ABM is difficult without the right tools. It requires tight alignment between marketing and sales, and a much deeper level of customization than other forms of marketing. You’ll also need a way to track and measure your success and create and maintain campaigns that have a higher degree of insight than usual. Make sure you have the following tools to help you streamline and manage your ABM strategy:
CRM – Your CRM is one of the most important tools for account-based marketing. It helps you collect and manage your customer and prospect data and ensures that both your sales and marketing team will have the same data to work with when identifying accounts to target and learning their pain-points, needs, and goals.
Marketing Automation – Marketing automation takes the data from your CRM and helps you create and track each of your marketing campaigns for your target accounts. It goes a long way to alleviate the difficulties of having to manually manage multiple campaigns, and allows marketers to spend more time developing a customized journey through the buying cycle for prospects. It also gives sales teams direct access marketing campaigns and content to help strengthen customer relationships and avoid losing opportunities that aren’t sales ready. With the depth of sales and marketing alignment that you’ll need to achieve in order to execute an ABM strategy properly, marketing automation helps create a bridge between the teams, allowing them to align on metrics like ROI and Revenue, and connect marketing efforts directly to supporting sales.
Data Analytics Software – Data analytics should be at the forefront of any marketing strategy, but it’s especially important for businesses practicing account-based marketing. ABM campaigns are heavily targeted at just one account, and while it’s possible to duplicate them for others, it’s difficult to ensure that each campaign is personalized enough without a way to track its success. Being able to use data to evaluate the strength of your campaigns will help you avoid channeling resources into accounts that aren’t ultimately going to result in a win for your sales team. And it also helps keep sales and marketing aligned to each others goals by creating transparency.
Believe it or not, you don’t necessarily need a huge team to practice ABM so long as you have the right tools. With a solid strategy in place, an average marketing team can effectively do account-based marketing. That said, creating your strategy carefully, and with a clear understanding of the needs and challenges of your own unique business is integral to success.
Sales and Marketing Alignment – This is not the surface level, occasional update meetings type alignment, this is the kind of tight integration of sales and marketing where the lines between the two start to blur. Sales and Marketing need to be symbiotic, working in concert to identify what an ideal account looks like, and how to go about creating a campaign that will effectively engage it. If sales is not on board, it’s not account-based marketing.
Who you target with your marketing – and how – is what makes ABM such a unique strategy. Because your goal will be to market to the whole account, you’ll need to determine who the stakeholders and decision-makers are, and what their roles encompass in order to create an accurate profile for both them and your account. And it’s not likely that the ideal buyer profiles for Company A will match the ones for Company B. There might be some overlap, but creating a new set of personas or profiles for each account will help you deepen the personalization and connect better with your prospect.
Want to learn more about buyer personas and account-based marketing? Join Mathew Sweezey on May 24 for his webinar Getting Started with Account-Based Marketing: Targeting Your Audiences.