Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a focused effort to win business from your most desirable prospects. Because these prospects are typically large, and their business is often controlled by a committee of decision makers and buying influencers, your ABM pilot program will span many months, if not years. And once success has been achieved, ABM in roll-out will become a mainstay of your marketing efforts, taking its place beside your traditional demand-generation initiatives.
With that in mind, what are the milestones along the way to a successful pilot?
- ABM Plan
The first milestone is the development of your ABM plan. As ABM is a program that will impact your largest prospects, you need to build your plan around a close collaboration with your sales team, since they will be responsible for following up on the leads. Salespeople on your ABM team need to have an incentive to succeed with the early parts of the program, even though revenue from converting these large accounts may not hit the books until next year or later. Goals, objectives, and KPIs for success should be part of the plan.
- ABM plan and budget approval
Next is approval of the plan and budget from the highest level of your organization. Because acquiring and eventually servicing these large accounts is likely to affect every part of the organization from senior management to the plant floor, it is important to secure approval and support from all the stakeholders early in the planning.
- Prospect definition
Gaining consensus on the target accounts—the accounts that deliver not just the revenue you want, but whose culture also makes them a good fit with your firm—is well worth the time you devote to the effort to define them.