ABM is a methodology, not a technology. If this is true, why do technology vendors keep trying to sell you ABM in a package? Use this article to avoid these vendors, and figure out if ABM is a good strategy for your team.


Remember the good old days when ABM was just a buzzword? Like a mythical creature from which legends were told of glory and heroism…I miss those days.


Now everyone does ABM. Better yet, everything is ABM. Literally there is a methodology called account based everything. ABM is officially a cliché.


Before I go on, I’d like to be clear that ABM, when used correctly, can be very successful. The problem with ABM today is technology vendors, to turn a profit, have tried to neatly package ABM in a box and sell it. I’m sure nobody’s surprised by this.


If I haven’t already made this point clear, ABM is a methodology not a technology. So the question then is, how do I avoid being duped by a technology vendor trying to sell me ABM?


Leverage our ABM Approach Tool to evaluate and redesign your ABM approach, and to pinpoint the gap in your customer journey touch-points through this six step process.


The “Should I” ABM Checklist


If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, ABM is likely a good fit for you. If not, move on quickly!


  • Would you describe your sales cycle as long, complex, involving many stakeholders, departments, and decision-makers?


  • Does your sales team sell to a list of targeted accounts?


  • Is it critical for your sales team to go wide and deep in their accounts, building many relationships?


  • Will you make, or miss, your revenue goal based on a few big deals throughout the year?


  • Do 20% of your customers make up 80% or more of your revenue?


I Answered Yes! Now What?


If you did not answer yes to any of the questions above the good news is you do not need to spend your time on ABM.


I answered yes to the questions above, now what? As we have said before, your customers hold the answers to all your marketing questions.


We like to use a scale to determine the level of personalization that should be used within an ABM campaign.


The ABM Customization Spectrum


On the left we start at “Generic” which may seem like an oxymoron to ABM, however, like any relationship in business you have to work your way up a level of trust and credibility before your on a first name basis. Then on the right we have “Hyper-Personalized” which is treating an individual account as a market of one.


Let Your Customers Tell You When to Start the ABM Engine



Using the scale we then plot the touch-points across the buyers journey and survey the customers expectation for each touch-point. As you can see above the customers did not expect marketing to use a customized or personalized approach in the “Identify” phase. However, as the buyer moved in to the “Expand/Engage” phase the expectations shifted to a customized/personalized approach.


The “snowflake” theory is actually more common than people think. This is evident by those marketers who struggle to take an “out of the box” approach and apply it verbatim to their environment. Never does this work. Your buyers are unique and demand to be treated as such, they are trained to sniff out inauthentic approaches.


Of course, when you conduct this the touch-points will likely be different and the shift in expectations my happen sooner or later than illustrated above, however what will not change is the fact that ABM is not a technology and ABM is definitely not one size fits all.


Leverage our ABM Approach Tool to evaluate and redesign your ABM approach, and to pinpoint the gap in your customer journey touch-points through this six step process.



Additional Resource


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