Forrester Research shows that less than 1% of leads turn into customers. When you look at a typical funnel, challenges in lead-based marketing include misalignment between marketing and sales, overly broad campaigns, not enough personalization and an abundance of form fills.
Account-based marketing has proven to be a remedy for these concerns, as it turns the funnel on its head and identifies a company’s most sought-after accounts. A 2016 ABM survey from Demand Gen Report showed that approximately 47% of marketers surveyed have an ABM strategy in place, and only 20% have no strategy or plans to implement ABM.
“ABM is all about engaging the entire buying center — even those you don’t have in your CRM and know about,” said Peter Herbert, VP of Marketing at Terminus, during his session at Uberflip’s Content Experience event in Toronto. “You’re fundamentally shifting to a model where you’re pursuing and orchestrating an experience for a target account and trying to get more and more of those people to engage with you over time.”
Herbert went on to highlight his seven keys to seeing success with ABM, as he’s been practicing it for more than two years at two different companies: VersionOne and Terminus.
1.) You Have To Be A Leader
“We had a meeting where we said we’re going to be brave, go for it, challenge the status quo and try new things. ABM is not just a technology, campaign or marketing effort. It is a go-to-market team transformation. You’re changing your fundamental processes and the way that you measure your success. Be a leader and step forward. Champion the process and help other people learn how to operationalize and practice it.”
2.) Attack ABM In Sprints
“Work in manageable chunks. You do something, you execute, you learn, you iterate and you fall on your face a couple of times. But you want to go fast and learn fast. You don’t have to have everything figured out. You might just figure out a part of it. Get good at creating wonderful content streams that are human to human.”
3.) Align Marketing, Sales And, Particularly, Sales Development
“In the ABM process, sales and marketing are going after the same target accounts together. If you have not aligned marketing and sales development, do something else with your life, but don’t try ABM.”
4.) Enable Your SDRs
“I’ve always believed in a regular cadence and, very often, practice it as a weekly meeting where product marketing and content marketing are meeting with SDRs to train them on ICP, personas, what their challenges are, specifically on content. Why did you develop the content? Who is it for? How can it be used? Where in the journey is this content intended to fill a gap?”
5.) Measure From Day One
“Being able to track your success, and your engagement with target accounts versus non-target accounts is a challenge. People have been doing lead-based marketing for a long time. At some point, someone will get nervous and there will be a discussion about if it is working for the business. You shouldn’t be doing it if it’s not good for the business. You want to have your metrics in order, track it from day one and be able to reference it moving forward.”
6.) Be Data-Driven
“Marketing should be responsible for a data-driven approach to target account selection and prioritization. It means using the data you have to develop smart campaigns based on intent data — taking intent data and creating segments and content for certain intent key words. Those campaigns convert better than anything I have seen.”
7.) Get Personal With Content And Plays
“This is critical to the success of an ABM program. If you’re just running same generic content and not creating those experiences, you are far less likely to succeed. I would actually propose that you won’t succeed. Content marketers are key to this succeeding.”