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In account-based marketing campaigns are much more narrow and tailored.
Therefore, they require a level of intelligence that is not only more granular but also shared across the entire company to execute.
Once you have your targeted account list ready, the next step is to create a framework for intelligence and gather account insights that will inform your marketing campaigns. The problem? For most marketers this is decidedly a “sales” function, but no longer.
Remember, in ABM, campaigns are an intimate show for your biggest fans. Gone are the over-the top stadium show theatrics of traditional demand generation.
With shared insight into what makes your accounts tick, you can develop targeted messaging and serve up specific ads that will really speak to each one of your accounts.
Overview: account planning roles and insights framework
You could develop your own framework, or you could just steal ours:
Step 1: Setup “account teams”
Each team should include roles like the dedicated sales development rep, an account manager, a marketing manager, and an executive sponsor. These teams are accountable for driving business for a specific account and are assigned various activities against specific prospects within the account.
Scrum-style iteration and management is a perfect match to ensure that everyone is working within a defined timeframe, toward the same goals.
Unlike more traditional practices, we won’t pass the baton from one team member to another. Instead, we will all work in tandem throughout the process to ensure account-based selling success.
Step 2: Establish quarterly account reviews
Account planning sessions are to be lightweight and agile, allowing the team to quickly prepare for, and respond thoughtfully, to unique needs of a target account. These sessions should be insight and data driven, while allowing the entire team to focus on the needs of target accounts.
Step 3: Establish a bi-weekly scrum session
The goal of each bi-weekly SCRUM is to track against progress toward the goals we established at our quarterly sessions. What is the progress? What are the blockers?
The SCRUM format allows for hyper value in a very short amount of time. With a controlled and mechanical touch base, we can quickly ensure that we are still tracking toward our overall targets and remove anything standing in the way. Gone is the old major account list build that happens once, maybe twice per year.
You should have at least 2-3 insights for 100% of targeted accounts and a process to keep these goals visible in bi-weekly SCRUMs. Insights can take the form of:
- Big initiatives in the Account or Account BU
- Pain points
- Opportunities for improvement
- Measurements against competitors
- Favorite Van Halen singer (just kidding)
Your insights need a home, and although you will use many tools and sources to acquire this data, you’ll also need one singular place to create visibility. This is where CRM becomes absolutely critical. In addition to CRM (we recommend SFDC here), you’ll determine within the account planning process which data sources will become your ultimate window into the world.