How to decide if you need an account-based marketing platform

Start here: Understand your marketing process. Know the measure of success. Identify areas needing improvement.

Deciding whether or not your company needs an ABM tool calls for the same level of evaluation involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment of our organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support and financial resources. Use the following questions as a guideline to determine the answers.

  1. Have we identified our ABM goals?

    Implementing an account-based strategy can provide many benefits to the organization – but you first need to understand what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase upsell and cross-sell opportunities at key accounts to improve customer lifetime value? Or do you want to expand into a new segment, territory, or vertical market, or reduce your average sales cycle.

  2. Can sales and marketing work together to identify our target accounts?

    Both sales and marketing must agree on the accounts to target, as well as the criteria for choosing target accounts and when to add (or remove) them from the ABM program. Marketing’s idea of what is a high-priority account needs to match sales’ idea of a high-priority account, or your account-based marketing strategy won’t work. Make sure key decision-makers are ready to cooperate on target account definition and selection.

  3. Do we have C-suite buy-in?

    Many B2B marketers find the C-suite is actively involved in ABM – so you’ll need senior executive buy-in before you get started. With a clear mandate from the top of the organization, both marketing and sales leaders will remain accountable for ABM results and ensure that their respective organizations will collaborate as necessary to develop an inbound marketing strategy, drive lead generation, and land high-value accounts.

  4. Can we invest in organizational training?

    ABM is a strategy, not just a software investment. It’s critical that all internal stakeholders understand the fundamentals of how to implement an account-based marketing strategy, and how to execute through the adoption of any account-based marketing tools that your organization might license. Many ABM tool vendors offer an array of add-on professional services to help with strategy goals, in addition to onboarding and training on their products. Training needs to be comprehensive, consistent and continuous.

  5. Have we established KPIs and put a system in place for tracking, measuring and reporting results?

    Once you’ve established your goals and communicated them throughout the sales and marketing organizations, you’ll need to decide on the metrics that are most important to your ABM tactics and monitor your progress in achieving them. Remember to set clear expectations: initially, ABM will create more work for busy sales staff. Be sure to explain the benefits of an account-based marketing strategy to the sales organization, and perhaps incentivize their participation.

The post How to decide if you need an account-based marketing platform appeared first on MarTech.


About The Author

Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.


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