Q&A With Jon Miller on Mapping Your Account Based Marketing Strategy: It Starts With Account Selection

By November 14, 2016
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Account Based Marketing strategies are all the hype these days, but many marketers are struggling with how to get started. With so many people talking about implementing ABM with so many different strategies, who can blame marketers for not knowing where to start?

We teamed up with our friends at Engagio, an Account-Based Everything software, to help marketers do just that—kick off your Account-Based Marketing strategy with our new joint ebook, Mapping Your Account Based Marketing Strategy: It Starts With Account Selection. Click here for the full ebook.

But first, in this post we bring you words of wisdom from Jon Miller, Co-founder of Marketo and CEO and Co-founder of Engagio, on Engagio’s key ABM moves.

How Do You Do Account Selection for Engagio?

Target account selection for Engagio is a rigorous process because we know the success of our business depends on it. On a high level, we define three funnels: Funnel 1 is Target Accounts, Funnel 2 is Qualified, Non-Target Accounts, and Funnel 3 is All Other Accounts. The Targets Accounts are chosen by the individual account executives–with marketing providing firmographic data and a definition of the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).  Funnel 2 represents all the accounts that are in our ICP but are not selected as Target Accounts.

The Target Accounts (Funnel 1 ) are further broken out into three tiers: each account executive selects five Tier 1 accounts, 45 Tier 2 accounts, and 150 Tier 3 accounts.  These tiers are important because they identify how we will treat each account:

  • Tier 1 Accounts:  Get a detailed account plan and completely customized campaigns; every email or interaction is personalized, reviewed, and approved by a human. No marketing automation for these accounts.
  • Tier 2 Accounts:  These get account-specific research and personalized interactions for key personas.
  • Tier 3 Accounts: These get extra marketing and account-development attention, but automated interactions are OK.

What is Engagio’s Next Step After Account Selection?

The first step after selecting accounts is mapping out the players inside each account. Engagio sells to six key personas, so it was our goal to identify the individuals that represent those key personas inside each target account. We used various data/predictive vendors, and first party resources like LinkedIn to help us with this. Once we have the accounts and contacts, we use our own tool (ABM Analytics) to understand key engagement metrics inside each account.

What was Your Experience Like to Align Sales Around the Same Accounts and Run Coordinated Plays?

Play-making is a critical component of Account Based Everything. Marketing is just the start of the process–Account Based Sales and Sales Development is the natural continuation of the momentum started by ABM. Only when the departments work together does a business reach maximum potential inside target accounts. We use our PlayMaker tool to do team selling and orchestrate humanized communication across departments and channels; we don’t use any robospam or automation tools to the accounts we care about the most. Target accounts are precious, so you need to make the most of every single interaction.

Can You Tell Us the Play You are Most Proud of so Far in Your ABM Efforts?

There are many instances where careful playmaking and orchestration got us into accounts we care about the most. In general, we explore every single avenue to get traction into the buying center, and in particular, make sure that our Plays come not just from a lone SDR, but instead coordinate interactions from marketing, sales, and even our top executives. Not surprisingly, the best response rate is on emails that come personally from me! We don’t leave any leaf unturned, but also don’t wear out key constituents with tired and “cutesy” messaging. Success is about personalization based on research, instead of clickbait and robospam sequences that attempt to be funny but turn off key stakeholders. It’s a numbers game, but not in the way you might think. We constantly surprise even ourselves at the power of a relevant, personalized human email.

For more ABM tips and tricks, get the full how-to ebook, Mapping Your Account Based Marketing Strategy: It starts with Account Selection.

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