How to decide if you need an account-based marketing platform

Deciding whether or not your company needs an ABM tool calls for the same level of evaluation involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment of our organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support and financial resources. Use the following questions as a guideline to determine the answers.

  1. Have we identified our ABM goals?

    Implementing an ABM strategy can provide many benefits to the organization – but you first need to understand what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase upsell and cross-sell opportunities at key accounts to improve customer lifetime value? Or do you want to expand into a new segment, territory or vertical market?

  2. Can sales and marketing work together to identify our target accounts?

    Both sales and marketing must agree on the accounts to target, as well as the criteria for choosing target accounts and when to add (or remove) them from the ABM program. Marketing’s idea of what is a high-priority account needs to match sales’ idea of a high-priority account, or your ABM strategy won’t work. Make sure the two organizations are ready to cooperate on target account definition and selection.

  3. Do we have C-suite buy-in?

    Many B2B marketers find the C-suite is actively involved in ABM – so you’ll need senior executive buy-in before you get started. With a clear mandate from the top of the organization, both marketing and sales leaders will remain accountable for ABM results and ensure that their respective organizations will collaborate as necessary.

  4. Who will own or manage ABM?

    Marketing and sales must be closely aligned for any ABM strategy to be successful. So both organizations need to understand their responsibilities and be accountable for ABM tool use and adoption.

  5. Can we invest in organizational training?

    ABM is a strategy, not just a software investment. It’s critical that all internal stakeholders understand the fundamentals of ABM, and how to execute the strategy through the adoption of any ABM tools that your organization might license. Many ABM tool vendors offer an array of add-on professional services to help with strategy goals, in addition to onboarding and training on their products. Training needs to be comprehensive, consistent and continuous.

  6. Have we established KPIs and put a system in place for tracking, measuring and reporting results?

    Once you’ve established your goals and communicated them throughout the sales and marketing organizations, you’ll need to decide on the metrics that are most important to your ABM efforts and monitor your progress in achieving them. Remember to set clear expectations: initially, ABM will create more work for busy sales staff. Be sure to explain the benefits of ABM to the sales organization, and perhaps incentivize their participation.

Snapshot: Account-based marketing

B2B marketers have used account-based marketing, or ABM, for years. But shifts in technology and disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated its widespread adoption among marketers.

B2B buyers perform heavy amounts of research before contacting a salesperson, which gives them an upper hand in transactions. This tendency, too, has increased as a result of the pandemic. Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer” report found that an estimated 60% of business interactions now take place online, as opposed to 42% in 2019. What’s more, their survey showed that 80% of B2B buyers expect to conduct more business online in the future than ever before.

The amount of B2B purchasers has increased, though many report difficulties in the buying process. As a result, more B2B brands are adopting ABM models to address these issues.

The results of these adoptions are promising. In a Forrester/SiriusDecisions survey of marketers, the majority of respondents said account engagement, win rate, average deal size, and ROI increased after implementing an ABM strategy. Because of this ABM vendors are reaping the benefits as B2B marketers invest in these technologies and apply them to their channels. Learn more here.

The post How to decide if you need an account-based marketing platform appeared first on MarTech.


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