy. The return on investment in a single is almost unmeasurable. Referrals, references, reviews, case studies, customer success stories, PR, and so much more. This is why you do what you do. To amaze customers with their experiences with your brand. NPS is a good way to make that immeasurable value concrete and sharable.

Let’s get to work!

Next year’s revenue targets aren’t going to hit themselves. A managed ABM program will help you win the right deals.

SO what’s a marketing team to do?

From targets to prospects to customers to LTV growth and how to get the most from your marketing efforts.

Have a strategy.

Ensure that you have a strategy for what success looks like and that your marketing efforts get the credit.

Expand Marketing Ownership

Own what happens to a qualified marketing account even after the sale is made.

Lead like an investor

Investors are great at investing capital into teams that will bring an outsized return because they know that the principles the teams operate on match the market direction. Invest like it’s your money the marketing team is spending, and use the KPI’s that correlate to growth vs activity.

Reframe your organizations view of opportunity

A marketing account once qualified and even sold is simply the bottom of the hill, the foot of the staircase, or whatever metaphor gives you a sense that the party is just starting. It’s when you start actually investing. Everything else got you a seat at the table.

Don’t reinvent the wheel but be original.

Author: Blake Williams

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