Did you know that there is a key combination of roles that B2B companies can use to build themselves the ultimate account-based marketing (ABM) team of all-stars? This all-star team doesn’t require scrapping your existing marketing team, but don’t expect it to all come together overnight either. In fact, where you are in your ABM journey will determine where you should start building out your team. If your organization is new to ABM, whether it’s a top-down or bottom-up initiative, you probably have plenty of stakeholders to convince and get buy-in from.
First, start with leveraging your existing marketing team. Next, collaborate with other departments within your organization to fill missing ABM functions. Lastly, round out your team by properly aligning job responsibilities so that everyone involved has a complete understanding of what’s expected. Read on to get a full rundown of your “role” map to ABM.
Leveraging Your Current Team of Marketers
Drawing from the expertise of your existing marketing team is the first step in building out your ABM all-star team. It’s likely that many of the tasks used to run a successful ABM campaign is already being performed by your current team of marketers, such as demand generation, digital advertising, and analytics. This means that there’s no need to revolutionize job functions.
Because ABM is multichannel, you’ll still need your ads and web managers onboard. The first thing your team can do is understand how well your target accounts respond to current campaigns across all existing channels. You’ll want to work closely with your analytics team to understand buyer behavior and plan out which tactics will be most effective in your ABM program.
Here are a few marketing roles you can call upon to build your all-star team:
- Demand Gen
- Marketing Operations
- Digital Advertising
- Marketing Analytics
Crossing Departmental Lines
Once you’ve got your band of marketers pulled together, it’s now time to pull efforts from other departments within your company. If there’s one thing you learn about ABM let it be that collaboration is key in running successful programs.
According to research conducted by SiriusDecision, “Only 36 percent of companies deploying ABM consider sales and marketing tightly aligned. This missed opportunity leads to ineffective ABM design and execution.” In other words, a successful ABM strategy requires support from other departments outside of marketing, particularly the sales team.
Sales plays an important part in executing an account-based marketing campaign. When all is said and done, proving pipeline and revenue impact is critical, which is why your sales team plays a major role within your ABM dream team. While taking an ABM approach voids the old traditional framework of “handing off” leads between sales and marketing, this new path requires the two teams to overlap and collaborate. This means sharing critical metrics between them – specifically, account progression along the purchase journey.
Other key players outside of the marketing department to include in your all-star team includes:
- Customer Success Reps
- C-Suite Executives
Understanding Roles & Responsibilities
Now that you’ve established your ABM dream team, it’s time to define job functions. One of the main advantages of a successful ABM program is having a “full court press” mentality in which organizational alignment is a must because when all is said and done, delivering results is a team effort. Here’s how the sales, customer success, and the C-Suite fit into the dedicated ABM team.
First, the marketing and sales teams work together to select target accounts which enables the pre-sales/BDRs to start initial interactions with defined prospects. After prospects are handed off to account executives to give demo’s, answer questions, and close deals, the prospects, which are now customers, begin working with a customer success rep to onboard and retain. The customer success team can help by giving input on account hygiene. ABM isn’t just for net new accounts or acquisition. There are lots of account-based marketing plays that work well for upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
The C-Suite is responsible for setting expectations and accountability within the company, as well as defining primary business objectives. If execs are paying close attention to customer-centric metrics and talk about moving upmarket, then ABM is a good fit.
Whether you’re beginning on the road to account-based marketing or if you’re in the middle of a program and are simply looking to realign your team, establishing an ABM dream team is essential in completing a successful campaign. This “role” map can properly outline what’s expected of everyone involved so that objectives can be met without stepping on anyone’s toes.