Account-based Marketing Checklist for beginners

Vigil Viswanathan
June 1, 2022

Account-based marketing strategies have been gaining significant traction these days because of their efficiency in driving revenue and increasing sales in B2B organizations. Demand metric estimates that almost 71% of B2B entities have shown interest in implementing account-based marketing by testing it or planning to test it soon. Most B2B marketers are advocating ABM.

It is evident that a properly implemented ABM strategy happens to be the key to success for many as 60% of businesses have shown a 10% revenue growth after running ABM for about a year. But the question that remains is how to pull off the ideal ABM framework with so little information? So we have accumulated plenty of useful information about the foundation of ABM.

First, let’s take a look at the benefits of laying a solid foundation for any account-based marketing strategy;

  1. Increased pipeline opportunities

With ABM on your side, marketers are able to identify more opportunities in the form of suitable high-value contacts to turn them into customers with meticulous marketing techniques. When you successfully set up an account-based marketing strategy, you would be identifying a list of companies that fit your ideal customer profile and leads would increase substantially.   

  1. Better target account engagement 

When your marketing team gets to concentrate all of their efforts on a narrow list of highly qualified targets then it is no surprise to see increased engagement. Your target list would receive highly personalized marketing content which is a proven way to grab the attention of high-value contacts found through hours of account-based research. 

  1. Growth in qualified prospects 

With a properly implemented account-based marketing strategy, your marketing and sales team would get a constantly updated list of highly qualified prospects to connect with. This updated list would include all the information required to take that first step for opening a healthy, personalized, and successful communication channel with target accounts. 

  1. Improved collaboration between sales and marketing

In the majority of B2B organizations, marketers and sales representatives usually never work together. Only once after the marketing team’s job is done, the sales team can begin their phase of the process. But this does not happen in the case of ABM which requires both these teams to join forces and complete similar goals by relying on each other’s data feeds. 

  1. Understanding of program performance

Unlike other traditional marketing strategies, account-based marketing is easier to track and analyse at any point in time after proper implementation. Since ABM is in fact all about flipping the old marketing methodology, anything which is impossible or hard to achieve with inbound marketing is possible through a customized account-based marketing technique. 

A Checklist of Top Tips for an Effective ABM Strategy

Being a hyper-personalized approach to marketing, people who do not have much experience, get stuck in different stages of implementing their own ABM strategy. Here is a checklist to help you overcome such difficulties.

  1. Sit with marketing and sales to define your KPIs
  2. Define your high value ICP(target customer)
  3. Find existing customers who match this ICP
  4. Figure out USP and marketing channels that worked with the existing customers
  5. Make a list of accounts that you want to target based on ICP
  6. Find decision makers and influencers within these accounts that you want to target
  7. Find contact details of these decision makers and influencers
  8. Work with content, paid and email marketing teams to define the communication and content that would be used to target these contacts.
  9. Run campaigns
  10. Optimize based on results

Though the list above is an exhaustive list there are a few nuances that might help too. Here are a few of them explained briefly. 

Correlate content with customer journey

In order to have the best effects on a customer by your personalized marketing content, make sure that the piece of content is not only useful and custom-made for them but it also co-relates to their customer journey. Gaining more knowledge regarding a customer journey means your team would have a better understanding of relevant content for targets. ABM allows you to:

  • Prioritize content by customer stage
  • Look for imperfection in existing content
  • Plan what type of content to use
  • Include key details into project management

Launch multiple campaigns for faster results

Rolling out just a single account-based campaign to see how it goes is not necessarily going to bring any real results. The test-and-learn approach requires you to launch several account-based campaigns one after another. The best way to do this is by:

  • Reviewing one’s content calendar before rolling out several campaigns simultaneously.
  • Covering all bases in your campaign is also important
  • Using CRM data to make the most out of the advertising platforms available.

Ensure that you do not ignore instances of a quick win because as part of your test-and-learn strategy.

Select targets and key roles wisely

Selecting target accounts is the most significant aspect of any account-based marketing technique so make sure that you do not miss any of the following places to find target accounts:

  • Sales and customer success can help you select target accounts
  • The scored data received from a CRM software
  • Purchased data from an advanced third-party provider
  • Predictive analytics solutions can contribute to selecting target companies

It is important that by identifying key roles using the ICP we mentioned earlier, marketers can find a target account by reaching a common reference point conveniently.  

Create a customer journey map for accounts

Having a customer journey map for all target accounts would come in handy when you have established an ABM plan. But first, you need to identify the key roles at your target accounts to understand what their customer journey map would look like. During this stage you can:

  • Take the team’s help by bringing out a larger version of the customer journey map so that they can fix, add, and improve it through collaborative efforts.
  • Remember that this is a creative process during which everything has to be lighthearted at the preparatory stage.

Detailing the workflow of customers, their key responsibilities, activities, plans, pain points, thought processes, interests, and influence within their company are important aspects to include in the customer journey map.

Get the process right through insight

A lot of people view account-based marketing as a long and weary process that involves too many steps. But what they do not understand is that most of these processes are already performed by marketers using a traditional inbound approach. 

The only reason why ABM performs better than other strategies is its concentrated process where marketing efforts are precisely directed towards correct ICPs. This quality makes ABM perfect to be used within a long-term B2B sales cycle to close a significant quality of deals. So getting your process perfect is a necessity for launching ABM strategies.

Advocacy could grow your business

The right kind of advocacy is required for the growth of any business, especially the one where account-based marketing strategies are used to drive sales. It all starts with properly reviewing your list of customers with the help of your team to pinpoint an appropriate advocate. Once that is done, you can even contact customers for information regarding case studies.

All of these steps prove to be helpful ways to build partnerships and obtain active advocates for your company who would continue your ongoing marketing activities.

Use CRM and other automation properly

When you have structured CRM and other automation tools properly, you can consider lead scoring as a determinant for the account qualification process. Make sure to use CRM and other third-party tech resources to improve your ABM strategy implementation. CRM systems are required for many reasons like guaranteeing that the right fields and data are in place.

Since desired campaigns and end-to-end campaign measurement are only possible when you are concentrating on the right set of data, CRM and automation are highly important additions to your ABM checklist. 

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