by Tara Petre, Elixiter Strategist and Three-Time Marketo Champion
Developing a Target Account Strategy
Developing a Target Account strategy can seem like a daunting task. With so many stakeholders, politics and opinions to take into consideration, it’s often a task that is pushed to the wayside. Besides, an ABM platform is what you really need, right? …wrong.
You can’t buy your way into an ABM Strategy and the same holds true for any strategy that can be executed with the help of a platform or solution. So, why is it that we find ourselves wanting to purchase a technology before we have a strategy? Because it’s easier. It’s easier to make a list of features, to check the boxes, and to make a black and white decision about which platform is the most extra platform of them all.
It's not easy to have the, often heated, discussions with internal stakeholders. It’s not easy to get Marketing and Sales in a room and when you do get them in that room, it’s even harder to keep the conversation on the rails. It’s not easy to align your teams, to get buy in, to agree on the color of the sky, let alone how to identify a list of target accounts that will impact the participant’s pay, budgets, and very much so the next 1 year of their lives.
So what does make up an ABM Strategy and how do you create one of these mythological creatures?
Organizational alignment is a critical step to getting buy in on any cross-departmental initiatives. An Account-Based Strategy will require buy in from Marketing and Sales, and often, Product and Finance. Identify stakeholders and influencers from each department and make an effort to understand their pain points. Knowing what makes them tick will help you to align your proposal to their pain points and will increase the likelihood that they are willing to work with you to define a target account strategy. Bonus: they might also share the expense.
Once you have buy in from stakeholders throughout the necessary departments, collaboratively identify the team’s primary objectives for taking an account-centric approach to marketing and sales. KPIs can be defined based on these objectives and should be accessible to all teams to create transparency in the progress of objective attainment.
Target Account Identification Strategy
As you start to think about crafting your target account list, you’ll notice that there are a wide range of methods for target account identification. This can be facilitated by a historical opportunity analysis, with a predictive analytics platform, or exclusively by the Sales leadership team. Depending on your unique business circumstances, you may opt to use a combination of these methods, or to start out using a single method with a plan to graduate to a more sophisticated target account identification strategy.
Channel & Personalization Strategy
Analyze historical channel performance and revenue and opportunity attribution for high value accounts to understand what channels may work well for your new list of target accounts. Once you have your list of top channels, consider other channels that you may not have tapped into due to scalability or cost per success. Given the succinct nature of the new list, ask yourself if some of these historically off-limits channels are worth revisiting.
So, there you have it. The primary components for crafting a target account strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about our account-based strategy workshops, reach out to me here.
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