By Bill McGinnis
You have 2 goals in the next 12 months: 1) Launch Account Based Marketing and 2) Improve Sales & Marketing Alignment. You have always yearned to improve the latter, and now with ABM, you understand how ABM can help! Wow, now you can kill those 2 marketing “birds” with 1 “stone”! And without expensive Martech bling.
Warning: do NOT throw stones at sales people. I’ve tried to get their attention that way, and it only makes them more smarmy.
Let’s get started:
Step 1: Sit down with sales and discuss strategy and goals. If you can reach this point where you are actually “sitting down with sales”, then consider yourself among leading edge marketers worldwide and on your way to ABM. So celebrate small victories! (and begin your Markie submission write-up)
Step 2: Divide… As part of your strategy, agree to attack low hanging fruit, namely existing and past customers. Everyone will be in their comfort zones with these segments, and you can be assured of more quick victories. One proven approach is to segment accounts by deal recency. So sales will take accounts with which they have won deals in the past 18 months, and marketing will take the lead with accounts with won deals greater than 18 months ago.
Step 3: ….and conquer
Sales will initiate contact with their recent accounts with phone calls, then email follow ups. Marketing on the other hand, will initiate contact with a more mass approach by email.;
With Step 3 we have achieved a big part of that 1 stone solution: sales and marketing working together to attack accounts in tandem.
Use your marketing automation platform, such as Eloqua. A proven campaign is to offer an eBook or White Paper, something of value, with a gated form survey. The form simply asked 2-3 questions about the level of pain the recipient might be experiencing. For example, on a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with Sales & Marketing Alignment at your company?. Then, how satisfied are you with your Nurturing Program results? Those kind of questions – short, to the point and no more than 3 of them.
Based on the “level of pain” the recipient is experiencing, along with other profile and behavioral criteria, we then score the results and present a prioritized follow up list for the sales team.
Instead of a traditional follow up process: call one day, send an email, call the next day, it’s: call, send, follow up based on lead score. Sales will now make follow-up calls to accounts where there is a high Lead Score and therefore a much more high-potential scenario for success. And you can aggregate Lead Score at the Account level. Scoring enables prioritizing and makes you a hero with sales! Here’s how it looks:
In concert, marketing has launched email messaging to the older accounts with the same offer and “pain threshold” form. The resulting interaction is also scored. So both new and old accounts show up in the sales person’s lead score or prioritization list. Your hero status is further enhanced by providing additional high potential follow up calls for sales reps. Here’s the marketing process:
Step 5: Integrate the process
Now we merge the two processes above to form an integrated, aligned process.
We can now see how everything fits together, how we have a similar approach to two different Account segments, how all activities are centralized with one scoring model, and how sales works hand in hand with marketing and takes final responsibility to ensure
ROI. And it’s all Account based, so we’ve achieved a pilot, mini-launch of ABM. Best of all, sales and marketing worked together, which is the first step in achieving ABM: the people part – not the technology, Martech bling part.
Does it work? Absolutely! As an example of practicing what we preach, I launched this as a campaign of our own at a previous company and generated over $400,000 in new pipeline in the first 4 weeks and closed $200,000 within 8.
In future posts, we’ll dive into different channels so we are not totally relying on emails and phone calls. We’ll talk about how the content and messaging must be personalized to fit each different Account – a key ingredient of ABM. And we’ll consider both Contact and Account Lead Scores, Personas, Target Account Selection and more.
In the meantime, this simple, starter campaign is one that achieves our two goals. We created “1 Campaign Stone ” to kill “2 Marketing Birds”: successful Account Based Marketing and Sales & Marketing Alignment.