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Build and launch a successful ABM program in 5 steps

By: Taylor Smith, Senior Field Marketing Manager


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It was an absolutely massive deal. 

32 people in the buying group and nearly two years in the making.

We were at the finish line in the purchase phase and we had success multithreading nearly all of the key stakeholders.

And after all this time, only one thing stood in our way: a single holdout.

Unlike sales cycles of the past, this blocker was not in finance or IT, and they were not a senior level employee of the organization. They were a newly hired project manager.

Thankfully, the deal closed a month later. But to me it confirmed what I already knew: things are different now. 30+ people in a buying group and a project manager holding the keys — it would seem far-fetched even a few years ago.

As buyer groups change, every part of the buyer’s journey changes, too. In response, marketing and revenue teams need to align around a single strategy for targeting key accounts. 

Account Based Marketing (ABM) can be the glue that holds it all together.

ABM moves complex deals forward 

ABM is a powerful marketing approach targeted toward the modern buyer. This strategy focuses on a personalized, multi-channel approach that meets the needs of the buyer at the right time.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and that’s exactly why we love it. 

There are, however, 5 key steps to consider when building out and launching your own account-based marketing strategy, based on the proven success we’ve had using them at Salesloft. And we’ll cover each one below. 

1. Align with sales to identify the most strategic accounts you’d like to target 

When launching your ABM strategy, begin by identifying and prioritizing high-value accounts you want to target.

At Salesloft, we typically look at things like CRM data, firmographic information, and engagement metrics to prioritize accounts that align with our ICP. Every quarter, we host cross-departmental meetings amongst sales leadership, product, field marketing, and customer marketing to review account trends and to ensure we’re in constant alignment toward our strategy.

We also enforce an open and transparent line of (frequent) communication to align all teams and strategize accordingly.

2. Ditch MQLs and leverage AI

The success of your ABM program relies on meeting people at the right place and at the right time – and in order to do so, data needs to be your best friend. 

Salesloft integrates partner data signals (think 6sense, G2, Docusign, Seismic, and many others) into Rhythm to provide a central source of truth that tells you how and when to connect with your target audience to reach them at the optimal time. 

Your goal should be to have a deep understanding of who you’re connecting with, and data is a great resource that allows you to learn more. But, while data is important,  Salesloft VP Keith Cordeiro shares that it is equally as important to stay human. Make sure prospects feel like their problem can be solved, and are heard and understood. 

3. Target key accounts with tailored digital engagement

As part of Salesloft's winning ABM strategy, we implemented tailored digital advertising assets designed specifically for one key account or one specified account segment. 

Leveraging 6sense, these ads targeted the buying group with highly specific messaging tailored to the organization's internal dynamics. This approach effectively captured the attention of previously unengaged contacts and propelled the deal forward to the purchase stage.

The tailored digital advertisements serve as just one aspect of our comprehensive multi-channel customer experience. We paired the ads with personalized landing pages crafted with language designed to resonate with the buyer, and incorporated email marketing funnels and direct mail campaigns to fully incorporate a dynamic omnichannel approach. 

Implementing a multi-threaded strategy with consistent and timely messaging not only enhances engagement across the entire buying committee, but allows you to reach a larger audience in a shorter amount of time, helping you to progress and close more deals more quickly.

4. Enhance engagement through personalization

When it comes to ABM, personalization stands as a foundational element essential for success. According to Accenture via Forbes, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. This data point alone demonstrates the importance of meeting your target contacts at the right place and at the right time, and personalization will help accelerate this process.

For marketers, personalization represents more than just a tactic - it's a strategic imperative. Ranging from individualized to commercial approaches, encompassing design assets to content, personalization holds the key to capturing the target audience's attention effectively. Every aspect that can be personalized becomes an opportunity to deepen engagement and foster meaningful connections.

5. Choose a full-stack technology platform that supports your ABM strategy

Now that you’ve found the right accounts, use a full-stack tech platform to target them. A full-stack platform lets you streamline your workflows to create meaningful and personalized interactions throughout the entirety of the buyer’s journey. In the next section, we’ll show you how to achieve this with Salesloft’s revenue workflow platform. 

Platforms like Salesloft can deliver your ABM strategies 

At Salesloft, we use our revenue orchestration platform to bring ABM programs to life. It gives our revenue team a single pane of glass to work from, and everything’s already a part of our core workflows. Here are some of the ways we’re using it. 

Organizing our work structure in an account-based format that aligns with the ABM strategy

How we run this in Salesloft:

We create focus around the most important accounts by assigning tier values to our top accounts with the Account Tier Field. We can group your accounts by qualities such as close date, ARR, geographic region, and more.

The People at Account panel allows us to easily see the various contacts associated with the account, and how often you and your team have engaged with them. Here you can add an account contact to a cadence, and even one-off call or email them directly to ensure you are engaging the entire buying circle from the account, further incorporating your multi-channel experience.

Creating and deploying a multi-channel strategy to multiple target accounts

How we run this in Salesloft:

Using Cadences, we implement a sequence of calls, emails, social, video, and other steps to engage each tier or persona that we’re targeting with a multi-channel approach. This allows us to keep the attention of your prospects with a consistent experience and message no matter who from our team is reaching out.

We complete tasks automatically via Account-Based Automation, which is designed specifically for teams using ABM. For instance, when an account is updated and it meets certain criteria, we can activate an automation that adds the whole buying committee to one cadence.


Maintaining a consistent tone and voice when deploying content for accounts

How we run this in Salesloft:

We can enable certain products and features to ensure that a consistent brand voice is used across our team, no matter who is connecting with the account.

  • Templates are previously prepared email messages that are readily available for us to use, and we can easily send email messages to a multitude of prospects. 
  • Snippets are useful when questions come up from prospects about stats, case studies, videos, etc. They enable our team to respond quickly and build credibility as an informed seller. 

How we run this in Salesloft:

With Account Activity and Account Productivity, we have additional visibility into our account-based programs. These views allow us to see which accounts have high vs. low engagement and helps us collaborate with our sales team to identify opportunities of connecting with the account.

Integrating with other platforms in our tech stack

How we run this in Salesloft:

With an easy-to-use mobile app and 150+ sales tech partners, Salesloft simplifies and streamlines our tech stack and brings us value from our existing investments.

Implementing your own ABM strategy

It’s important to remember that ABM is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s necessary that your approach does too. But to create a strong foundation and set your teams up for success, be sure to:

  • Align marketing efforts with sales
  • Align marketing efforts with sales to identify the most strategic accounts to target 
  • Ditch MQLs and leverage AI
  • Use tailored advertising to hone in on key accounts
  • Personalize everything you can
  • Choose a full-stack technology platform that supports your ABM strategy

With a strong foundation, you can deepen customer relationships, win more opportunities, and grow revenue across your organization.

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