B2B marketers rely on ABM to deliver leads that will convert into business. Make ABM work for you by selecting, negotiating, and designing a successful program. From strategy to implementation, all the success factors.
Know Your Accounts
Distinguish between accounts you can sell to and accounts you want to sell to. They are two different things. While you may sell to many companies, you may not want to have all of them as clients for various reasons, including a few: market specifics and trends, scalability, LCV (lifetime customer value), company size, etc.
Test Vendors Capabilities to Reach Your Accounts
Ask ABM vendors what percentage of your accounts list they can match. Request a test.
Should you ask the vendor to sign an NDA in advance or not, you must put your accounts list to test to understand how many of them you can reach via a particular vendor. Investing budgets in a vendor depends on the reach and, considering the low success rate in B2B, the higher the percentage, the better.
Have the IP / Cookie Discussion
Find out if the vendor is using IP-based targeting or cookie-based targeting. IP is strong on ABM-specific targeting, but cookie allows you to retarget audiences.
Content is King
Ask the ABM vendor how many types of content they can put in front of the audience. Prospects engage with different kinds of content – from long-form written content (e-guides, blog posts, infographics) to video and webinars. Unless you find enough vendors working with all these types of content, put together a mix that serves your purpose.
Traffic to the Website and Filling Forms
Go for a combination of content placed on vendor’s web properties & outlets and traffic sent to content hosted on your website. Many ABM vendors will host the content you provide on their own web properties and, while you get the leads you contracted, you won’t get the chance to remarket them as they don’t land on your website. Always ask if that is an option and make use of it. I would go for a 50 / 50% split. Also, if your company is not fully established on the market with solid awareness, consider the credibility factor – where are the prospects more likely to fill in a form to become a lead – on your website or on the vendor?
Discuss ABM vendor compatibility with your automation platform. That’s an obvious one, and you may not need to worry about it. Still, check that both sides have the expertise to set up and test the integration. You may want to work with a promising newcomer that makes sure they can deliver throughout the whole process.
Find out if you will be billed for other things than lead gen (CostPerLead). Some ABM vendors may require a platform fee.
Inquiry about the monthly volumes a vendor can deliver. And for how long. ABM programs are not likely to attain success quickly; therefore, volumes and scalability are crucial. B2B planning is a long-term endeavor.
Discuss what support and deliverables are included: client service, reporting, and regular meetings. Don’t dismiss the added value of vendor account management that will review your performance, explain and guide you through the platform capabilities and provide you with valuable insights.
For new vendors, see if you can go for a pilot first to test their program. A minimum of 3 months is required to understand if the program works for your company.