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.