This 44-page guide provides a comprehensive introduction to ABM basics and detailed core concepts so you can create, develop, implement, and measure an ABM program.
The Four-Step ABM Framework
Regardless of whether your ABM program is simple or complex, we recommend planning your program within this 4-step framework. Each step is built with flexibility in mind so that program elements can be scaled up or down depending on available resources and relative priority.
Step 1: Plan & Strategize
1A: Identify and Prioritize Target Accounts
The foundation of an ABM program starts with Sales and Marketing defining exactly which companies to target and engage. This list is based on a combination of factors, including the perceived difficulty of breaking through to engage with decision-makers at a particular company, and the anticipated account value. This initial identification and ranking ensures the most desirable accounts float to the top, and also clarifies their distinct attributes so effective strategies can be employed across the lifespan of engagement.
Due to the high level of investment, ABM initiatives should focus on accounts that have the potential for the greatest return, but are the hardest to penetrate. Your company’s revenue team should collaborate to group your target accounts into three tiers, based on priority.
As your ABM strategy matures over time, your company will want to consider investing in a system that is capable of analyzing Salesforce (or the like) to identify target accounts with a high degree of accuracy based on historical performance. This task can be completed manually, or through the use of MarTech options specifically dedicated to solving for ABM models.
1B: Develop Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Identify which industries or verticals best align with your overarching business development and growth goals.
Research ideal companies or accounts by size that would be a good fit for your marketing efforts and sales cycle.
Uncover key revenue requirements for your ideal-fit customer. For instance, a prospective organization could be an excellent fit by industry and company size, but if they don’t have the revenue to support your technology solution you will end up draining time, money, and resources moving them down your ABM nurture path.
1C: Outline Marketing Initiatives by Tier
Consider the resources available for your ABM program and assign budgets to each tier of target accounts. It’s helpful to document all known constraints upfront to set expectations with all stakeholders who will be impacted.
This will also guide parameters for the program as a whole, including an implementation timeline with milestones, goals and KPIs used to track success, and deliverables needed to launch.
Take time to think through what the account journey should look like. The account journey takes into consideration the experiences of multiple stakeholders at an organization instead of focusing on a sole individual.
Map out each touchpoint and opportunity your organization has to engage the people at your target accounts.
– Adapted from DemandBase
1D: Select Channels & Personalization Activities
With a clear understanding of the types of marketing initiatives used for each account, choose the channels that will best deliver the content and drive action at each point in their journey. Determine the appropriate balance of paid and owned channels based on budget, available tools, timelines, and goals.
Uncover opportunities to personalize each element of the account journey for top tier accounts. Don’t underestimate the power of a unique, customized experience. Given the resources and opportunity, when you take the extra step to personalize, you have a chance to delight your target, and earn their attention (and business).
Ideally, your target account will strongly sense that you are already a part of their world. You’re not outside the velvet rope trying to bribe your way into the party. You’re already there, mingling with people who matter in their industry. Position yourself to be seen as an insider.
1E: Content Customization
Content customization has been known to terrorize teams because of the threat of resource drainage. While this absolutely can occur, it can also be avoided with proper planning. This is where the earlier exercise to assign accounts to tiers becomes really useful to ensure your resources are directed at the right accounts.
Points of Customization
- Cover pages
- Background images
- Industry jargon
- Targeting parameters
- Ad creative
Get the Full Guide.
Now it’s time to build out and implement your ABM Playbook! Complete the form to access the remainder of this 44-page guide full of proven concepts and detailed instructions.
The full guide contains:
- A comprehensive introduction to ABM (basics + detailed core concepts)
- The components needed for an ABM playbook
- A case study featuring a real-world SaaS company
- A BONUS section covering MarTech solutions for ABM