Yesterday we posted our interview with ABM practitioner and Marketo Champion Charlie Liang where he shared some of his thoughts on what it takes to successfully run an ABM program.
Today we have the pleasure of hearing from Josh Hill, author of Marketing Rockstar Guides, which is one of my favorite resources on the “technical” aspects of marketing that is geared towards someone who is in more of a marketing technologist and marketing operations role. His website is an exceptional resource particularly for those who run Marketo.
Both Josh and Charlie will be joining me in an upcoming webinar titled “How To Build A Predictable ABM Engine“. To give you a sneak peak, here are some of Josh’s thoughts on ABM.
Mintigo: What are some key steps that you need to take or plan for so that you don’t fall into the trap of buying ABM technologies because it’s the latest and greatest, i.e., the “shiny new object” syndrome?
Josh: Plan out your ABM strategy first. You can do at least 50% or more with what you have right now. Your tools should always match your strategy, not the other way around.
Mintigo: What kind of skill sets, and perhaps team members, do you need to implement a successful ABM strategy?
Josh: Since ABM arrived (again), I’ve advocated assigning an ABM manager to sit with the ABM SDR and AE team. They should act as a key coach on messaging and building out journeys or “plays”. Sales often has great ideas, but needs the discipline to refine the steps and operationalize it. A very tight understanding is needed with sales managers. The most successful are likely marketers who were former salespeople. If you have loads of budget, hire a special direct response copywriter.
Mintigo: What workflow and process changes need to take place when shifting from a traditional lead generation/funnel approach to ABM?
Josh: Again, this is about Strategy. There needs to be a total shift in mindset that ABM is a long term game for most B2B companies. This isn’t about transactional prospecting SDR emails that everyone makes fun of, but still do. This is about solving real problems at companies and doing the dance to prove you are the right choice for each other. The strategy has to recognize that automated lead nurturing goes to a point – usually MQL or until Contact is made. Then ABM plays take over. There isn’t just one play, there are dozens for each stage of the lifecycle, including Won/Customer.
Mintigo: What are some challenges with ABM that marketers are facing today?
Josh: The need for sales-marketing alignment is not the same as it was 6 or 7 years ago. Marketers are struggling to understand the systems and strategies actually require a change to workflow and team organization. I would argue most firms that sell to “Target Accounts” need a special ABM team that’s less about the lead funnel and more about the skills.
Mintigo: Thanks for sharing Josh! Looking forward to our webinar with you!