Sales & marketing teams need to bring account-based marketing and sales into the organization together.
Account-based Everything (ABE) is all about sales and marketing orchestrating coordinated “plays” to win an account. As has been pointed out many times before, ABE is not new (going after named accounts has been the norm in B2B sales for decades). And there is nothing that is inherently rocket science about outreach to people at named account decision making units (DMU’s). The secret sauce of ABE is that modern platforms (including Marketing Automation and ABM-specific tools like Engagio and Triblio and others) provide sales and marketing teams with tools to orchestrate, coordinate and measure named account outreach at scale.
You need good, clean account data. And lots of it!
I know that you have spent the last half-decade investing in acquiring, deduping and continuously scrubbing your lead and contact data. For ABE to work well, you will need to set your sights on your Account data. Just as new names were the fuel that powered your demand generation strategy, account data is the new fuel for ABE. You will not only need to acquire, dedupe and scrub all of the accounts that make up your organization’s target market, you will need clean contact data for every account’s DMU.
Ban the term “marketing generated”.
The concept of marketing generated – and marketing qualified – leads is a important focus for Inbound and Demand Gen programs, but not for ABE. There’s no ‘us’ or ‘them’ in ABE. True ABE is a fully collaborative process end-to-end.
Get acquainted with new different KPI’s.
With an ABE growth engine in place, you will need ABE-specific KPI’s to manage what is going on under the hood. Here are a few KPI’s that we recommend:
- Engaged Accounts: the overall number of accounts that your coordinated plays generate within a time period.
- Account Contacts: the number of new target account contacts added to your database within a time period.
- Engaged to Opportunity: the number of engaged accounts that successfully convert into pipeline within a time period.
- Opportunity to Closed: the number of account opportunities that successfully convert into sold accounts or deals.
You don’t need to deploy ABE everywhere or change everything at once.
Consider your portfolio and the rational mix of Inbound, Demand Generation and ABE. ABE is focused on named accounts with significant revenue and CLV potential. Thresholds to consider for ABE depends on the size of the account TAM (target addressable market) and the value and complexity of the sale, e.g. (and this is illustrative only:
- Target ABE (fully integrated marketing and sales) for a portfolio of up to 150 named accounts with account CLVs of over $250k
- Target ABM (marketing-led with sales coordinated plays) for up 150-1000 named accounts with a CLVs of $150k-$250k
- Target Programmatic ABM and Demand Gen (marketing-led) for >1000 named accounts that have account CLVs under $150k
Shifting to ABE for parts of your portfolio? Use a change management process that gets everyone on board including your sales, marketing and senior leadership teams. Use a simple framework: Make it Rational, Make it Ready, Make it Happen, Make it Stick. ABE is a significant shift in the way sales and marketing teams partner to support revenue generation. Consider deploying ABE on an account-by-account basis and consider the cultural and process changes that are required to achieve success.
Account-based Marketing Revenue Architecture
1. Select accounts, identify whitespace and isolate specific account personas, decision making units (DMUs) and buyers. Identifying and isolating account buyers with data-driven analysis, identifying whitespace and conducting competitive market analysis.
2. Position offerings for the account and craft account, DMU and buyer-specific value messaging that is engagement-focused rather than brand or domain-centric. Continuously innovating offerings for competitive differentiation, articulating value account-based propositions and life-cycle buyer messaging
3. Envision account and DMU engagement tactics and account-based marketing and sales strategies based on account and buyer dynamics. Defining account sales plays, media and channels for optimal engagement.
4. Establish a brand presence with the account and engage visual identity, collateral and digital presence to enable account engagement. Establish a visual brand, collateral and channels for account DMU and buyer engagement.
5. Enable account teams with marketing and sales technologies and tools that enable customer data insights and effective account prospection, opportunity management and sales. Marketing Automation, Digital Engagement, ABM Technology, Sales Intelligence, CRM, Digital “Smart Rooms”, Customer Data Platform and Business Intelligence dashboards.
6. Establish the account team organization and design the end-to-end process and metrics that align the marketing and sales team. Aligning the account-based operating model with a full-funnel marketing and sales processes, organization, skills and resources.
7. Build and launch multi-channel and multi-media account-based plays. Building and optimizing marketing playbooks to maximize awareness, engagement and conversion.
8. Engage good account-based selling and portfolio management for prospect engagement and opportunity orchestration. The right account team skills and methodologies with the right level of activity to drive sales volumes.
9. Deliver effectively and manage account relationships for maximum retention, up-sell and cross-sell. Delivering and servicing the account and delighting people to optimize customer lifetime value.