You took the ABM readiness checklist, and figured out that your company is a match for account based marketing. Now what? It’s time to delve into the ABM process, starting with ABM accounts selection.
What do you know of your target accounts? And why are they a best fit for you?
Getting an understanding of your current accounts, and the accounts you want to target will help you determine the kind of accounts that fit your “best” criteria.
But the underlying question here is, why make a list at all?
Why Go For ABM Accounts Selection?
Companies starting off with account based marketing often struggle trying to reduce their number of target accounts. “Putting your eggs in fewer baskets” is not something we are used to. But for ABM, this is the key.
Rather than focusing on all the accounts, you will be able to invest your energy and resources optimally in your top priority accounts. Personalized communications, and regular follow ups by both sales and marketing teams will create enough value to convert them into your customers, and win you the accounts with the highest revenue potential for your business.
But how do you identify the accounts that you should go after, what should be the order of priority? Let’s take a look.
Identifying Your Best Fit Accounts
To begin with, you need to understand what you are looking for. And to do this, you need to answer two questions.
- Who are your most successful customers?
- In a perfect world, which companies would you like to turn into your customers?
Make a list of these of these companies, their characteristics, and why you consider them as a best fit for your business.
Look at the data of your clients and accounts named above. What characteristics do they have in common that make them a good fit for you? You can look at them in terms of their industry, company size, annual revenue, budget, technology they use and the problems you could solve for them. This will give you an idea of the kind of customers you would love to have for your business.
Now based on this information, you can create your ideal customer profile (ICP). An ICP is generally a description of the company — not the individual buyer or end user — that’s a perfect fit for your solution.
So this makes you aware of what your target accounts look like, but who are your contacts within that account? Which personas do you need to target? What are their roles and responsibilities? Pain points? And how does your product or service make their job easier?
Understanding your ICP and motivations behind your buyer personas will enable you to have more effective conversations, and tailor your marketing messaging accordingly. Simultaneously, your marketing and sales team can work together to build this list of your best-fit accounts, in the order of priority.
How to Tier Your Best Fit Accounts?
You cannot engage all your best-fit accounts in the same campaign. Chances are you won’t succeed. Because pursuing your dream accounts at the same time might overwhelm your sales reps, water down your messaging, and funnel too many resources to the wrong accounts.
So how many groups should you make? And how should you allocate your resources among them? While this largely depends on your overall ABM budget, time and strategies you use, one major factor is the revenue/ strategic value that the accounts hold for your business.
This brings us to the 3-tiered system for accounts:
- Tier 1 accounts are perfect ICP fits, similar to your highest value customers
- Tier 2 accounts are strong ICP fits but have a lower lifetime value
- Tier 3 accounts fit most, but not all, ICP criteria. They’re worth pursuing but typically not worth investing significant resources to win their business
Thus you should begin with the accounts that have the potential to drive the highest value for your business. For this you must develop a great understanding of which accounts are the best for your offerings and why. This increases your chances of success, as well as of the clients.