You can also have org charts inside HubSpot. Then, when you move to the Activate stage and have a record of engagement with contacts from target accounts, you'll have heatmaps for easy visualization of interactions over time.
We at MAN Digital are big fans of HubSpot's Org Charts integration. It helps us structure engagement with target accounts and keep our focus on decision makers.
Lay Out Topics & Messaging Map
You did a great job getting this far in your research of contacts from target accounts. Now you can move to the actual engagement.
For this, we need to define the What and the How.
The What are the topics that will resonate with your ABM buyer personas. It is one of the MOST important things. If you don't have anything interesting to say, why would anyone bother?
The How are the ways to present content and convey the messages you craft for them.
First, let's sort out the What part.
We got started on this when developing ABM buyer personas. If you were diligent with that step, you already have some ideas around the topics that will work best for your decision makers.
IMPORTANT: Don't be generic and boring. Your messaging has to be sharp and resonate with your audience. Let's give an example.
Typical boring message: How to prepare a go-to-market strategy for Pharma?
Sharp qualifying content: Can Pharma companies really replace field sales with 100% digital product launch?
So let's organize the messaging. Below you can find an example of digital agency that provides services for Pharmaceutical industry.
Here, we have a clean structure for message development around 2 key areas: An issue that field sales doesn't work anymore and the fact that there are a lot of struggle with creating a high quality medical content.
How do we came up with this topics?
By interviewing clients, talking with sales, researching what our buyer personas are posting. Don't overthink the topics, find the right topics from real data.
Define ABM Engagement Campaign Schedule
We now move to the How of engaging your target accounts.
Here, we define ABM campaign elements and put them in a specific order that would let us plan out engagements
But...did we really define what engaged account really mean?
Engaged Account Definition - To simplify: it means that any given prospect from a targeted account (ideally decision maker) have converted through your form and came into database.
By that we mean that you got to know client a bit better and went on a first date.
Here you have your entire Engage stage, laid out week by week. Feel free to copy this template and use it for your ABM campaign.
We'll be taking a deep dive into everything that constitutes an ABM campaign schedule, so keep reading 👀
And wherever you need additional guidance and clarifications, don't hesitate to get in touch :)
Let's see how we at MAN Digital bring all of the elements together.
Audience is the segment of target accounts we approach. At the Engage stage, we're dealing with all the companies we plan to pursue.
As you're moving further with Engaged and Activated accounts, you'll be focusing on fewer and fewer companies.
Relevant to the goal we set for Master Target Account list, the metrics we use to measure success are:
Accounts Reached - this covers website, email, and social interactions.
Accounts Engaged - activated accounts, i.e. contacts converted by filling out forms.
White Space - where you're lacking any kind of engagement with an account
These metrics help us assess our efforts as target accounts get an introduction to our content and brand.
Marketing plays is the marketing arsenal deployed to reach & convert target accounts. Tactics are pretty similar to demand gen but you have to have your Target Audience always in mind as well as more in-depth personalization.
Social Ads with Target Account audiences in mind
Search ads for a specific industry/niche, long tail keywords
Display ads with personalized creatives
Social Media organic posting and mentioning Target Accounts
Personalized lead nurturing workflows
Media placements having targeted accounts segments in mind
Retargeting on all platforms
Engineering as marketing (tools designed for accounts)
Web personalization tools
Chatbots and conversational marketing
Remember: the focus is on personalization; the ad part is push you give to high-quality content.
The key here is to deploy multiple ad creatives to get your contacts to the landing pages with specific offers.
Sales plays are the tactics traditionally used by sales reps to build a relationship with a lead. When you start engaging contacts from target accounts, you can utilize the same tactics without coming off as salesy.
LinkedIn profile visits
Replying to social media updates
Sharing educational content
Distributing educational content via email or linked in
Seeking connections via joining webinars, events, etc.
Congratulate on someones achievements
You aim to create more touch points with target accounts. What you want to achieve is to be noticed.
REMEMBER: You don't want to sell anything yet. Currently you just want to get on the same party as your potential client and start a conversation.
Everything starts with a value you can provide for your Target Accounts. Based on messaging, you should be able to define key content pieces.
