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Revenue Operations

Winning with RevOps and ABM: A Roadmap for Success

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Are your sales and marketing teams struggling to find and connect with the right customer accounts? If you’re selling a high value product, it’s probably time to take a look at account-based marketing (ABM). Join our RevOps and MOps experts, Sumner Vanderhoof, CEO of Propensity, and Camela Thompson, RevOps at CaliberMind, as they dive into the best practices for building and deploying an effective ABM program.

ABM strategies require a lot of juggling. Not only are you identifying and confirming your ideal customer profile (ICP), you’re also building playbooks, finding your niche audiences, ensuring that the right leads land in the hands of sales reps, and tracking success metrics. 

No matter what, there will always be a few balls in the air at any given time. That’s why Sumner Vanderhoof, CEO of Propensity, and Camela Thompson, RevOps at CaliberMind both recommend starting small. 

“You don't need to do a full blown omnichannel campaign right out of the gate” - Sumner Vanderhoof

Playbook creation

At Propensity, Sumner and his team guide their customers to create playbooks that best fit with their go-to-market strategies. Different GTM strategies need different ABM models which can include: 

  • Competitor conquest 
  • Industry specific ABM 
  • Guided experience (market education), 
  • Traditional ABM, 
  • Marketing-only ABM, 
  • Sales-only outreach, 
  • Product-led ABM

Before you start building out your playbook, Camela urges your team to fully understand which accounts are your ICP–your bread and butter customers who are sticky with the product–and which accounts are your whales. Don’t forget about your ICP when you’re trying to land big logos.

Niche audience building

Use intent data to find proven in-market accounts that will help you create a 360 view of your buying circle. To prioritize which accounts you target, use a combination of 3rd and 1st party data sources. 

3rd party data includes: 

  • Intent topics 
  • Keywords 
  • Founding/funding history 
  • Psychographic data 
  • NOT technographic data
“Choosing your keywords is really really important for niche audience selection. Understand how the companies you’re targeting define themselves. There’s no firmographic data for this.” - Sumner Vanderhoof

1st party data includes: 

  • Website visits 
  • Form fills 
  • Ad impressions 
  • Ad clicks 
  • Emails sent, opened, and responded  
  • Meetings booked 
  • Sign ups/sign ins 
  • Feature usage

If you try to ask your sales and marketing teams qualitative questions to identify your ideal audience, it will be weeks before you come to agreement. Instead, both of our experts suggest asking for the current top 10 prospects in your funnel and identifying what they have in common yourself. 

Display ads 

To launch your ABM campaign fast, use contact-level targeted display ads to validate your message/market fit and benchmarks. You want to reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message. To validate your benchmarks, you need to track ad impressions, ad clicks, and website visits. While marketers often struggle with vanity metrics, they can still tell a story.

“Sometimes correlative reports are the closest we can get. Watching the timeline in your ads and the upticks in searches can still be meaningful. ” - Camela

Sales outreach

Your ABM program should provide your sales team with the best leads on a daily basis. At Propensity, sales reps can claim the leads they want to pursue. This puts accountability and onus onto the rep. It also removes any ambiguity about whether a marketing qualified lead was any good. If no one claimed it in the first place, it’s still a viable lead. Use your sales results to inform your next ABM campaign.

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