Identify the best ABM strategy for your B2B tech company

The ABM session from FINITE Fest is packed with useful tips on how to build and maintain a successful ABM strategy for a B2B tech company. 

How to start an ABM programme


To hear more ABM insights from the panel, FINITE members have access to the full discussion – Apply here for a free membership and join B2B tech marketers around the world to expand your B2B marketing career.

FINITE Fest, the free one day virtual conference covering B2B tech marketing trends, was proudly supported by 93x.

Here are the key takeaways: 

  • Why is ABM trending in B2B marketing at the moment?
  • What role have ABM technology vendors played in pushing the ABM trend?
  • How can a marketer get started on the ABM path?
  • Is there a standard set of measurements across ABM campaigns? 
  • How does ABM facilitate sales and marketing alignment in B2B tech? 
  • How do you start to scale an ABM campaign?
  • Is ABM an approach best suited for large B2B companies? 
  • Do you need a dedicated ABM team? 
  • Resources to learn more about ABM

Why is ABM trending in B2B marketing at the moment?

In the B2B landscape, companies are at so many different stages, in so many different places. ABM allows marketing teams to meet them where they are at their unique point. Now more than ever, it should be the customer first. 

In the light of Covid, digital fatigue has hit B2B buyers who are overwhelmed with the amount of online events. ABM allows you to cut through the virtual event noise and engage with customers on a personal level. 

“People are getting fed up with digital events… It’s (ABM) a way of connecting with customers in a much more bespoke and personal way which we cannot always achieve via digital events.” – Gabrielle Pirzad, Field Marketing & ABM Leader, UK & Ireland at IBM

Marketing technology platforms have allowed ABM to be more achievable for the everyday marketer. Historically, ABM has required large teams and big budgets to focus on one-to-one enterprise targets. Now, MarTech enables smaller teams with less budget to target over 300 accounts. 

“Marketing technology has democratised ABM.” – Santiago Dominguez, ABM Marketing Manager at Autodesk

What role have ABM technology vendors played in pushing the ABM trend? 

ABM vendors have helped in the publicity of ABM by offering new capabilities such as intent data. These new solutions enable ABM marketers to find new ways of connecting with their target accounts. 

What is intent data? Rather than showing you what a customer has clicked on, it will present patterns of clicks from an account to predict a customer’s buying intention. Before the decision phase of a buying cycle, it showcases interest from prospects. 

Discover the tools you need at each stage of ABM for a B2B tech strategy.

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How can a B2B marketer get started on the ABM path?

“Start with the word pilot.” – Fiona Gallagher, Head of EMEA Field Marketing at LinkedIn

  1. Position everything you first do as a pilot. This will give you the freedom to hypothesise, test, reflect on and adapt your approach
  2. Pick the right account. Work with your sales team to choose the account that, with marketing efforts, you can get a first foot in the door
  3. Pick the right sales partner. A sales team needs to give you their focussed time and prioritise ABM. They should believe in ABM and what it can achieve 
  4. Do education up front with the team with training about the account. This will make the team feel experienced and you’ll start on the right foot 
  5. Have an objective, set specific goals and define metrics 

“Start with a commercial focus, which helps you align with sales in a more intimate way because you’re speaking the same language.”  – Santiago Dominguez

Listen to this podcast to learn how to build ABM from the ground up.

Is there a standard set of measurements across ABM campaigns?

The main focus of measurement is engagement with the target account. However, the key is to understand what that engagement is, so the whole team can drive towards it. 

Whether your metrics are open rates, click-through rates or video views, engagement goes back to what ABM is for your B2B tech company. There are many interpretations of what ABM is, so you have to define the ABM programme depending on the needs of your B2B company. 

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How does ABM facilitate sales and marketing alignment in B2B tech? 

Having aligned sales and marketing teams means you can work together to identify your key accounts’ pain points and produce solutions. Marketing can learn so much from sales about what clients actually want. 

“Be prepared to learn. As a marketing person, we don’t know everything. Most things, but not everything.” – Gabrielle Pirzad 

If your sales team is interested in marketing, they’ll make time for your team to collaborate and they’ll want to understand the marketing perspective and goals. 

“Curiosity is a really great attribute to have in a sales partner.” – Fiona Gallagher 

How do you start to scale an ABM campaign?

One approach is to take your existing content and repurpose it for similar accounts that share the same pain points. Start with what one account needs, what works in engaging them and distribute repurposed content to a wider audience on platforms like LinkedIn. 

ABM can be difficult to scale because it needs continuous fuel to change and shift to each account and each influencer. You can build efficiency with this through reversing the one-to-one approach by focusing on a few and then elevating one successful account. 

“ABM is not a rigid methodology.” – Santiago Dominguez 

Remember, ABM should suit the needs of your B2B tech company. There is no set approach so pilot each campaign to find the right fit for your B2B marketing team. 

Is ABM an approach best suited for large B2B companies? 

You can start ABM at any time no matter what stage your B2B company is at. There are plenty of tools and online platforms to help you do ABM by targeting hundreds of accounts at once. All ABM is, is segmenting customers by their needs and pain points, and target them by those. There is no minimum revenue requirement. 

“It really comes down to what value you want to give to the end customer.” – Emmanuel Aremu, Marketing Lead at Community Growth Ventures

Sometimes you need to stop other marketing activities in order to do ABM properly. A team can’t absorb the learnings of ABM if they’re focussed on their existing marketing efforts as well. Sometimes you need to deprioritise and reprioritise to start ABM. 

Do you need a dedicated ABM team? 

Like demand generation, events and social media, ABM can be an arm to the entire B2B marketing function. 

“It comes from the need of the market.” – Santiago Dominguez 

An ABM team is necessary when your business wants to prioritise a personalised approach in response to market needs. 

The ABM arm still needs to be integrated with the rest of the marketing function, for curating content, aligning events etc. An ABM team should leverage the content from other teams while maintaining their focus on the needs of key accounts. 

Be careful not to make your ABM seem too abstract for the rest of the organisation. Explain it clearly and maintain visibility so they can see why this approach is effective and how it impacts revenue. 

Resources to learn more about ABM in B2B tech

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  • LinkedIn groups such as ABM Insiders 
  • LinkedIn marketing solutions blog 
  • Successful award entries, for inspiration and using language to communicate the value of ABM to the rest of the organisation 
  • The Challenger Sale book on how to take control of the customer conversation 
  • Sangram Vajre is a well-known thought leader and Co-Founder of Terminus, an ABM software 

The panellists were Fiona Gallagher, Head of EMEA Field Marketing at LinkedIn, Emmanuel Aremu, Marketing Lead at Community Growth Ventures, Gabrielle Pirzad, Field Marketing & ABM Leader, UK & Ireland at IBM and Santiago Dominguez, ABM Marketing Manager at Autodesk. Moderated by Brian Kardon, CMO at InVision.

If you want to know more about how to generate qualified leads, drive pipeline and grow revenue, get in touch with the 93x team today. 

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