Whether you are preparing to launch your first account-based marketing (ABM) pilot, or you have fully adopted ABM as an integrated component of your go-to-market strategy, you need to build and maintain a well-orchestrated plan to guide your ABM execution.
Based on the successes (and failures) of many marketing leaders’ attempts to roll out ABM, here are five tips to keep in mind when developing ABM plans of your own:
1. Develop ABM Plans at the Account (or Segment) Level.
ABM programs are intended to facilitate personalized engagement with your target accounts. As such, a one-size-fits-all plan isn’t going to be sufficient for enabling your team to build and deploy contextualized messaging and content.
If you are running a small-scale ABM pilot or running an ABM program for a small set of top-tier, high-priority accounts, then each of those accounts will likely require individual account plans. If you are deploying ABM at a larger scale and/or for middle-tier accounts, then a segment-based plan will be more practical.
2. Collaborate with Sales through the Planning Process.
A strong, transparent relationship between marketing and sales is a nonnegotiable for an effective ABM program. Representatives from both marketing and sales should sit down and co-create ABM plans. Input from each group can enhance the quality of plans, facilitate coordinated account engagement across channels, and increase the level of sales buy-in on your ABM program.
3. Assign an ‘Account Marketer’ to Guide Accounts through the Planning Process.
This person is responsible for coordinating with sales and other key stakeholders to solicit relevant input and define engagement roles and responsibilities.
Particularly for less mature ABM programs, your account marketer(s) don’t need to be solely dedicated to ABM.
4. Create an ABM Account Planning Template.
To facilitate both an effective and a consistent planning process, develop a planning template with a standard series of questions for the salespeople and marketers associated with the account.
If your sales team already uses an account planning template, you will likely achieve easier adoption if you simply build on to that existing template, adding additional questions relevant to ABM.
5. Treat Account Plans as Living Documents.
Account plans won’t offer much value if they are forgotten after initial completion. Plans should be easily accessible, and marketing and sales should host joint meetings to revisit and optimize account plans on a regular basis.
For further support in the development of your ABM plans, refer to (subscription required):