How to build an awesome ABM team?

Numerous B2B marketing organizations are considering Account Based Marketing (ABM). Moving from a wide inbound way of demand generation strategy to a more targeted, account-centric approach requires a shift towards obtaining, retaining, and developing high-value accounts. But then, some don’t know how to begin and get underway with this approach. Overpowered by thoughts of changing their programs and hiring new staff, many marketing leaders set aside their ABM plans.

However, that shift is often well worth it because the targeted accounts are likely to generate more revenue and often have strategic significance like helping to penetrate new territories or influence a market.

For those just starting out on their account based marketing journey, forming a significant core team will profile the respective change management necessary to make your campaigns successful.

Forming such a team starts with defining specific roles in the team. Just like instruments are strategically and specifically placed in an orchestra, organizations need to acknowledge the various roles team members play and then manage them to target and engage high-value accounts.

Yes, ABM has marketing in the name, but it ultimately needs the involvement of stakeholders across the organization including those outside marketing. For example, these sorts of roles will provide the support you need for a successful ABM campaign:

  • Lead Marketer: Runs the ABM play from creation to implementation, acts as the point person to ensure cross-functional collaboration and reports on the progress of strategy.
  • Change Sponsor: Fundamentally, this position will be out of marketing, but they drive this strategy through sales, customer success and rest of the organization. They will offer support and strategic guidance, acting as a champion for your ABM strategy, from an executive perspective.
  • Account Executive Leader: Supports in aligning the strategy around customers and their needs, creates ABM plays while leading and educating the rest of the team on best practices.
  • Marketing/Sales Operations: Examines your existing database, recognizes trends, and reports on growth. They are crucial in choosing the right accounts.
  • Sales Development Leader: Directs research on accounts, providing feedback to the group to recalibrate if necessary.
  • Support Specialist: Continuously explores opportunities to support existing customers in their product and potentially identifies new opportunities for upsell and cross-sell.
  • Customer Success LeaderStrategically monitors target accounts to help ensure customer retention and prioritization of cases.

In case, you have a lean organization, the easiest way but at the minimum, is to start with leveraging on the alignment of your current marketing & sales teams and then determine how to get support from the rest of the organization.

Furthermore, you will also want to define the roles different teams will have as a part of your ABM strategy.

  • Industry Marketing: While different kinds of businesses benefit from your offering in different ways, this team provides expertise relevant to unalike target accounts, helping deliver a more tailored message and experience to the accounts.
  • Product Marketing: Communicates the product functionalities and their relevance to the target accounts establishing the competitive differentiation. Partners and develops personalized late-strategies together with the sales team in closing target accounts.
  • Corporate Marketing: Ensures the voice of customers informs the marketing strategy and involves in creating a targeted set of messages that are specific to target accounts.
  • Content Marketing: Analyzes existing content to support your ABM strategy and creates, repurposes and consistently distributes high valued content to deliver a personalized experience.
  • Designers: Connects your product to market by integrating creative design elements into campaigns and helps inspire the target accounts to engage.
  • Solution Consultants: While understanding the business objectives and system needs of customers, acts as a point of contact with key decisionmakers in a target account, educates them regarding solutions your product can offer.

While it’s easy to forget, to be effective, you will have to work relentlessly to educate teams on the value, process, and momentum of your ABM strategy.

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