6 Steps To Orchestrate Successful ABM Programs

There’s more emphasis now than ever on how to orchestrate ABM and what it could look like in practice. Yet, one of the challenges with ABM is finding the right play or sequence of plays that can yield a positive result.

Whether you’re new to ABM or running tried-and-true tactics, execution is critical. It all boils down to how well you build and deploy the right offer to the right audience.

To help solve this problem, here’s a 6-step process we use at Radius to launch ABM initiatives.

ABM Orchestration Framework

Before we look at the framework, it’s worth noting that you should have already covered the basics of ABM. This can include changes to your tech stack, assembling an ABM team, and prioritizing accounts based on your ideal customer profile (ICP).

If you haven’t done this already, here are some resources from SiriusDecisions to help you get started with ABM.”

Step 1: Select target accounts

First, you start by selecting accounts that you want to target for a specific program or ABM tactic. You can curate this list in a few of different ways:

  • You curate a list of your best fit accounts. For example, you select 3 Tier A accounts and 10 Tier B’s for a 1:1 campaign
  • You share a list of accounts with your sales reps and work with them to narrow it down. For example, you share 20 Tier A accounts with sales and ask them to rank the top 5.

Step 2: Identify account goals

Once you have the target account list, it’s time to identify where the account is in their buying journey. This step has two parts:

  1. a) Conduct an account audit

Auditing accounts can help level-set where the account is in their buying journey. It can also help you uncover intel that can support personalization efforts.

There are a handful of questions worth asking and documenting through this process:

  • Account info: Account tier, industry, account score (optional), relevant use case(s)
  • Contact details: Contact coverage, past campaign history, recency and frequency of engagement
  • Key market trends: Business need, internal trends driving decision-making process, external market factors
  • Sales outreach: Account ‘readiness to buy’ (anecdotal but useful), prior sales interactions, any other relevant information from the sales rep

It’s helpful to capture as many insights as possible on each account. Often, you can use this audit to measure non-monetary milestones within the account. For example, you can track the number of key contacts identified, higher engagement across stakeholders, or information sourced about technographics.

  1. b) Identify account objective(s)

Next, sort your accounts into different buckets based on the objectives for each one. The goal here is to identify the next milestone you’re looking to reach across all your accounts. Broadly, your accounts could fall into one of these three buckets:

  • Start a conversation
  • Generate an opportunity
  • Nurture a deal

Step 3: Develop account plans

Next, it’s time to build account pursuit plans. I recommend building full-fledged account pursuit plans for your top-tier accounts.

In this step, you want to identify the next tactic or play that will move this account down the path to buy.

Start with your short-term objectives. What is the next milestone you’re looking to meet (from Step 2), and what tactics do you need to deploy to reach it? Once you have that down, figure out the next steps for the account. For example, how do you continue supporting an account after generating an opportunity? Are there awareness plays you can run with key executives in the account?

Build the pursuit plan to cover the entire buyer’s journey and use it is as a rough map to guide you. Odds are that your plans will change, so tweak your pursuit strategy as needed.

Step 4: Gather account insights

With your account plans in hand, it’s time to start executing. Start by building your offer, selecting channels, and creating any necessary content.

Also, ask sales to focus on mining the account for more insights. Do you need more contacts to target in your program? Are there any other factors or information that sales can source, which will be used in the program? Are there current events you can reference to make your offer more timely?

High-touch, one-to-one personalized programs need adequate insights. So, be sure to uncover all the information you need to personalize your outreach.

Step 5: Define success metrics

ABM operates across a wide spectrum of marketing milestones and goals. Success in ABM can vary from sourcing the right contacts to increased velocity or higher ACV. That’s why it’s critical to document your program goals and agree on them with sales.

Make sure you’re aligned on what success looks like with ABM. Per Engagio’s ABM Analytics eBook, you should focus on metrics spanning across:

  • Engagement – defining your account relationships
  • Journey – tracking positive outcomes
  • Attribution – measuring ROI and program performance

Step 6: Execute (and measure results)

Lastly, it’s time to launch your ABM efforts across multiple channels for better success. As a general rule of thumb, I try to incorporate at least 3 channels where possible.

It’s also important to test the sequence of channels and how your offer is delivered across each one. For example, at Radius we found that emails followed up by a direct mailer and sales outreach tend to yield the best results.

As you test ideas, make sure there’s an ongoing feedback loop built in the process. Keep iterating and try different channels, content and offers to find what works best for you.

Wrapping It Up

It’s not enough to only think about strategic factors when implementing ABM. You need a dependable process that can help you identify, test, and scale new ideas.

How do you build and launch ABM tactics? Are there any more steps or learnings that ABM marketers should keep top of mind? Share your tips and tricks by tweeting @Radius.