A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Target List for Your ABM Campaign

Vigil Viswanathan
March 11, 2022

Companies must handle account-level information effectively while competing in a B2B market. Although account selection is by far the most critical phase in account-based marketing (ABM), most B2B marketers believe selecting which accounts to approach is one of the most challenging aspects of the process. How successfully you create your list is one of the first elements in the ABM campaign process, and it necessitates a thorough grasp of your sales funnel.

Any effective B2B campaign must generate revenue; hence the objective is to target only those people who are likely to purchase your product or service. As a result, it's vital that you do it correctly the first time and follow a systematic method when targeting your target accounts. 

Below is a step-by-step guide for establishing your target account list. 

Step 1: Choose an ABM strategy 

There are three primary tactics to consider while planning your campaign.

  • One-to-one marketing strategy targets important individual accounts; 
  • One-to-few marketing tactic targets smaller groups rather than people, 
  • One-to-many marketing approach targets the whole potential market.

The one-to-few technique is the most popular since it enables you to implement ABM techniques with a targetted small number of contacts using predictive research and industry expertise. However, research reveals that a mixed strategy is just as effective, owing to the opportunity to reach a larger range of prospective customers. Whatever technique you select, keep in mind that the goal of ABM is to concentrate exclusively on your highest-converting customers.

Step 2: Develop a customer profile for your ideal customer

An ideal customer profile (ICP) should be a precise, definitive description of a consumer who would greatly benefit from your product and, as a result, is most inclined to spend more with your business. This, in turn, will symbolise the sort of consumer you want to target, providing you with guidance as you structure your target account list. When you do this part right, you'll be able to focus your attention on higher-quality prospects and earn a greater return on your investment.

Keep in mind that an ICP and a consumer persona is not the same thing. A customer persona is a comprehensive examination of the individuals who buy from you, whereas an ICP is the sort of people you should be targeting.

Step 3: Ensure the accuracy of your data

Before discussing segmentation, first, it is crucial to ensure that any current information is accurate. Only a high-quality, precise, and a specific list will allow you to segment your data. This is where data integrity, data formatting, and data cleansing abilities prove to be crucial. You ought to be able to check data quality since several marketers use both first and third-party data. Improper contact names, out-of-date statistics, and unreported changes in business needs are all factors that might throw your ABM approach off. There's no space for error with ABM efforts since they're highly data-driven.

Step 4: Organize your accounts into categories

Respondents’ demographic data, such as geographic proximity, type of organisation, sector, number of customers, and technology employed, can be used to classify accounts during the segmentation stage. 

Trying to break down your leads into lists depending on the amount of work necessary to nurture them to convert will help you classify them even further. For example, you'll be seeking the highest return with the fewest resources in this section. You might also consider segmenting businesses depending on how fast they would profit from your product or service. However, after you've specified these portions, make sure they're viable.

Step 5: Consider collecting data from other sources

Lookalike techniques benefit greatly from third-party demographic data. Lookalike marketing may be effective for finding new audiences, and most marketers use it to expand their lists and contact new clients.

You may also evaluate the compatibility of accounts based on how similar they are to each other. Based on your industry, this may or may not be a feasible technique to increase your target account list. If the geographic region is a key factor, you may map out organizations based on their area and take a more tailored approach when compiling your list.

Step 6: Prioritize your tasks using tiers

You may create an organized list of target accounts using your ICP. Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 are the most common, and they can be ordered by priority.

  • Tier 1: These would be the best-fit accounts based on your ICP, and they must have shown an interest in doing business with you. They could also be the kinds of businesses to whom you can effortlessly cross-sell and upsell your services. Tier 1 accounts will most certainly be the exclusive target of one-to-one initiatives.
  • Tier 2: These accounts have shown intent and fulfill the majority of your ICP requirements. A Tier 2 customer, for example, could be in a suitable geographic region and sector and have expressed some interest in your business. However, they may be less in revenue than your ideal business size.
  • Tier 3: These are accounts that have only satisfied a few of your ICP indicators but have shown interest by browsing your site, downloading your content, or signing up for a subscription, making them lower priority targets.

Since every business's tier list is unique, it's critical to understand the importance that creating an ICP holds.

Step 7: Ascertain who administers the list i.e. who is going to own these accounts

The importance of establishing a designated list administrator is sometimes underestimated. Organizational alignment and accountability are crucial for efficient, results-driven account-based marketing. Having a single point of contact for your target account list helps you to streamline the overall process more efficiently. While a round table approach is beneficial, major decisions must be administered and made by one individual.


Within an ABM programme, the target account list is a systematic, flexible, and dynamic attribute that should grow in unison with account-based marketing results. You'll be willing to modify your target account list as your average contract size grows, revenue increases, and funnel efficiency improves.

When the time comes to refine and upgrade, keeping your entire organisation involved through work allocation and frequent interaction makes the process more efficient. Allow enough time for your target account list to perform according to the segmentation strategy you set and examine the statistics to determine what succeeded in order to strategize further.

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