Account-Based Marketing 101: A complete intro  

Gavin Dimmock, Vice President and GM of EMEA for Terminus, offers a beginner’s guide to the benefits of Account-Based marketing

What the heck is this weird marketing acronym, ABM, you keep seeing? Whether you’re an expert or first-timer, here’s an all-encompassing introduction to Account-Based Marketing!

ABM was first introduced in 2014 and its definition has evolved over time. It is best described as an end-to-end revenue strategy where marketing, sales, and customer success spend the majority of their effort on pre- and post-sales accounts that are best-fit customers. All of this happens through data-driven targeting, personalized marketing tactics at scale, measuring, and continuously optimizing.

Um, too much revenue jargon? Fair. Simply put, it’s just a smarter, more efficient, and more targeted approach to generate more revenue. ABM allows teams to grow brand awareness efficiently by focusing on best-fit future customers, create opportunities with them based on engagement data, accelerate those opportunities to new-won accounts, then retain and grow those accounts to life-long customers.

It is gaining so much traction that the current adoption rate suggests that ABM might soon just be called modern B2B marketing. Of course, COVID-19 presented new challenges for many companies, and revenue teams had to quickly learn to do more with less. They became smarter and more targeted to acquire new or retain existing customers while their budgets and teams shrank. Now, from just a mere buzzword in 2014 to today’s highest ROI go-to-market B2B strategy, account-based marketing (and how we talk about it) has come a long way.

The importance of full-funnel ABM
Now that you get the basic definition and concept, it’s important to talk about full-funnel account-based marketing. ABM touches each stage of the account lifecycle and thus should be measured as such with a “new” funnel or pipeline, as we prefer to call it. Yup, it’s time to trash the old traditional lead funnel! That definition you just learned above can be applied to multiple use cases throughout this new pipeline. New business generation? There’s a smart and targeted way to do that. Close current deals fast? ABM can help with that. Retain at-risk customers or expand their contracts? Yep.

One thing we’ve learned from the pandemic is that we’re better together. The same applies to revenue teams. It’s simply not just about the top of the funnel anymore, and each team can’t keep functioning in silos. You must consider every stage of the pipeline as a larger team. Under one ABM rule, marketing, sales, and customer success teams can now work together in perfect harmony to drive revenue across all stages of their pipeline. It’s like a revenue eutopia!

Feast your eyes on this visual pipeline separated into lifecycle stages, including the common KPIs used to measure their success.

Key benefits of Account-Based Marketing
Spoiler alert: there are lots. Companies that have implemented ABM have achieved faster pipeline growth, higher close rates, larger average deal sizes, and even greater customer retention. Conversica found that nearly 50 per cent of marketing budgets are wasted on generating leads that companies don’t even contact. Imagine telling your revenue leaders that. Would they be able to sleep soundly at night? Doubt it.

Anyway, onto more positive things! According to ITSMA, almost 85 per cent of marketers measuring ROI say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments, while 72 per cent shared an uplift in revenue growth. In fact, LinkedIn also reported that accounts seeing both targeted brand and acquisition messaging are 6x more likely to convert. These numbers are hard to ignore.

Additionally, here’s what some of our real-life Terminus customers are reporting on their company ROI metrics:

  • “$10 million in sales revenue in a four-month period can be attributed to ABM with Terminus.” – Daniel Englebretson, Khronos, Founder & Head of Client Services
  • “ABM shortened our sales cycle by 40 per cent.” – VP of Customer Acquisition, SOASTA
  • “Companies leveraging Terminus see a 313 per cent ROI, 60 per cent increase in opportunities set by their sales development team, 40 per cent reduction in customer acquisition costs, and 20 per cent increase in close rate.” (Forrester Consulting)

Team: The framework for ABM success
ABM sure looks grand on paper. And there’s an extremely practical way to apply it to your own revenue strategy. Meet your new TEAM framework – a simple, yet powerful way to put an ABM plan into action:

  • Target the right accounts by finding the ideal audiences for your message.
  • Engage and amplify your message across all channels.
  • Activate all teams on the information they need for each account and get your sales teams to work in perfect harmony with marketing.
  • Measure what matters most (spoiler alert: it ain’t leads) and understand marketing’s performance at every level.

Why start with TEAM?
It’s time for some truth: ABM can be daunting and requires a lot of effort. When viewed as just another tool or point-solution to serve as a “set it and forget it” thing, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be successful. True ABM means team alignment, planning, strategy, and internal buy-in from all revenue teams and stakeholders.

That may sound like a lot of work. The TEAM Framework exists to hold your team’s hand step-by-step. It’ll help map out your journey to plan, operate, and evaluate your revenue strategy and communicate success clearly both within your team and across your organization. Fear not; the TEAM framework and Terminus can help you every step of the way.

TEAM Framework + The Terminus ABM Platform

 Here’s where we come in with the assist. ABM requires more than just one channel, point solution, or data source. Orchestration of multiple points of engagement, tactics, and actionable data is key. That’s why, along with a framework and strategy, it’s important to invest in an ABM platform.

Terminus offers the most channels and data sources to enable the key requirements and coordination needed to deliver highly personalized and integrated pre- and post-sales customer experiences. We help operationalize and scale cross-functional integration of teams and the ancillary technologies necessary to execute ABM.

To see all of Terminus’ solutions for each lifecycle stage and much more, check out our Blueprint to Account-Based Marketing ebook!