I'm going to come right out and say it. Your Account Based Marketing (ABM) program is doomed unless you have strong data. You've got to know everything possible about your target accounts. Who do you know? What do you know about them? And what do you need to do next to nurture the account?
So, what happens when your data is less than pristine? You run into a messy program that won't deliver anything accurately, and you'll have invested in a program that doesn't even come close to your campaign objectives, let alone move the needle on profit and ROI.
Let's take a look at what can happen if your data is less than lacklustre and the effects it can take on your ABM initiative.
You'll lack visibility on persona and company profiles.
This may seem a bit like overkill, but your data has to be current or you simply miss the mark on everything you do. If you don't capture and maintain up-to-date information like account contacts, you won't know who works at the account and if those contacts are still relevant across the enterprise.
You also need to take a quarterly view at employee counts and revenue numbers within each targeted account. Employees come and go, businesses get acquired and companies change addresses and phone numbers. These are just the fundamentals of your account data but if they're not kept current, you don't really have anything at all when it comes to ABM.
You don't know what types of data to capture.
Capturing the right data should happen only after you have defined the strategy and tactics for your ABM initiative. What do you need to know about your target accounts? Who are the influencers within the client enterprise? What industry factors are affecting your target accounts, both positive and negative? These questions are just good starts. Here are a few more types of data to capture to make your ABM work more effective:
Individual and persona data of account stakeholders and influencers
Engagement data will show how involved a prospect at the target account has been with your company
Firmographics data should give you updates on target account industry, structure, location, performance and size
Technographic data includes the technology solutions used at the target account
Intent data will provide behavioural data related to those target accounts that are close to the purchasing stage
Predictive modelling will give you an idea of how your target accounts may act in the future
You're not sure about how to collect clean data.
A lot of the data you'll need to populate your ABM initiative can be gleaned from your team members and any current data in your CRM system. This is a great start but you'll need to verify and confirm its accuracy on a regular basis. As you're working through your collected data, be sure to note holes where you need more information. Depending on the scope of your ABM program, you may be able to gather the missing data with internal team members. This is no place to cut back on your due diligence so invest time and money wisely upfront for the best overall campaign results later.
You'll waste time and money in sales efforts.
ABM requires a close working relationship between marketing and sales as well as other stakeholders in the enterprise. But inaccurate or incomplete data will stop the sales momentum in its tracks. Trust us, you don't need a frustrated sales organisation because you'll lose support and the ABM initiative can die a pretty quick death.
Buy-in from the sales organisation is critical because they will need to prioritise strong relationships with marketing. Both sides need to be aware of the ABM strategy and vision as well as the fine points of execution.
This is more than just an exercise in keeping sales healthy, there are financial repercussions as well that could negatively affect the campaign and overall profitability.
Studies show that bad leads will waste 27.3% of sales rep time as well as about $20K per sales rep each year. No one wants to see those types of numbers so it's so critical to keep contact data pure to not only generate new sales but to prevent time and money spent on inappropriate leads.
Building an ABM initiative for your company is a smart investment which will produce relevant results as long as you want it to. Just be sure you know what data you need, where to get it, how often to maintain it and how to share with sales. Data can be a real workhorse for your business if you tend to it, nurture it and put it to appropriate use.