In our most recent webinar, How to Build a High-Performing, Multi-channel ABM Program, Triblio’s Chief Customer Officer Andrew Mahr discussed how ABM is changing the way marketers are investing in marketing technology. During the Q&A portion of the webinar, Andrew provided some thoughtful insights in response to questions he received from marketers. Today we thought it would be fun to shed some light into those questions.
Q: What are some of the biggest pitfalls that you see companies making in regards to ABM?
The first drawback that Andrew highlights is companies failing to build organizational support and alignment programs in advanced. This is important because alignment and cross-functional support are necessary from the very beginning to make account-based marketing truly effective. This requires involvement from an executive sponsor and buy-in from the sales team. Everyone needs to be on the same page about what to expect from the program from the very start.
The second pitfall Andrew notes is a lack of investment as it relates to account insights. This is a topic that Andrew tackles at length during the webinar but the example that he emphasizes during the Q&A portion dives deeper into tier-1 programs. As you are reaching out to your top 10 to 15 customers, you need to have really deep insights into those accounts to drive a great program. Specifically, you need to fully understand the solution and business problem you are selling into and who is involved in the buying process from those companies. In this instance, it’s not a plug and play situation – you can’t assume that doing a single tactic can garner the same results from a different account. You must be ready to invest in a deep account insight development process with sales and marketing, sharing resources and staying in-sync with the teams involved. Information sharing between sales and marketing will only benefit your program.
Andrew adds that you must be aware that the same thing applies to other programs and models such as a 1:MANY campaign where you have hundreds or thousands of accounts. Intent data can scale this type of program, but again, your account insight strategy is essential. If all you have is a list of accounts but no strategy about how to personalize their messaging, you’ll end up doing modified cold calling, which won’t result in a successful account-based marketing program.
The last pitfall Andrew discusses is an over-reliance on a single tactic. Just because you launched a personalization campaign or launched an ad campaign doesn’t mean that your entire ABM program is running smoothly. It’s essential for you to leverage multiple channels for follow-up and to lay out a specific plan for the sales team. AEs need to be trained and equipped with the knowledge to fully understand the different data points that marketing is working off of. It’s important to have a thorough sales engagement and training process where you can explain what plays and strategies marketing is running.
Q: How do you go about evaluating an ABM vendor or technology investment?
Andrew encourages marketers first not to think about the technology aspect of ABM. Rather, he recommends building and selling the vision of what account-based marketing can look like to the departments that’ll be involved, i.e. getting buy-in. Because a successful ABM program involves getting the marketing and sales departments to work together, you really need to build out the program first and foremost. You’re going to have a workflow and business process where one type of nurturing program will trigger another, which will trigger different types of sales plays. Additionally, you may have other functions coming in at different parts of the process such as a customer success rep. Being able to get everyone on to the same page is key. We all need to be reading from the same playbook and looking at the same metrics.
Andrew goes on by suggesting exploring technology vendors not merely as vendors but as potential partners. It’s vital to fill them in about the workflow you are trying to execute and the business process that you’re trying to accomplish and asking them to show you how they’re going to make that happen for you. A favorable vendor is going to respond as a partner and not just show you a bunch of cool features. They’ll dive into workflows and give you feedback. The really good ones will steer you around the blind spots in your plan. True vendor partners will help you build up your tech stack as a whole so that your team will be well-equipped to successfully execute towards your goals.
If you want to catch the full webinar on how to build a high-performing, multi-channel ABM program, click here.