The growing popularity of account-based marketing (ABM) isn’t just empty hype. Even before ABM became a trend, more than 80% of ROI-focused marketers found that it outperformed their other marketing strategies. It also made existing customer relationships more profitable—73% of ABM marketers see larger average deal sizes than with other methods.
It’s clear that ABM is worth the effort. Building on relationships with specific customers is a much more solid path to revenue growth than constantly expanding to a broad spectrum of leads. But to helm ABM initiatives, you need to build the right team.
Whether you’re hiring dedicated ABM professionals or ABM-ifying your current marketing team, here’s the framework you need to ramp your ABM efforts and set up each new hire (or, if you’re the new hire, you’re in the right place) for a successful first year—and beyond.
The First 30 Days
Month one of new ABM employee onboarding is all about bringing your future superstar(s) up to speed on your company, product, and the marketplace. And, of course, getting them acquainted with their team and role.
Here’s how to do it.
Welcome them to the team
Introduce the new hires to everyone they’ll work with, especially those who also have roles in the ABM pipeline (yes, especially sales). Hopefully, some of these relationships were established in group interviews that made sure they’re a culture fit for the company. (Be sure to read our hiring kit for tips on this!)
If you’re bringing a lot of people on board all at once, consider creating a day of group immersion and team building to kick things off strong.
Show them the ropes
Give your new hires a crash course on what your company does, how the products work, your targets’ pain points, and what marketing strategies you have underway. Pay special attention to outlining the current sales funnel and tactics. ABM can be its own language depending on which org you’re in, so don’t hesitate to give new hires a cheat sheet.
Once new hires are familiar with your people and goals, it’s time to introduce them to your workflows and MarTech. Be open to their questions about your (hopefully, not too crazy) processes. Give in-depth tutorials of your customer relationship management program and other tools in your stack and let them know how IT can help them with any issues.
The First 60 Days
After getting new hires set up, you can free them to do their jobs—apply their expertise to identify or create opportunities and act on them. Here’s how to help them succeed:
Formally audit current tactics
At best, familiarity and routine create blindspots to improvement. At worst, they breed complacency. Thankfully, your new team members can provide a fresh set of eyes on processes and strategies—as well as an excuse to make positive changes throughout your marketing department. As new team members integrate into your company, invite them to provide feedback about current strategies and the way things are done. Their previous job may have had better systems or tactics that can help your team if you implement them.
You can also audit current tactics as a team so new employees don’t feel shy about shaking things up. This way, longtime employees also get an opportunity to air grievances they’ve hesitated to bring up as well.
Analyze existing customers, prospects, and the industry landscape
A fresh set of eyes will be incredibly useful in gleaning insight about opportunities with your current and future customers, as well as overarching industry trends—especially if they have ABM experience. Dive deep into your key performance indicators to better understand what’s working and what’s not.
Assess your findings
With your results laid bare, you can better decide as a team how to tackle your leads. Ask these questions:
- Are we going after the right targets?
- Are we missing opportunities for additional revenue with existing customers?
- Are we using the right strategies?
- Are our goals realistic and worth pursuing?
Then use all the data you’ve examined to answer them. Don’t be afraid to question your entire roadmap based on what you find. That can be one of the most exciting parts of marketing!
The First 90 Days
After two months on the job, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal. New ABM team members should start executing campaigns, implementing new processes, and further refining how they work. Follow these steps to improve while as you find your footing in ABM:
Solidify new marketing plans
Even if the audits from month two don’t shake up your marketing efforts, don’t let that stop you from doing plenty of testing based on new insights. Remember to set measurable goals for everything you do, even if you’re just experimenting with proposed new tactics and strategies.
Launch the new ABM campaigns
Pursue new revenue opportunities with existing customers while going after new targets. If you develop any new ideas for tactics or strategies, go ahead and try them out to determine their effectiveness. Remember to follow your new goals strategically and don’t try to do too much at once. Carefully map out each day or week and create a schedule for checking results.
Refine procedures and processes
Within the first two weeks of launching these new campaigns, you should have enough data and feedback to gauge ROI. Do another mini audit to determine if they’re worth pursuing, and adjust aspects of your approach if necessary, such as messaging cadence.
In addition to how much revenue your efforts generate, track how long different tactics take to execute and what resources they consume. Remember that ROI is just as important as sales. Bonus: you may even identify new KPIs to track.
The First Six to 12 Months and Beyond
You probably know the first three months are always the most critical for any type of new job or venture. But don’t slow down—ABM requires long-term investment to yield the biggest results. More than anything, the first 90 days of a new ABM hire should set them up for success in the first year of their new role.
Here’s how you can help new hires (and your team as a whole) maximize results:
Frequently communicate with sales
ABM has a much more complex pipeline than many traditional marketing strategies, so it’s vital to keep all the players and departments in communication to ensure their efforts don’t fall out of sync. At least once a month, if not more, schedule team meetings between dedicated ABM staff and other relevant roles, such as sales and product development.
Sales can provide valuable insight that marketing can adopt in their messaging, such as customers’ desire for product features that aren’t currently available. This can open the door to new revenue opportunities if you work with the development team to implement changes. ABM is truly a multi-disciplinary strategy that requires team effort to reap the most results.
Continually refine tactics and quality
ABM is hot right now—which means it’s constantly changing. Stay up to date on the latest best practices in industry publications, and make sure your team does the same. Set a schedule for continually evaluating processes and strategies to see what’s working and what’s not. You can even follow the same schedule you used in the first 90 days so your ABM team is in a constant state of improvement.
With the right investment, ABM can expand your company and solidify your place in the market. Because ABM is so personalized, your success hinges on not just hiring the right people for the job but also giving your team the tools they need to win. If you follow the tips in this guide, you set them up for success—in your company and their career. And don’t forget to check out the All-Inclusive ABM Hiring Kit for more ideas on how to bring the best talent to your table.