Content covers all the different types of assets produced by your ABM team to attract the attention of target accounts.
The key is to make it as personalized as the priority of your target account calls for.
Whether it's a white paper, e-book, video, or case study, your goal with educational content is to personalize it to the point where contacts would want to engage with it.
This doesn't mean you need to put together an e-book for each of your target accounts.
What you can do, however, is produce educational content with a specific buyer persona in mind, and then customize the title and/or intro.
Sales & Marketing Alignment
Aligning Sales and Marketing is a cornerstone of ABM. Here's what you need to achieve at the Engage stage.
Shared account-based approach
Target Accounts selection
Clear responsibilities and orchestration agreements
You start with a shared ABM approach, and then move on to the next steps such as metrics alignment and target accounts listing.
Later, when it comes to nurturing Engaged accounts, you're better off with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Marketing and Sales.
Finally, our ABM Program Outline wouldn't be complete without the tech stack. Basic tools you would need to start with are:
Marketing automation for nurturing workflows
Ad platforms (things like Demandbase or Rollworks for more advanced)
Make sure your tech stack corresponds to your ambitions.
Feel free to use our Program Outline as a starting point or build your own outline from scratch. What's important is that you give yourself a full picture of what your ABM team puts into account engagement.
Draw ABM Program Orchestration Flow
While ABM Program Outline is an overview of your engagement strategy, ABM Program Orchestration Flow is your Master Action Plan.
Essentially, it's an algorithm designed to get you from point A to point B, with point A being identification of a buyer persona contact, and point B - conversion.
Here is an example of a simple engagement program consisting of different types of offers being distributed via paid ads as well as sales team to Targeted Accounts.
So what really do we see here?
Segmentation, Listing & Prospecting
Our starting point is the segmentation, listing, and prospecting for target accounts. As soon as we identify buyer persona contacts, we add them to HubSpot for automations setup.
After we get the first cookie match for list members, we launch audience defined ads. This is how we get our contacts to visit the landing page and review the offer we prepared for them.
Landing pages for different offers and/or topics
From here, contacts may either convert, i.e. perform the desired action on that page - or be recycled for the next round.
If our contacts convert, they get to the Thank-you page for that specific offer. They are also removed from the list because conversion means that they graduated to the Engaged stage.
As you can see, for contacts that convert from the first offer, the Engage stage ends here. For those that don't, the show goes on.
LinkedIn profile visit
10 days after a contact didn't convert from the first offer, our ABM team receives an alert that sales team needs to visit the contact's LinkedIn profile.
Automated buyer emails
The next day, the contact receives a buyer email that contains a different offer - related to the same topic as before or a completely new one. The email leads to a new landing page with a new offer.
You know the drill: if the contact converts, they get to the Thank-you page and move to the engage stage.
If they don't, they are recycled for the next round: a LinkedIn visit from a different ABM team member + buyer email with a new offer + a new landing page.
If a contact remains unconverted after 3 rounds, we run a C-level check on them. If they qualify and turn out to be a C-level buyer, they receive a LinkedIn connection request from a member of our ABM team.
One day after, they get a personalizedemail to send them a copy of a real book from an SDR. Landing page is customized for C-level role title.
If they don't reply, then they receive another LinkedIn connection request - this time from the leader of our ABM team. What follows is an email asking for a mailing address, and then the landing page.
Buying roles, personas, org charts, topics & messaging are all results of heavy research that helps lay out your ABM Campaign Schedule, Program Outline, and Orchestration Flow.
As long as you know you're a good fit for your target accounts as much as they are a good fit for you, be ambitious and go for the big fish.
And if you need help with any of the engagement steps outlined here, drop us a line and let's talk ABM 💪
about the author
The Founder and Head Of Delivery at MAN Digital, responsible for all things top of the funnel, button of the funnel, and customer experience. Having worked in both B2B marketing and sales execution for over a decade. He has experience in both Enterprise and Mid-Size sales. Before founding MAN Digital, he worked at Electrolux and DHL in learning and development and Farnell Element 14 in sales. A whiz when it comes to sales engagement tools and a HubSpot revenue architect. At the moment also pursuing an Executive MBA at Quantic Washington University.