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ABM "LITE" Part #1: ABM "Lite" Readiness

ABM "Lite" Playbook

Starting point for ABM is a shift toward highlighting ICP  accounts.

Traditional marketing looks at the whole market, or industry, or segment and plans campaigns across  generic cohorts.

A discipline aligned to a less sophisticated Demand Generation strategy.  

> The first checklist in ABM is building the right foundations.  

Create ICP profiles (use this template here). You  can have 1 ICP or 10 but make sure to focus on these  points: a) What is the problem/ challenge in the  market b) Why is it important to solve c) How does  your solution map towards point a & b — what is  the connection? Most SaaS startups forget to focus  on the challenge for prospects and market change. Don’t just focus on how great your solution or product is from a features perspective. As human beings,  our brains don’t work to thrive. Security is the core  motivating driver. You have to find out what security  means to your target persona and un-sell the status  quo around it. 

Create account lists. The next step is to start segmentation. This is a suggested model. The commer cial team and marketing need to own the process. Avoid ownership being unclear on outputs and de ferred responsibility. It’s everyone’s responsibility (not  just marketing, not just sales, not just product).

[1] Tier 1 accounts are perfect ICP* fits, similar to your  highest value customers. Tier 1 also includes logos  with strategic value or accounts that show high fit,  intent, and/or engagement. Sales / SDRs’ own focus  on targeting Tier 1 accounts with marketing support.  

[2] Tier 2 accounts are strong ICP fits but have a  lower lifetime value. SDR’s own focus on targeting Tier  2 accounts with marketing support. 

[3] Tier 3 accounts fit most, but not all, ICP criteria.  They’re worth pursuing but typically not worth investing significant resources to win their business (either  because they don’t match the ICP criteria or they’re  not showing intent or engagement). Sales focus on  on targeting Tier 1 accounts with marketing support. 

A further breakdown of account allocation and ABM  approach: 

[1] One-to-One ABM: As the name implies, this ABM  strategy is as granular as it gets. Marketing and sales  use highly customized campaigns for a small number of individual accounts. Clusters around 5 - 50. 

[2] One-to-Few ABM: At this level, marketing works  with sales to focus on account clusters that have  similar “attributes” like industries, pain points, etc. Clusters around 5-15. Each cluster is based on a  “trigger” or attribute (so each data segment is a specific pod).  

[3] One-to-Many ABM: As you can guess, the bottom  of the pyramid has the largest scope of all (mean  of 900 accounts). With this approach, marketing  and sales create larger account lists and scale their  campaigns using martech to personalize outreach. Clusters around 100+. 

Build positioning narratives starting with Tier 1 accounts  (use this template here). Product (or Product Marketing) needs input into this process. Marketing should provide  input for deliverables that can support content marketing, campaign development, outbound selling (sales  should also own) and external market messages i.e. PR. 

> Factor this into account.  

• Problem you are trying to solve  

• Why is that so important  

• What does the brand stand for  

• What is the messaging for each persona  • Being customer led, what’s in it for them  

• Broken down by persona and industry  


Build a content hierarchy. For ABM you can do this for  each individual prospect. If you are being hyper-targeted on the Tier 1 accounts. In addition to the proposition, start to hypothesise what the content marketing  approach will look like; here is an overview to help your  thinking.

Content Hierarchy

Bonus: Think about building a compelling story (based  on the Joseph Campbell and Storybrand approach). 

Other content ideas for launch. Quantitative or qualitative research — a pillar content piece that is then broken  down into micro-content for distribution. 

• Turn sales objections into thought leadership — collate  all the current sales objections and spin the content  into thought leadership pieces. By following this approach, you serve the purpose of sales enablement  and marketing content.  

• Frequently Asked Questions About Your Business —  write down 10 FAQs and answer the questions in a brief  manner that establishes you as an “expert in your  field”

• Should Ask Questions about Your Business – Start  thinking of competitive advantages you have in the  marketplace here. Why are you better? What problems do you solve versus a competitor? Is your health  supplement organic? Do you, as an HR leader, under stand e-learning authoring better than others in the  market? Do you have more experience than most in  the industry?  

