Account selection is without a doubt the single most critical step in the Account Based Marketing process. As one of the first steps, it impacts every other subsequent step of the program
Defining your best accounts
To get from the total number of accounts in your market (total addressable market) to the ideal number of accounts for an ABM strategy, will require filtering and probably mean setting aside some great opportunities in favour of the very strongest.
The first step, if not done already, is to define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). The ICP is a typical company that fits the profile for the solution or product offering that you are selling. Accounts that fit this profile are a subset of your target addressable market.
To find your ICP, you can reverse-engineer your most successful accounts and discover lookalike accounts that fit the general profile. There’s also the interesting tactic of reverse-engineering your competitors’ most successful accounts. Compile data about these accounts and determine what factors are most predictive of success. Needless to say, account selection involves forming strong partnership and trust between marketing and sales to select the best possible accounts that will convert and produce revenue outcomes for the organization
If your sales organization is well set and experienced, you just need to assemble your sales team and ask them to come up with an account list. Most sales reps have been acutely focused on target accounts for years and have a pretty good idea of who they need to knock down to make their numbers. However, it lacks supporting data with which to build an entire marketing plan. The sales team’s gut can get you started and be on the same page as them, but marketing has to supplement other data driven methods to The hunch is vitally important to get sales and marketing teams on the same page and in agreement, but it should not be the only method of gathering target accounts
To select the right accounts to target, data will be your most trusted ally. Along with the sales reps insights, you can leverage firmographic, technographic and sociographic data to select the right accounts to include in your ABM programs:
Firmographics: Ideal account size, location, no. of employees and industry sector
Technographics: The account’s technology infra, their state of digital maturity, install base.
Sociographics: The account’s issues and challenges, their priorities and the opportunities related to the ideal account and account intent
Good data is key to this process. With highly scalable ABM platforms such as SalesboxAI, it’s possible to include thousands of accounts and buying groups within these target accounts
The advent of intent data is enabling a powerful method of harnessing big data to identify prospect accounts by their online behavior. For instance, companies such as Bombora enables you to harness intelligence about content being consumed by organizations. Some of the activities you could monitor include white paper downloads, webinar attendance, press releases and consuming pages of your web content. Even monitoring of search terms gathered at scale, organized by topic, industry and segments, are scored and available for further refinement for account selection intelligence. The reasoning behind intent monitoring is that when a number of people within your target account is spending hours on your website consuming tons of content, the probability of an active opportunity within that account is much higher
Using the three data sources mentioned along with competition bench marking, organizations can identify high probable accounts that will contribute to targeted revenue and drive business results that are data inspired and collaboration-led
ABM, the more practical and focused B2B marketing tactic is gaining traction today. It’s time to get to know ABM better. Watch this webinar on how to use Demand Unit Marketing to drive your ABM programs