Is ABM the Right Go-To-Market Strategy for Your Business?

There is no one-size-fits-all diet that will work for everyone. There is no silver bullet workout routine that will work for everyone. And there is no one right go-to-market strategy that will work for everyone.

Otherwise, we’d all be millionaires with full pipelines and perfect abs.

Like working out and eating a healthy diet, many B2B organizations are realizing that ABM is something they should be doing, however, they’re still stuck figuring out what it is and how to do it. There are different flavors of ABM, and choosing the right one can mean the difference between a business that’s just getting by and one that is bursting at the seams.

In today’s vlog, I asked Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD, “How do you find the right go-to-market strategy?” Justin breaks down ABM, explores different types of ABM, and offers advice for getting started.

Enjoy.

TRANSCRIPT:

Brandon:
Many organizations are transforming their business to focus on value over velocity. We’re talking about quality over quantity. However, there are many organizations complaining that it is still hard to keep the lights on. So, how do you find the right go-to-market strategy?

Hey guys, Brandon Redlinger here, Director of Growth at Engagio, and there is no one better to answer that question than the CEO of LeadMD, Justin Gray. Justin, what are your thoughts?

Justin:
Hey Brandon, hey thanks for kicking over that question. It’s a super common one that we deal with all the time. You’ve seen the buzz around ABM, you’re seeing this wave building around you, and of course you naturally want to ask, Is ABM right for my organization, right?

We can start answering that question with some really simple dimensions. Number one, it’s going to require that your marketing and sales team get better aligned to answer these questions. Because these are some items that marketing just inherently doesn’t deal with on a daily basis, and dealing with them is going to be really positive.

So, first and foremost, how many accounts are you dealing with? What is your ideal customer profile look like? Okay, so if you’re dealing with tens of accounts per sales rep, so each rep is assigned to a very small number of high value, highly targeted accounts, that’s what I would consider to be vanilla ABM, right?

You’re average selling price is upwards of six figures. You’re in that 100 plus range, probably even 250 plus, is what I would consider to be a natural account-based sweet spot. Or are you dealing with hundreds of accounts? This is where things start to kind of gradiate, and you start to see that benefit of hyper-targeting, hyper-personalization, but you’re still able to apply some scale. And then, moving all the way into what I would call targeted demand gen, where you’re dealing with thousands of accounts per sales rep. And really you’re just taking some of the best practices, that customization, that personalization, and you’re applying it to your outbound, your demand generation function. Which quite frankly is something that needed to happen anyway.

We’ve seen the type of results that outbound demand generation, that outbound cold-calling, all of these bulk strategies. We’ve seen the results that they deliver, and they’re pretty poor. And so that’s what created this momentum around account based, and that’s great, but not every organization is right for vanilla ABM. And therefore, we’re going to take the best in those best practices of account based, and we’re going to apply those to our demand generation, our outbound strategies. And once you’ve determined, are you dealing with tens, hundreds, thousands of accounts. What is my ASP and how do I triangulate using really those two functions and the maturity of my organization as the third function.

Once I’m able to bring those together and really determine, what flavor of account based is right for my organization? Here is the progression to go out there and succeed. Number one, you do that evaluation, what we’ve been talking about. What type of Account Based is right for you? Now you’re going to want to assess your readiness of your team. And this is the biggest aspect that I always push with our customers and really anyone that I talk to out there. Is the skillset of your organization ready for this hyper-personalization?

These are professional, expertise, skills. These are things that experience play into in a really big way. You can’t just throw a team together and say, go do personalized highly threaded marketing and sales. What is the maturity of the team, where are they lacking, where are they strong? And let’s start to coach and educate and really build out these playbooks that allow us to follow a highly repeatable, highly valuable sales and marketing process.

And then finally, we’re going to start preparing for Account-Based, we’re going to fill in those gaps. Where is our content weak? What do we need to do in terms of shoring up our sales playbook. Do we understand our buyer? Do we have really strong personas? Do we have messaging that aligns to those buying needs?

And then, the age old, pilot. Let’s run this in a really small, controlled environment, where we take some high value target accounts, we line up a sales and marketing swat team, we’ve got a strong sales playbook that they’re going to create their go-to-market motions around. Bench market first, determine what that pilot’s going to yield, and then use that story to get buy-in from the rest of the organization, really key point. And then finally, true implementation. That’s where we’re going to start bringing on software to scale.

We’re going to be providing some additional air cover through marketing. We’re going to roll this out to our larger mid and enterprise level teams. And then, the great thing about it is, a lot of organizations have a dual go-to-market, where they’ve got maybe an S&B businessline that is much more tailored, and much more applicable to a targeted demand gen approach.
They can take some of those learnings. They can take some of that content, those motions, those sales playbooks that we developed, and we can bring those down into the S&B, or into the scale business. And again, knowing the buyer, know thy buyer, is the biggest take-away that you’re going to get from this motion here. You’re going to understand what the buyer needs, and you’re going to start interjecting targeted messaging, targeted plays, that really empower that buyer to make a purchase. That’s never going to change.

Value is the first motion in ABM. The only variable is, how much time and effort, what amount of money, what amount of resource, are we able to put towards that process? That’s all going to be determined by the size of the customer base, the size of the deal that you sell, and the maturity of the organization. So, in a nutshell, that is prescribing the ABM strategy that’s going to work for your organization, and taking it to market.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Director of Growth at Engagio, the Account Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

2 Responses to “Is ABM the Right Go-To-Market Strategy for Your Business?”

September 01, 2018 at 10:17 am, Michael Hutchinson said:

Hi, every customer is ABM, the difference between each ABM is the time required to achieve the objectives for each account. The account manager’s job is to facilitate the task in each account. From acquiring, newly acquired and to established business. It is not that hard to calculate the working hours required to reach those objectives. Then it is a simple sum, yearly working hours available divided by working hours to reach the account objectives and you have the number of accounts which each person, or team of people can manage. Spreading this answer across the differing demands of various types of account is also a relatively easy calculation. It is not a quality versus quantity compromise at all. It is full quality due to expert proficiency at all times, sloppy work is an accident, which is why all account management is ABM. No need to complicate the issue and struggle with clarification criteria. Do well for every client, make sure every client gets the best value, make the most contribution to your client’s success every time and choose the assisting tools required to do that. The number of clients you can handle is limited by the number of people you have doing the work i.e. your total resources. Some ABM is more complex and/or more complicated than others so it will engage more resource which includes requiring more planning resource (where Engagio would like to help). Big or small ABM, it is all ABM or you might say the term ABM is redundant, how about calling it work. Regards Michael.

Reply

September 04, 2018 at 5:29 pm, Brandon Redlinger said:

Hi Michael – you make some good points. Yes, the majority of the time, account management is ABM. The question we get is aimed at filling the top of funnel, especially for organizations that are not selling true enterprise deals. That is a different ball game than post-sale account management. You’re spot on for account management. Thanks for your thoughts here!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *