This post is based off a podcast with Craig Rosenberg. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here and below!
Account-based marketing is more than marketing.
Yes, that’s confusing and counterintuitive, but if we want to utilize ABM to the height of its potential, we need to look past the process as marketing-only. To get beyond the short-term hiccups of ABM to reap the long-term benefits, all of a business’s facets, from the executives to the sales representatives, have to align themselves on the account-based ideal.
High-value targets for marketers are high-value targets for everyone else.
Craig Rosenberg, co-founder and chief analyst at TOPO Inc., calls it “Account-Based Everything.” He managed to teach me a thing or two (four, to be exact) about how best to get marketers and sales development reps on the same page when pursuing and following through with target accounts.
Kill the MQL and Focus on the SQL
This alignment takes a total shift in mindset. The seamless marketing-SDR orchestration is a one-two punch, and it starts with changing your focus from MQLs to SQLs.
What does that look like?
Pipeline and win metrics, according to Craig.
SDRs start by defining the ideal target accounts for your pipeline. In the short-term, these definitions will help you answer vital questions that set the foundation for the long run. As Craig puts it, sales reps can ask, “How many deals are we putting into the pipeline from those target accounts?”
As a result, the marketing team can zero in on the particular needs of target accounts and identify aspects of their business that can lead to a deeper partnership. Increasing your staying power with a target account is always a plus.
“When you do use target accounts,” Craig says, “your Average Contract Value (ACV) will rise. That’s happening across the board. By just determining who you’re going to go sell to, deal sizes are increasing. Some absurdly.”
On a basic level, switching from marketing to sales leads asks—and answers—the question, “Can we tie ourselves to that moment in time when things go in the pipeline in the near-term?”
Create a Unified ICP Database
Having distinct Ideal Customer Databases for each team feels natural. After all, each team covers different attributes of approaching prospective clients.
But if you want to have fluid marketing-SDR orchestration, a unified database is your goal.
From the get-go, have a game plan to define which customer profile fits the bill for both marketing and sales teams. Let your pre-existing ICP databases mesh and produce definitions suitable for all parties involved.
Determine the ideal customer’s ad spending habits, demographic outreaches, and campaign behaviors from what works best for marketers and SDRs.
Design Account-Based SDR Organization
Once you’ve got your foundation and strategy, let the SDRs determine their process based on ABM principles.
From the unified ICP database, SDRs can pursue the right channels and set up avenues of response for those target accounts. Then, based on whether or not the target account responds right away, the SDRs can either step into a Lead Follow-up Multi-Channel Pattern or continue with the patterns available in the outbound efforts.
In the end, you’re striving to get meetings set up to establish those customer relationships.
This ultimately looks like a hybrid of inbound and outbound SDR methodology, but the with the added benefit of knowing exactly who you’re going after beforehand.
Design an Orchestration Plan
Set yourself up for success the right way. Let both your marketers and SDRs come up with a timetable to implement their strategy.
Maybe you want to start your outreach with the marketers running ads based on target accounts and launching web personalization. After that, SDRs can take over with follow-ups and personalized pitches. This can culminate in planning events (like face-to-face meetings or conferences) and follow-ups to which both teams can contribute.
Scary, but Exciting
Like we established before: seamless marketing-SDR orchestration is a one-two punch of personalization.
It takes a commitment to align your efforts before anything else. That starting point will reap benefits by itself. The SDRs will have to re-design their efforts to match the ABM model, but that step makes that goal of coalescing more attainable. And your attack strategy will have to work for marketers and sales reps alike
All this sounds pretty intimidating but remember: the key is to prioritize relevance and consistency. Complex campaigns can work, but you’ll be able to reap the benefits of Account-Based Everything if you keep your plans simple and pertinent to your customer’s needs.