FlipMyFunnel Post, Other

How to Practice ABM Using the TEAM Framework

This post is based on a podcast with David Guerra and Justin Kitagawa. If you’d like to listen to more #FlipMyFunnel Podcast episodes, you can check them out here and listen to this episode below!

We have a surprise for you:

Instead of our host, Sangram, interviewing someone, he was actually interviewed for a webinar called the 4 Steps to ABM Success. Sangram, and the webinar hosts, David Guerra and Justin Kitagawa, discussed the 4-step ABM process called TEAM.

And we brought you all the highlights right here.

The webinar was hosted by David Guerra, the Technology Content Strategist for HG DATA and Justin Kitagawa, Sr. Director of Product Marketing & Operations at HG DATA.

Here’s what we’re unpacking today:

  • The TEAM framework approach
  • How the right account selection impacts your campaigns
  • True sales and marketing alignment
  • Measuring your ABM efforts

Sangram, can you walk us through the TEAM approach to ABM?

Sangram: So, target, engage, activate, and measure, T-E-A-M.

I think what the term “ABM” did in some way is it created this idea that it’s only for marketers, and not for sales. If you’re still in that camp, you should completely dismantle that idea. It’s actually a team framework. It is marketing and sales truly working together, which is why we say its purpose is to drive account based success, not account based marketing. So, it’s quite simple, but in a way it’s helpful and super powerful and maybe, just maybe, if you are in a process of figuring out what your tech stack should look like, this will help because you can figure out:

“Do I have something to target? Do I have something to engage? Do I have something to activate and measure?”  


Sangram: Without going after the right accounts, I feel like it’s almost a fallacy. Nothing else is really going to come no matter how awesome the personalization is. Target has to be, by far, the very first thing. And quite frankly, we completely missed that step in the last 10 plus years, and we went directly to engage: “Hey, let’s just create an infographic. Let’s create white papers. Let’s create all these things.” And we were in the engage portion way before figuring out who to go after, so the order is important.


Sangram: Target the right people, focus on them, and then … figured out who do you want to engage at a much more personalized level, and that goes beyond the online, offline, display advertising world, direct, etc.


Sangram: This third one is also something I feel was missing in my marketing program I ran at Pardot. Here it is: I must take the responsibility as a marketer to activate my sales team. I’ll literally say that again because I think it’s so, so, so important.

As a marketer, it is my responsibility — and, for you as marketers, it is your responsibility — to really activate your sales team. They do not care about your leads, they care about the accounts they want to close. If you can activate them on their stuff, then it’s better. No salesperson we ever hired had a title “lead executive.” The title has always been “account executive.” They care about the accounts. Give them what they want, and you’ll find activating sales is really, really cool.


Sangram: And then the measuring is equally as important. If you’re measuring website traffic for ABM success, the framework would be not to just measure traffic to the website, but measure traffic from the right accounts to the website.

Let’s consider how you’re measuring how many people are attending this specific webinar. Not just looking at how many people attended the webinar, but looking at: Are they the right people in the right accounts, attending the webinar? So then you can have a follow-up.

So, your measurement really starts changing and going after the right steps. It’s quite simple, as it says, target, engage, activate, measure. It should help you from a strategy perspective and also from a technology perspective.

How does the right account selection influence the types of marketing campaigns you run?

Sangram: So let’s take an example from where we went after this account Cortera.

We discovered what their pain points are, and we understood that one of the biggest challenges was helping their future customers with the right commercial credit data. That’s where the pain point was. So, we built a one-to-one ad with them using text, not their logo (you get legal issues as soon as you started using logos).

Again, that one-to-one ad is really, really key.

If you know that account is highly valuable for you, then doing that one-to-one ad takes them to this one-to-one landing page which does not have a form, or a “tell me your mother’s maiden name” anywhere.

It literally has a welcome page created for you. And our salesperson in this case was Mag. She created a video of herself saying why we think we can help you, why we think we can serve you the best. We’re doing all because we believe that they are not only the best fit, but we also believe they have the right intent. If we can create the right amount of engagement in this, then we know that we will win this account.