In this blog post we’ll teach you how to run an organized meeting on ABM so you leave with key action items for each of your stakeholders.

Sales and Marketing Alignment (ugh)

If we had a dollar for every time this phrase is thrown around the internet, we’d be very wealthy indeed. But WTH does this even mean?

Sales and marketing alignment is a fancy way of saying that your sales team actually syncs with your marketing team. For those of you who have worked in either of these departments, you know how big of a challenge that can be.

At the end of the day, both sales and marketing have the same goals (to bring in more business), they just don’t communicate about it with each other enough.

This is usually fine, except for ABM.

ABM is a unique marketing strategy in that it requires very tight sales and marketing alignment. While you can get away with sloppy alignment for an inbound strategy (let’s be honest, most businesses run perfectly fine without alignment), ABM just doesn’t work without sales and marketing alignment.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment have 20% annual growth rate’ #AberdeenGroup #AdRoll” quote=”Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate. Companies with poor alignment have a 4% revenue decline. -Aberdeen Group”]

 

How ABM Solves This

Most marketers agree with the above, but hardly anyone ever talks about how to actually attain sales and marketing alignment. Working with our own ABM platform, here is how we think about this on a very high level:

This is a good high-level overview of what the process looks like, but it’s far from tactical. Before we can get people in a room discussing priorities and brainstorming strategies, we need to define what each of the nebulous terms above mean and what success (KPIs) actually looks like.

A lot of marketers skip this stage because they’re so excited to map out their strategy and start executing. But this is exactly the problem. A lack of precision at the beginning leads to a lack of precision in the end.

Definitions Cheat Sheet

So to save you the time (and actually get you to do the exercise) we’ve assembled a cheat sheet of terms and KPIs that are best suited to ABM. As you run your ABM meetings, we recommend having these in front of you so that you can keep the discussion grounded around the main goals you’re trying to achieve.

Of course, if you’re working with an ABM specialist, they can help with the heavy lifting to make sure you stay on track.

 

[clickToTweet tweet=”“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker. If only people applied this to ABM! #abm #adroll” quote=”“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker. If only people applied this to ABM!”]

 

Marketers need to step it up

Salespeople have been doing outbound far before it was coined account-based marketing, so ABM is really about the marketers joining the outbound game too. Specifically, marketers need to understand the buyer persona in much greater detail so that they can create targeted content to support each stage of the sales process. Building out a full content campaign to reach your prospect across the web is what ABM is all about and, if done right, can lead to a very effective campaign. 

Here is what a fully built out ABM campaign can look like:

This is a campaign that we actually ran at AdRoll to demonstrate how AdRoll ABM can work. It combines sales outreach, display ads, and custom landing pages to provide a very tailored and personalized experience for our target accounts. Although there’s nothing intrinsically complicated about coordinating something like this, it does require multiple teams to be involved.

To get everyone involved, you need to have meetings. And to have (productive) meetings you need…

The ABM meeting checklist

Below you’ll find the ABM meeting checklist we created with the help of Econsultancy to identify everything you should cover in your ABM meeting. We recommend using the ABM meeting checklist to help divide up tasks between your ABM teams. As we mentioned earlier, this isn’t something that should be the sole responsibility of one person or one team.

Gathering the information above should take about a month or so and should be a team effort. Detailing your buyer personas, workflow changes, and desired outcomes helps get everyone’s input in one place and creates a much stronger strategy than going at it alone. In our own experience of running ABM campaigns, we’ve noticed that even small insights gained at the beginning stages of ABM can have huge returns later on.

Next Steps

If you’re serious about doing ABM right, but you’re not sure where to start, this guide we created with Econsultancy can help. It has 5 more actionable worksheets that can show you how to get started with account-based marketing or you can schedule a free demo with an ABM specialist who can answer your questions.

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