You’ve attended the webinars and read the blog posts on why your organization should implement an Account Based Marketing (ABM) plan. You’ve gotten buy-in from Marketing and Sales leadership and now have budget to execute on your plan. What is clear, is that your company needs ABM. But is your organization ready for ABM?  

Account Based Marketing

Before you answer, let’s review a definition of ABM from the folks at Engagio: “Account-Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.” With this in mind, use our checklist ensure your organization is prepared to implement ABM?

1. Build an Account Based Marketing strategy

Define goals for the ABM program and ensure that leadership is dedicated to making it work. Whatever the goals may be, your sales and marketing plan should:

  • Identify your target accounts and contact roles
  • Set program targets to measure success against
  • Produce relevant and personalized content
  • Select your ABM technology stack
  • Monitor and report on KPIs regularly

2. Create alignment across functional teams

First and foremost, commit to aligning your Marketing and Sales teams to focus on the most valuable accounts.  Marketing needs to understand sales’ goals and sales should recognize marketing as an important part of the selling process. Content and Lead Generation teams (internally or external partners) should have the same mindset – targeting leads with content relevant to those key accounts.

3. Define roles to carry out the ABM strategy

Who is responsible for identifying target accounts for ABM? Who on your team will create engagement strategies targeted to the right accounts? Once your ABM program has been deployed, who will measure its success? Additionally, does your team have suitable skills to learn new solutions and stick to new business processes? Answer these questions early on to determine resource needs.

4. Decide what metrics are important in measuring the impact of your ABM program:

Some examples:

  • Web activity from target accounts
  • Response rates to content from target accounts
  • Percentage of up-sell opportunities  (e.g. ABM accounts vs other accounts)
  • Amount of pipeline and revenue influenced by marketing from ABM accounts
  • Acceleration through the sales funnel for ABM accounts

Look at a few stats from SiriusDecisions 2016 State of ABM Study:

  • More than 70 percent of B2B Companies are Focused on Driving ABM Programs
  • 58 percent have a pilot or test program and 41 percent have a full program in place
  • Sixty-two percent said that they have the skills needed to be successful with ABM, compared to 53 percent in 2015.

Before rolling out ABM across all of your target accounts, it could be beneficial to test your strategy with a pilot deployment of your ABM program. Choose one of your target accounts, build a sales and marketing plan, create content, execute your campaign and measure the outcome, track the strain on resources. Based on lessons learned, implement the full-scale ABM program across all of your valuable accounts.