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Fueling Your ABM Engine: Critical Data for Creation, Launch, and Scale

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Is your company ready for an account-based marketing strategy? Hear from our panelists, Doug Bell, Fractional CMO at Chief Outsiders, Jeff Loeb, Partner & CMO at Chief Outsiders, and Eric Westerkamp, CEO at CaliberMind about how to run a lean operation that can scale quickly and why engagement data is the key to your success.

“ABM is very difficult and it's not for folks that aren’t courageous. It’s a big undertaking.” - Doug Bell

Inbound marketing has dominated sales for the last 10 to 15 years. In this approach, GTM orgs go broad and engage with everyone. Once they’ve whittled down their contacts to the 1% of people who are real buyers, they finally focus on nurturing. Account-based marketing flips this approach on its head. It’s all about focusing on the most attractive clients right away. 

Is ABM right for your organization?

Rather than creating content and spending marketing dollars to target a broad swatch of prospects, ABM dedicates 100% of your resources and attention to your ideal targets. How can you know if ABM is right for your company? 

First, examine the nature of the solution you sell. Does it warrant an ABM motion? Do you have enough products and tiers to land and expand into an account over time? Second, determine the sophistication of your GTM capabilities. Is your GTM motion still immature with a simple sales cycle? If so, ABM is probably too complex for your current needs.

How CaliberMind launched ABM

“Without tracking engagement, the first time you learn if ABM is working might be when it hits your pipeline. That could be months into the motion.” - Eric Westerkamp

CaliberMind started its ABM pilot with 125 accounts and grew it to 250 over time. With a database of 1000s of accounts, they needed an effective way to narrow down their scope. In the early days, they focused on identifying target sub-industries using firmographics and technographics. 

To get a handle on trends, the team ran the data through the Google AI Gemini to identify key marketing activities and buyer groups. They learned that engagement was everything. The accounts most likely to convert were the ones with prior engagement. The team quickly pivoted from focusing on sub-industries to focusing on engagement as the leading indicator. 

Scaling your ABM strategy

“The reason ABM is compelling is that, if it works, it’s elastic. You can flex it more.” - Eric Westerkamp

How do you know when to scale your ABM strategy from a short list of select accounts? The key is in your orchestration. Orchestration is the set of all touchpoints across all your channels in your ABM strategy and has 10 to 30 touchpoints with buyers. You need the right messages, supporting content, and a high-value offer. 

These touchpoints drive awareness of your products and company and are integral to your sales outreach program. To scale your strategy, you must be able to execute the tactics that support these touchpoints month over month. This is how you reach elasticity, where buyer activity becomes predictable and your sellers can quickly follow through.

ABM is a team sport

“ABM is a strategy, not a tactic.”- Jeffrey Loeb

Before you try out a new GTM motion, remember that account-based marketing is not a tactic, it’s a strategy. You absolutely must have the buy-in of your CEO, CMO, and head of sales. Once you get them excited and ready to tackle ABM, you can start the design process.

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