Marketing is all about personalisation, and account-based marketing (ABM) is its ultimate form. Olivia Kirwan Strategic Channel Account Manager at HubSpot recently chatted with Rowley Cubitt Head of New Business here at Huble Digital.

In this blog, we discuss how HubSpot could help you land perfect, enterprise clients through ABM. 

Three things are key to a strong start in ABM: Knowing when ABM is the right fit, following six steps to creating your ABM campaign, and using the right tools. Let’s take a closer look at what Olivia had to say in this 2020 Grow With Inbound webinar.

When, and why, you should consider ABM

According to Olivia, ABM is “a growth strategy in which sales and marketing work together to create personalised buying experiences for a select set of high value customers”. 

But this strategy doesn’t work for everyone. So, when should you use ABM? Here’s what indicates a good fit:

  • Your product costs a lot

  • You have a finite number of prospects

  • You sell to buying stakeholders

When shouldn’t you use ABM? In Olivia’s experience, ABM doesn’t work for e-commerce, where you don’t have buying stakeholders and whoever would like your product simply goes online and buys it in a few clicks. 

Thankfully, when ABM is the right fit for your company, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Increased deal sizes 

  • Better internal collaboration

  • Improved sales velocity

You may close fewer deals, but they’re more valuable, more profitable, and they’re closed more quickly. Now that sounds like winning! 

The six steps to creating an enterprise ABM campaign (and the HubSpot tools that help)

During the webinar (which you can watch here), Olivia shared six expert steps to close enterprise deals faster:

  1. Build a dedicated ABM team

  2. Pick your ideal set of target accounts

  3. Create your account plans together

  4. Attract contacts from those high quality accounts

  5. Build strong relationships with that account’s “Buying Committee”

  6. Measure and analyse your ABM results, and iterate.

Let’s dig deeper into this process to see how you can apply it in your own company, and which HubSpot tools could help. 

1. Building a dedicated team, or task force


With ABM, there’s a team dedicated to each account — your task force. They’re a mixed team of dedicated internal resources whose goal is to get to know your target account, and craft an inbound journey that suits them best. 

Tips for building your own task force include: 

  1. Start small — one marketer, one salesperson

  2. As you scale, add sales people first as one marketer can support up to 10 sales people

  3. Limit the number of target accounts based on the number of salespeople. One salesperson can support up to 10 accounts. 

  4. Put your best marketer on the job — they’re at the heart of an ABM strategy, as they write and personalise content that drives success.


2. Pick your ideal set of target accounts

How do you identify which companifes are a great fit for your business and product offering? Here are tips for picking your ideal set of enterprise clients, or target accounts:

  • Pick accounts based on a particular industry, geographical location, or size of employee base

  • Consider website visits — Which high-value accounts are your inbound channels already attracting?

  • Current deals — What open deals would you like to move faster?

  • Historical deals — What are the 10 biggest deals you’ve closed recently? Look for similar characteristics in target accounts.

  • Logo — Are there companies out there you’d like to be doing business with?

  • Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) — What traits do your best customers have in common? Find more companies with those traits.

  • Don’t disregard closed-lost deals. Consider: Was the timing right? It may be time to revisit good fit closed-lost deals.

Check out Olivia’s live demo on how HubSpot makes filtering existing contacts in your database according to these criteria, quick, accurate and efficient. 

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Most importantly, make sure that sales and marketing align. They need to agree on which accounts will be targeted. And, once your target accounts are identified, you want to make sure they have a home in HubSpot. 

HubSpot’s Target Accounts Home feature will give both sales and marketing teams a birds-eye view of progress across your target accounts. It’s a fantastic shared tool that unites them around the sama data, held in the same place. Watch Olivia demo the Target Accounts Home dashboard in the video clip below, or check out HubSpot’s blog post on How to Automate Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy for more. 

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Already have HubSpot and wondering which tool you could use to automate? The HubSpot ICP Tag helps you identify target leads in no time! Use it to create a workflow that filters incoming qualified leads based on specific criteria (such as company size, industry etc.) and tag them as an “ideal customer” type in HubSpot.

Olivia Blog Screenshot

Target accounts can even be given a tiering system, based on their revenue and location. 

 

3. Create your account plans together


Your task force creates the account plan together, as a combined sales and marketing team. Some great questions to get started with, include:

  1. Who do we want to be attracting?

  2. What type of content do we need to create?

  3. How can we best focus on attracting common “buying committee” members

Your common stakeholders, or “buying committee”, are the ones most likely to help get your deal over the finish line. They could be decision makers, champions, the budget holder, or influencers. Also prepare strategies to address concerns raised by blockers, legal and compliance, executive sponsors and the end user. Remember:

  • Each one needs different content, based on their unique matrix of goals and concerns 

  • Each will meet that content in a different place, or way, based on where they spend their time

Some ideas for content that could speak to each member of the buying committee include:

  • Repurposed content from your general inbound efforts, such as case studies, ebooks, whitepapers, and industry reports

  • Personalised web pages

  • Events (especially, digital events at the moment!)

  • A report or evaluation of their company

  • Gifts

When you’re brainstorming, consider:

  1. What do you need to win over your target account?

  2. What content do they need to understand your offering and communicate it to others?

  3. Do you have that content? Do you need to create it? Does it exist but need to be modified?

Once you’ve got this broad understanding, it’s time to drill down into strategy and tactics. HubSpot tools such as their Ads/LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration, and their ABM playbook for sales reps will help you target companies by their target account status or tire, and help your task force build connections with stakeholders within each account. Find out more about their full set of tools on their ABM Software product page.  

 

Investing in your first three steps will make the last three nearly effortless

Your task force lies at the heart of your success. Investing time and resources to assemble a strong team, and give them what they need to action the first three steps makes the second half of winning enterprise clients feel almost automatic. 

Once you’ve built your team, picked your ideal accounts, and created an account plan, it’s time to attract contacts from those high quality accounts (Step 4), build strong relationships with stakeholders (5) and measure, analyse, and iterate on your ABM results (6).

It does take time, and it’s important to remember there’s no reason to force this approach on your company if ABM isn’t a good fit. But if your product or service is a great match, you may find ABM helps you drive business success with fewer, higher-value clients that come in as a great fit.

 

Key takeout? Success depends on your team

While tools like HubSpot’s make landing enterprise clients easier and more systematic, any successful ABM campaign relies on a winning team. And sometimes, your internal team can benefit from a little outside help. 

If you’re looking to include ABM campaigns in your marketing strategy, but aren’t sure where to start, contact the team at Huble Digital. We’re an elite HubSpot agency partner that can help you roll-out ABM strategy and orient your team to HubSpot’s tools. 

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