If you’re a B2B company thinking about using account-based marketing for your go-to-market strategy, then you need to spend a good amount of time thinking through your tech stack–which is easier than it sounds. Currently, there are over 11,000 B2B tech solutions. With all these options, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Especially because it’s not just about understanding what each platform brings to the table, but also how they work together. With a little foresight, you can find the right tools, gaining a competitive edge and increasing the ROI of your ABM programs.
What is ABM?
Account-based marketing is a strategy that relies on a highly personalized sales and marketing strategy. The goal is to improve engagement, increase deal size, and improve ROI by reaching qualified accounts. The key to ABM is aligning your sales and marketing efforts. Working together, sales and marketing identify high-value accounts that align with your ideal customer profile (ICP). These strategies have been increasingly popular since around 2015. In fact, 71% of B2B organizations are interested in, adopting, or using ABM. So if you aren’t designing your B2B marketing strategy around ABM, it’s likely your competitors are.
Building Your ABM Tech Stack
Despite its increasing popularity, nearly 2/3rds of ABM programs underperform. How is this possible? Perhaps the biggest culprit is a misalignment of sales and marketing. A close second, however, is an ill-considered tech stack. Crucially, ABM requires a multichannel approach. This means you’ll need to rely on a variety of technologies to make it successful.
Factors to Consider
There are a few things to consider before choosing software to help with your ABM program. These can help you evaluate whether it is right for you and your business.
Integration with other technologies
No doubt your company already has some existing set of core technologies. You’ll want to make sure that the software you choose can integrate with your current systems, like CRM and marketing automation.
Defining and tracking the right metrics is essential for the success of any business program. But it is especially important for ABM programs. You need to find software that can measure and report on marketing metrics that have a direct impact on your business. Specifically, you need a program that can tie ABM activities directly to revenue.
The line between B2C and B2B marketing continues to blur. However, B2B marketers still face unique challenges. You need to identify the companies that are building solutions specifically for the B2B world. Ideally, a company designing marketing solutions specific to your industry.
You’re probably going to need more than one piece of marketing software. This means that, along with your existing systems, your ABM platforms all need to talk to each other. This will make the data more actionable and help you understand what’s working across your entire funnel.
Sample Tech Stack
Every company is different, and your tech stack will have to accommodate your specific business needs. That said, most ABM tech stacks will need similar kinds of software.
Source: ABM Leadership Alliance
These platforms serve as the foundation for your entire tech stack. The primary purpose of this software is to be a single source of truth for customer data, managing the entire customer lifecycle. This includes CRM solutions like Salesforce or marketing automation software like Hubsopt.
Your infrastructure tech needs to show you attribution data and the activities of buyers. It should also show you relevant ABM metrics across your entire funnel. Good foundational software will also help you see your sales pipeline and understand the buyer’s journey.
Selecting the right accounts to target is a crucial step in developing an ABM program. You need to invest in software that can help you account plan, find company and contact data, and track intent data and visitor information. This helps build the initial target account list, ensuring you’re not wasting your efforts.
Omnichannel engagement is a must for ABM programs. It is difficult, if not impossible, to engage with customers across all the different existing channels without the help of some software. This part of your tech stack should leverage your current data from your infrastructure and account selection tools to create the right messaging and deliver it at the right time.
On average, there are 9.2 sales interactions before a deal is closed, indicating that buyers are taking their time to inform themselves about products. Sales and marketing need to be closely aligned in order to coordinate their activities and messaging. Sales engagement tools gather data from public websites and organize them into databases. Sales engagement tools can help boost productivity for sales, shorten sales cycles, prospect personas within accounts, and provide customer data.
You need to know if your ABM strategy is or is not working so tracking ABM metrics across channels is paramount. Your measurement software should focus on account data and tying your marketing activities to revenue. Some examples of these platforms are testing and optimization tools, business intelligence tools, or attribution and reporting tools.
Successful ABM strategies need reliable tech to automate, integrate, and orchestrate activities across channels and teams. There are three main things to prioritize when selecting your tech. First, the quality of your data. Without accurate, actionable data, your ABM campaigns will not be successful. Second, integrations and flexibility. Your ABM tech stack needs to be flexible enough to integrate with your current technologies and with the rest of your sales and marketing tech. Lastly, visibility. You need to make sure you can easily see and track metrics for reporting.
It’s important to note that these are not absolutes. Every company is different, which means your ABM strategy will be different. No single tech stack will work for every company. But, if you’re looking for how a variety of ABM tools work together and if you’re looking to understand the value of each, then you’re on the right track.
Need help with your ABM tech stack? At RenderTribe, we build ABM strategies to drive more sales and accelerate growth. Our RenderLab process helps you identify the unique pieces that fit your marketing strategy and align your plan with overall business objectives. We help build the foundation for measurement, expertise, and the tactical execution needed to support the plan.
Contact us today to see how we can help you align sales and marketing activities to achieve your revenue goals.