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By: Liz Medeiros on December 19th, 2017

Getting (more) value out of your ABM program

An old, worn black-and-white dart board is covered in dart holes, with a yellow dart stuck close to the center.

ABM or account-based marketing is no longer just a sexy buzz word for marketers. According to a SiriusDecisions survey (gated content), 93% of respondents stated ABM is very important or extremely important. 62% are expanding their pilot ABM programs to full programs in 2017 vs. just 40% in 2016 and are allocating a greater percentage of budgets toward ABM.

Are you one of those companies allocating more budget for ABM and want to get more value out of your program? Consider the following steps:

Evaluate the Target List

Looking back at the target account list, did your target accounts produce better win rates than non-target accounts? How about average deal size? Did you get greater pipeline? Did retention rates improve? Did deals close faster?

Sometimes initial assumptions about the ideal customer profile are — well, not ideal. Maybe there was a change in the market or perhaps you introduced new product lines better fit for other accounts. There could be gaps in reaching the right contacts at the account. It’s time to evaluate the target list and tweak your efforts.

Tools like Engagio’s dashboards can provide valuable insight on engagement at the account level. It makes it easy to notice any accounts with high engagement that you previously ignored. The heat map view helps identify whether you are engaged with the right contacts. In addition, it can help pinpoint accounts you should not waste your time and energy on.

With the input from sales and marketing teams, the list can be modified to target accounts that are best-fit your products or services.

Evaluate gaps in your target account list and tweak efforts accordingly to gain more value out of #ABM utilizing tools like Engagio.Click To Tweet

Engagio Engagement Dashboard

Assign roles for Sales and Marketing teams

ABM programs require a different go-to-market strategy, not just a traditional demand generation program. Sales and marketing need to be aligned and work together. Is that the case at your organization?

It’s important to set the rules: who is responsible for the target account, who creates the account plan? Who writes content? Who is in charge of creating and executing tailored marketing campaigns? What happens when a new lead comes in from a tier 1 target account? Who has visibility? Who is responsible for qualifying the lead, who goes to the client meeting? Who is responsible for finding new opportunities within an existing client account? Who is creating and pushing out content on the website, on social media, and on other channels?

Having a concise plan ensures every team member is focused on the client, has a clearly defined role and is engaging at the right time.

Successful #ABM is a joint effort that requires both marketing and sales to be on board.Click To Tweet

Orchestrate playbooks

Even after a target list has been set and contacts have been found, do you still find that sales just uploads a list, creates a cadence of calls and emails and expects deals to automagically create themselves? Most organizations find that the spray and pray method just does not work.

Target accounts have a more complex sales cycle with more decision makers involved. Sales and marketing teams need to coordinate their efforts at every stage of the target account’s buying journey. The teams must have a unified message and need to know what to say and when. The efforts are not limited to just sales and marketing, but can involve customer service or even your senior-level executives! Chances are, your CEO knows someone at the target account she can introduce the account manager. Teams should come up with a playbook on how to get into the account together and execute the play.

A tool like Engagio’s Playmaker makes the execution of plays easy. It enables the coordination of personalized outreach from the team members. You can set the team, the target account’s team, the channels (personal email, call, event, direct mail, etc), assign owners to tasks, set number of touches. Team members will know what steps they need to execute next. Carefully coordinated plays help move accounts to the next step in their buyer journey.

There are plenty of challenges to make an ABM program work. The right target account list, aligned sales and marketing teams, and clear playbooks backed by a growth engine to measure impact and gain deeper insights, can help with ABM success. How is your ABM program working? We would love to hear more!