Most B2B marketers agree that Account-Based Marketing (ABM) delivers higher ROI than other forms of marketing.

When done right, ABM also brings greater alignment between marketing and sales, larger deal sizes and other important business benefits. But how do you ensure you have the right data, approach and platforms in place to start – or get the most out of – your ABM program?

HG Insights got the lowdown from Sangram Vajre, a leading protagonist in the ABM space and the co-founder of Terminus, a SaaS platform for account-based marketing. He also authored the very first book on ABM.

Sangram, what are the ingredients for successful ABM?

ABM success begins by adopting a complete, true account-based approach through the T.E.A.M framework – Target. Engage. Activate. Measure. This strategy was created to help companies successfully execute a B2B target account strategy, with “successfully” being the key word there. These four elements are crucial for anyone who wants to accelerate their success with ABM and maximize their results.

How did you discover the TEAM framework?

We’ve been through a lot of trial and error with ABM, and realized early on that the traditional sales funnel was deeply flawed. But that was just identifying the problem; and we wanted to provide an actual solution. So we spent a lot of time digging into the root of the problem and how it manifested in B2B organizations. What we found was that the funnel, as we all knew it, had to actually get flipped on its head because it was reinforcing the wrong approach altogether.

So my two co-founders and I set out on a mission to create Terminus, an end to end ABM software platform that empowers teams to use the flipped funnel approach and really succeed with ABM. After developing the software and working with hundreds of companies (and thousands of customers), we saw similar patterns emerge from the leaders who were getting incredible results – and those who weren’t. This is how we ultimately nailed down the TEAM framework.

The TEAM framework – 4 Steps

ABM success begins by adopting a complete, true account-based approach through the T.E.A.M framework – Target. Engage. Activate. Measure.
1. TARGET the right accounts

In this stage, organizations must identify their best-fit accounts. This means a lot more than just deciding on a certain type of company that could make a good customer, and haphazardly looking for more like it. It means actually starting at the top and creating the right strategy for your best-fit accounts and then taking it a step further and looking for the right contacts within those accounts. Approaching this step the right way requires a lot of time and intentionality, but it’s a critical foundational step for executing an ABM strategy that yields the strongest results.

2. ENGAGE the entire buying committee with multi-touch marketing programs

Within ABM, the most telling metrics to measure center on engagement. This means proactively engaging the right people at your target accounts throughout their lifecycles, and activating personalized outreach at the right time. The most successful ABM programs use multiple channels multiple times, such as ads, emails and direct mail, to handle outreach and spur engagement.

3. ACTIVATE sales with actionable insights

ABM bridges the historic gap between sales and marketing departments and unifies them. In order to do this well, and get both teams working toward shared goals, the two must have visibility into target accounts and their behavior. For example, sales must know which accounts are engaging with certain types of content or product pages, and which are the hottest, so they can prioritize and personalize their outreach.

4. MEASURE success with account-based metrics

And then, of course, there’s measurement. Full-funnel ABM analytics is imperative to getting the most from your ABM strategy. As opposed to many marketing strategies, this doesn’t mean measuring leads; it means tracking account engagement metrics and tying KPIs back to pipeline and revenue. This type of measurement is what empowers ABM practitioners to optimize their efforts, and continually improve.

When you bring all these four components together, you get a higher ROI than any other form of marketing. It’s so powerful.

Sangram, it’s been great engaging with you. How can our avid readership keep up with the latest trends in ABM and future insights from yourself?

Thanks so much! We love spreading the word about ABM and helping B2B companies enjoy more success from their efforts. You can keep up with me and Terminus by following our blog, by subscribing to the #FlipMyFunnel podcast or by connecting with me on Twitter. You can also learn more about ABM fundamentals in my new LinkedIn course.

  • You can hear more insights from Sangram Vajre via the 4 Steps to ABM Success webinar brought to you by HG Insights and Terminus.