• SEO content — this should be scheduled into the mix to  help rankings  

Create an effective sales deck for launch (follow this  structure from Sales Hacker)

CxO deck should be i.e. a CxO 

• Opening 

• Big Change in the world  

• Why care stakes?  

• Show the better way  

• Obstacles that make it hard 

• Benefits to overcome them  

• Proof you can do it  

Practitioner or budget holder,  i.e. VP / Director / Procurement 

• Opening  

• Big Change in the world  

• Why care stakes? 

• Show the better way  

• Obstacles that make it hard  

• Benefits to overcome them 

• Show the better way  

• Proof you can do it  

Day-to-day users, i.e. End Product Users  

• Confirm the problem  

• Shortfalls of other solutions  

• Proof that you’re better  

• How it works  

• Demo video or DEMO images 

• Logo slide  


Data. Best scenario is completing a data enrichment or  database cleanse before you switch out to ABM marketing. If you can’t, a clean up in the most logical way is  suggested. 

Build contact database for ABM accounts.  

You can do this by: 

• Use data tools i.e. Lusha, ZoomInfo, Enlyft  

• Use freelancers ie. UpWork (check GDPR compliant) 

• Use agencies (more expensive but could be better  quality) 

• Use existing databases, if you have a good list  

Suggestion: Create a process in having an always-on  data strategy with a 3rd party provider. Pay a monthly  retainer to secure X number of highly personalised, high  fit ICP’s and manual triggers associated (i.e. just started  a role or more in-depth research). This is an expense  but you will save your SDR’s / Rep’s hours of time instead  where they can be prospecting. 

Ensure lead scoring models are created. Marketing  needs to own. 

Stack rank triggers in importance (higher score for the  match to triggers). Then when it comes to the lead scor ing model, match higher scores to the ranking order created through the variables defined in the ICP profile. I.e.  If you know they are a new hire, a role is a massive trig ger when an ICP downloads with that profile and assigns  a higher points value. This would need some working  through because it is fairly complex. 

> Other triggers for lead scoring: 

• Account/Demand Unit Signal Scoring (need to think  how these adapt to account based scoring or if  these are possible). We had some of these variables  mapped. 

• Account driven — incorporates known account-level  insights to determine proper score. 

• Exposes tasks related to the full buying committee for  proactive Sales organization follow-ups. 

• Triggers nurturing communications to groups of relevant contacts at an account. 

• Recognizes an “Account Potential” score based on  buyer stage activity. 

Basic Scoring Model

Score by persona for total amount

Research what security means to each persona: Security is the core motivating driver to engage and buy. Let’s find out what security means to your target persona and un sell the status quo around it.

Define campaign approach. Map a high-level work-flow  of how the ABM process will work, for example factor  these into account: 

• Sales motion — what cadences are sales running, how  do they manage follow-ups etc  

• Contact ownership — who owns what at each stage of  the process (Marketing / SDR / AE) 

• Digital workflows — inbound leads and how they flow through to acquisition  

• Lead nurturing — what do you do with leads once in  the funnel 

• Content marketing — what content is needed where 

• Events (digital events) — how do events play a role  with ABM thought leadership 

• Process — MQA’s (Marketing Qualified Accounts or  Leads), SQL’s, Opps.(You should be building this Bow Tie

The simplest approach to content.  

• Create a pillar content piece i.e. research 

• Break the content into streams or micro-content  

• Plan the flow of distribution from pillar launch to daily  content flows  

• Personalise the pillar content for Tier accounts

• Test and learn for no longer than 3 months 

Build email sequences for outbound, for email nurture,  for inbound nurture and process work-flows to lead to  demo to opp. Ensure you have mapped the entire digital  workflow. 

Upload data to CRM. Perform data enrichment exercise.  Ensure accounts are tagged correctly to measure campaign  effectiveness. Assign contact ownerships. Upload data to LI  Sales Navigator. 

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