How to Buy ABM: Part 3 – Evaluating ABM Vendors
In part 1 of How to Buy ABM, we covered how to sell ABM to your executive team and board of advisors. We walked through the essential elements of a good internal selling presentation; then we gave you a presentation you can use to help convince your team of the power of ABM.
In part 2, we examined the 6 areas of ABM readiness. Then, we linked to our ABM readiness assessment, which presented you with an analysis of how prepared you to take on ABM, which included recommendations for getting to the next level.
In part 3, you’ll learn how to evaluate the myriad of ABM vendors in the B2B space so you end up with the best solution that meets your needs.
How to evaluate and pick the right ABM vendor for you
A successful implementation of ABM relies on a great customer-vendor fit. The best place to start is with a Request for Proposal (RFP).
There are criteria essential for getting started with ABM, while other criteria are simply “nice-to-haves.” Often, it’s hard to know which is which, especially when you’re relatively new to ABM.
Before fielding checklists and feature comparisons from vendors, it’s important to understand fully why you’re doing ABM. In other words, what challenges are you trying to solve? Answering this will help determine which features are essential for your team’s success. It may sound silly to ask, but many people think they should do ABM simply because it’s the hot, new thing. There are many reasons to adopt ABM and many benefits, so you need to be explicit about what that is for your business. Sit down with your team and come up with a clear project definition.
Now, let’s dive into the components of an RFP. Many of these will look very familiar, as they part of the ABM Readiness Assessment. In fact, you should use your readiness assessment results to help you determine what is important for your organization in each section of the RFP.
Here are the sections you want to make sure the RFP covers, and why each is important.
Account-Based Data and Operations.
Data and operations align your entire team around your most important accounts. Your data must be account-based, which means mapping all leads to their proper accounts and synthesizing data from your CRM, marketing automation, website, and corporate email. This gives your team insight into everything they need to know about an account.
Account-Based Analytics and Insights.
Analytics and insights allow you to measure the impact of your ABM programs to understand what works best to engage accounts and accelerate deals. However, ABM metrics are different than traditional demand gen metrics. Make sure that a vendor supports the new metrics for ABM.
Orchestrating ABM programs across your entire organization can be time-consuming, difficult to execute, and even harder to scale. The best solutions will make managing this easy, and do so in one place.
Services & Support.
B2B software can be tricky to set up. The last thing you want is to be stuck with new software but without the support to implement and put to use. This alone can be the difference between a successful implementation and an absolute disaster.
Once again, we’ve made it easy for you by creating this RFP template.
Stay tuned for more tools, templates and resources to help you buy ABM.