The Latest from the ABM Experts
January 12, 2017
How Does Your Account-Based Marketing Stack Stack Up?
Written by Joel Garcia
Category: Account-Based Marketing
Introducing the Account-Based Marketing Stack Grader, a tool to help you analyze and optimize your ABM stack.
Whether you’re looking to get started with account-based marketing or you’re running a well-oiled ABM machine, it’s important to ensure you cover each stage of account-based marketing as efficiently and effectively as possible. Having a clearly defined plan and setting measurable goals is crucial to success, but it’s equally as important to have the right mix of technology solutions in your account-based marketing stack to really execute ABM at scale.
The technology solutions you choose should complement your plan, the goals you set, and the KPIs that matter to your business.
Tip: It’s important to keep the big picture and your overarching goals in mind when selecting a technology solution. You should first define your plan and goals, identify the metrics you want to track, determine what you need to execute it, and then select technology pieces that fit those needs.
To guide you on your path to becoming an account-based marketing superhero, we built our very own ABM Stack Grader. Over 140 companies have already used the tool, which looks at each stage of account-based marketing — Identify, Expand, Engage, Advocate, and Measure — and rates your stack based on the tools you’re currently using or planning to use to execute each step.
“The ABM Stack Grader gave me a good overall view of how our martech stack lined up with the 5 ABM stages. I was able to see where we were well covered in regards to engagement and I was also able to see where we were lacking in advocacy. This led me to think about where that piece is lacking not just in our toolset but also in our post sales cycle in general. It has been a struggle for us to foster customer advocates and also to gather user created content, so having some suggestions as far as technology is very helpful.”
– Judson Voss, Digital Marketing and Business Development Manager at Chart Industries
As you go through and grade your stack, we wanted to provide more information on each step in the account-based marketing funnel and why each step is so important. If you come across any gaps in your current stack and want to learn more about the technology providers in each area, check out the Terminus Cloud for ABM.
Step 1: Identify
First, define and find your best-fit accounts. Before you begin selecting companies, we suggest first taking the time to do as much clean up of current data as you can. Use that information to analyze and build out your ideal customer profile (ICP). This will arm you with the information you need to make informed decisions on what types of companies you should be targeting (company size, industry, etc.) and which people within those companies are the decision-makers you’re trying to reach.
Tools in the Identify stage help you find the companies you want to target. There are two different types of tools in this category that work really well together: data and predictive. Data tools provide you with firmographic data and contact information for the people you want to target, and predictive tools use data science and machine learning to recommend the right companies to go after.
Step 2: Expand
Now that you’ve identified your best-fit accounts, it’s time to expand your reach within those accounts to find the right stakeholders at those companies. Fortunately for Terminus customers, we do all the legwork it takes to find the information you need to reach decision-makers within your target accounts.
Tools that support the Expand stage help you reach more people in the account, find and purchase data about contacts in target accounts, and structure your CRM for account-based marketing.
Step 3: Engage
This is where all the action happens. The best account-based marketing plans engage contacts in different ways on different channels. Targeted display ads are extremely valuable within a multi-channel marketing plan because they provide a way to get in front of your target contacts on their terms. With Terminus, you have the ability to select exactly who sees your ad, when, and what message they get. Take it one step further and tailor that message to any number of factors, like their stage in the pipeline, job title, industry, or any other field in your Salesforce that’s relevant to your ICP.
Tools that help you Engage could include content management and distribution, CRM, digital ads, direct mail, events and webinars, marketing automation, and personalization tools, so there’s a lot to consider when planning out your engagement strategy.
Step 4: Advocate
With steps one through three, you’re identifying and targeting best-fit potential customers and moving them across the goal line. Once you turn those prospects into customers, it’s time to move beyond the buyer’s journey and focus on the customer experience.
Your efforts to engage and delight a company shouldn’t stop once they sign a contract with you, so take the time to maximize the value of each customer you worked so hard to acquire by ensuring that they’re satisfied and getting the most out of your product or service. According to Jim Williams, CMO at Influitive, “The most powerful marketing channel is the voice of the customer.”
Tools that focus on the Advocate stage help you put extra energy and resources into customer satisfaction, which will turn your customers into ambassadors for your brand.
Step 5: Measure
All of the above steps mean nothing unless you measure your results and optimize your campaign along the way. Every organization is different, so we suggest getting your sales and marketing teams aligned around the same ABM goals and KPIs and using those to measure success.
Measurement tools help you track metrics such as levels of engagement, pipeline velocity, and the number of opportunities created and/or closed. Whatever metrics you decide are important for you and your team, just make sure you have a way to measure the results and make improvements where needed.
Grade Your B2B Account-Based Marketing Stack
Now that you have a better understanding of each account-based marketing stage, go ahead and grade your stack. Share your grade on Twitter using hashtag #ABMCloud, and we may feature your stack on our blog!