For an ABM approach to be effective in driving revenue, you need a focused approach on the accounts you are targeting. Account segmentation is the foundation of an Account-Based Marketing plan and a powerful tool which can inform how to allocate resources effectively in 2020.

It’s coming up on the end of the third quarter and demand generation at the top of the funnel has been cooling off. As the leader of a marketing organization, you are getting pressure from the top to make changes in 2020. To help address leadership’s concerns, your marketing team has built out the initial framework for an Account-Based Marketing plan in 2020. The program will be a coordinated approach with sales to open doors and deepen engagements with specific growth accounts.


Across the company, there are differing opinions on what accounts should be focused on, and how much time and money should be spent. You begin to realize that your ABM plan is lacking clarity and certainty on the right accounts to attack. To make things worse, the expectations on results in 2020 have been significantly raised.


So the question becomes, “how do I get this ABM plan to actually drive revenue in 2020?”


Through a more focused and targeted approach.


In the SBI Making Your Number in 2020 Report, we dive deep into the topic of “clarity” in the annual planning process. The research found that a majority of annual operating plans fail because revenue leaders are lacking clarity in the goals they are trying to achieve. Additionally, they lack certainty in which bets to make, which ultimately leads to a missed number.


Identify the Right Accounts


The question of which accounts to go after separates market leaders from laggards on the Revenue Growth Maturity Model.


For an ABM plan, the accounts you choose are crucial and are the foundation of what the program is built on. A full account segmentation will help you to understand which accounts in your markets are going to generate the most revenue over the shortest period of time. In most organizations, the potential is only done at a market level which yields only a topline view of an account and its growth potential.


A topline view only gives you an incremental understanding of growth potential for an account. To make your number in 2020, you need to be able to look forward and understand what potential is available with the clients. You also need to be able to allocate your already scarce resource most effectively. An account segmentation can help you do this by uncovering the size of the account, the white space available by account, and the propensity to buy your product. This work helps to determine the ideal customer profile (ICP) or in the case of the ABM, the right accounts to be going after. A Level 4+ company in SBI’s Revenue Growth Maturity Model can tailor their go-to-market strategy so that they are focused on the most likely accounts to purchase.


Design a Plan That Fits Your Account


Now that the right accounts have been identified, focusing your marketing and sales approach will increase the probability of closing sales. An ABM approach to marketing is all about having a marketing-focused and customized approach to each account to ensure bigger deals are won. With customers targeted, begin to research these accounts a step further using the SBI ABM Account Planning Tool.  Once your accounts have been validated, and you can start diving into designing a customized account-based marketing plan which will drive revenue growth in 2020. You will need to be able to answer questions like:


  • What is the objective of the program for this account?
  • What personas, products, and market are we targeting?
  • What messaging and positioning will be most effective with this account?
  • What kind of campaign will be able to be run with this account?
  • What kind of touchpoints will we need from both a sales and marketing perspective?
  • How will we measure success in this campaign?


Review Your Accounts Often


An ABM motion, much like an annual plan, should be measured and adjusted quarterly. A market leader is programmatically reviewing their accounts quarterly and is able to be agile with their plan. Just like with annual planning, with a more strategic approach to ABM market leaders are able to:


  • Resolve issues with accounts in a more programmatic approach
    • Preparation beats perspiration during the annual planning process
  • Understand the untapped potential within accounts to drive growth
    • Which accounts will we make the number with during 2020?
  • Tailor Go-to-market strategies, so that budget/resource allocation is focused on the most likely accounts
    • Accounts driving revenue in Q1 might currently be driving the same production in Q3
  • Account data is maintained and updated real-time to ensure cleanliness for the sales team in the field
    • Account-level data is only as good as you make it


A true market leader knows the answers to these questions and is able to allocate resources effectively.


If you need some more ideas and support in planning your 2020 ABM strategy, we’re here to help. Click here to contact us and schedule a commitment-free consultation.


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Ben Durst

Working with clients to drive sustainable change in their organization and make their number.

Prior to SBI, Ben spent his career in a variety of strategic roles in both consulting and corporate strategy.  He uses a data driven approach to tackling complex business problems while utilizing his diverse industry experience and strategic background.


Ben has worked on a variety of global product strategy projects focused on sales and marketing related initiatives including; branding and market positioning, market entry strategy, market segmentation, and market analysis.  He brings creativity and passion to every engagement coupled with his demonstrated skill sets in data analysis, marketing strategy, and business development. With a diverse background across multiple industries, Ben is able to quickly provide market driven decisions which result in his clients making their number.

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