ABM 101

The ABM Leadership Alliance Webinar Question Responses

What do you get when the ABM Leadership Alliance and ITSMA team up for a webinar? An hour-long session jam-packed with important insights and key findings centered on ABM best practices and advanced strategies. What you don’t get is enough time to answer all the questions submitted from your webinar attendees.So we’ve created a blog series where ABM experts representing the members organization of the ABM Leadership Alliance answer questions focused on ABM & Covid-19, ABM 101, ABM Tactics and ABM Strategy. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the webinar, you can check that out here.

So now let’s start at the very beginning, with ABM 101.

Q: How feasible is ABM when you’re limited on what’s available in your martech stack?

A: You can absolutely do ABM with a limited martech stack! Despite what you might hear, you can’t buy your way into an ABM strategy. If you don’t have a strategy in place, you won’t have defined objectives or use cases for your technology and you won’t be able to prove the ROI on it. So strategy first! And for a lot of organizations, they come to and refine their strategy with a pilot. When you start with a pilot, you will be able to get away with leveraging the technology you currently have, and performing a majority of the tasks manually. But as you scale, this will become harder and harder to maintain. The good news is, there are a lot of technologies out there to help.

Tenessa Lochner, Director, Content & ABM Education, Demandbase

Q: How do you handle the split between dgen and abm when you have a really small marketing team?

A: I’d recommend being very strategic in terms of the accounts you do decide to target through an ABM strategy. Even a small number of accounts can be very impactful if they are the right ones. Divide your efforts and resources to align with your anticipated outcome as well as what is actually feasible for your team. It is better to go small but impactful with your ABM than spread your team too thin to get real results. Depending on where you are in your ABM journey, a 70/30 split between your traditional demand gen efforts and ABM is a good place to begin. Start small, set some realistic goals based on your available resources, test, measure and expand as you go.

Jesse Walsh, Segment Marketing Manager, Vidyard

Q: Can you please provide your definition of Demand Gen vs Field/Regional Marketing?

A: Field Marketing has historically been a generalist function, usually aligned to a geographic region to support sales in that region. In many companies and industries, this has devolved into an events team that also does sales support when asked. It has also been a combination of events, demand, partner and customer marketing, which means you have marketers asked to do a lot of jobs, not always equally successful. It’s a demanding role, especially in understaffed regions. However, in some companies, this became the first team involved in ABM because the region the field marketers were in required a focus on a defined universe of accounts. ABM has helped to evolve field marketing to be more strategic. People understand their role is more than just making sure there’s coffee and color brochures at the event. This is an opportunity to help those teams evolve their skills and role in a really good way.

Demand gen is typically a more central group with a heavier reliance creating engagement on digital channels. A field marketing team may have demand gen responsibility, but they likely also have other roles. Demand gen is typically focused on filling the top of the funnel via more scalable engagement with a bias toward net-new logos, though sometimes it also supports cross/upsell and may also help with full-funnel marketing. Lead volume and pipeline, as well as contribution to revenue, are the typical metrics, though as companies shift to account-based models and greater sales/marketing alignment, these roles and how they are measured has changed.

Brandon Redlinger, Head of Growth, Engagio

Q: What is the one piece of advice you would give to a growth-stage company that is launching ABM for the first time?

A: Alignment is key! You need to make sure you are completely aligned with your sales teams AND your marketing team. Create an ABM leadership team that consists of representation of each of these teams. Set up a weekly or bi-weekly cadence of meetings to ensure you are all on the same page around goals, objectives and the all important target account list. Create shared dashboards that allow you to talk about what is working and what isn’t. Without everyone being bought into ABM, it won’t work and will be an uphill battle. Get everyone bought in early to see success!

Tenessa Lochner, Director, Content & ABM Education, Demandbase

Do you want to continue to learn more from these amazing and insightful panelists? Make sure to follow the ABM Leadership Alliance on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with all things ABM right in your inbox.

Stephanie Blackwell

Demand Generation Manager, Demandbase

Stephanie Blackwell is Demand Generation Manager at Demandbase. In this role, she works as the coordinator for the ABM Leadership Alliance as well as running campaigns for Demandbase. She has a background in partner marketing and reality television production.