Like most challenges, the key to executing account-based marketing (ABM) successfully at scale is having the right tools. In this case, a well-orchestrated marketing tech stack comprised of products that help address essential elements of ABM. When done right, ABM produces accelerated sales performance. To do it right, B2B marketers know that it takes insight and a data-driven strategy. And the smartest B2B marketers know that the right tech and tools make it a lot easier to develop a high-performing ABM program.
When looking at the market for MarTech and RevTech specifically, there are a plethora of options. I want to make the selection process simpler for you. From years of experience using most of the products available, BOL has found our favorites. The key is to find products that are flexible and can integrate with your current tools to improve ABM workflow and demand generation. As ABM experts, we know which products are the best to help B2B marketers make the most of their campaigns.
The technology you employ should allow you to run ABM programs at scale, including account selection, planning, engagement, and reporting. The software should also integrate seamlessly into the technology employed by your sales team to provide information critical to reaching the key decision-makers at your targeted accounts.
Intent Signals and Data
Critical to a successful ABM campaign is getting the right intent data. You need to know who is looking for the products or services your business provides from the moment they start looking for your product or service.
With intent data account-based marketing software, you can surface and target ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and TALs as well as research your competition. You can also find out which ICPs are researching your competition so you can target them for yourself. Most importantly, intent data can also increase sales opportunities, improve pipeline velocity, and influence better marketing-to-sales alignment.
Intent data ABM software also has other benefits:
- SEO - Intent data informs businesses which target accounts might be in-market. Knowing this information allows companies to create content that is specific to the needs of those potential customers. Optimizing that content for organic search increases the likelihood that your target accounts and lookalike accounts with see that content in their customer journey.
- Content strategy - besides the above-mentioned SEO benefits, intent data helps to ensure the content you develop speaks to the ICPs and their needs at the exact time they need it
- Improved ROI for paid media campaigns - Knowing intent gives you the insight needed to produce media campaigns that speak to your targets and get in front of your targets at the exact right time
Considered a leader by Gartner, the 6Sense account engagement platform helps sales, marketing, and operations teams run seamless ABM campaigns. By employing goal-based artificial intelligence (AI) orchestration, the platform drives web engagement, the creation and acceleration of new account opportunities, as well as the retention and upselling of customers.
Among 6Sense’s strengths, the platform allows you to create dynamic, static, and look-alike segments. The platform does so by leveraging multiple data points and by combining behavioral and profile analytics with predictive analytics to create account segments. 6Sense also has a team of customer success representatives who are compensated on helping customers achieve successful use cases.
We have been using 6Sense from day one because of its effectiveness. 6Sense gives us:
- Intent data
- Competitive Insights
- Audience builds
- Paid media insight
At its core, ABM is about making marketing personal. Intent data, market insights, company insights, and audience insights… all enable us to take a significantly more targeted and personalized approach to B2B marketing.
We wrote on this a bit ago and discussed the importance of personalization. Essentially, by aligning targeting, offer, and creative we can have a formalized structured testing approach to creative, content, and landing pages to better understand engagement signals and move a prospect through the buying journey, and know when to hand them off to sales.
Drift has fully embraced the core tenant of ABM - creating a more personalized buying experience. Their bot integration is designed to engage visitors in a personalized conversation based on the content they are consuming – because they believe every relationship, deal, or solution starts with a conversation.
We also believe personalization is critical to successful ABM campaigns, especially 1:1, which is why we love Drift’s solutions.
CRM & Marketing Automation
With all the data you will be compiling with these account-based marketing tech solutions, you need one main point of truth to store it all. CRM and marketing automation solutions offer full visibility to your team(s) - not just marketing but sales, execs, finance, etc. Marketing automation can also be used correctly to create nurture streams, awareness campaigns, social outreach, etc. Our favorite is Hubspot.
We use Hubspot as our source of truth for all contact, company, and deal records. It also acts as a valuable CRM tool for organizations of any size. It allows for full visibility of all interactions and engagement so that we can automate follow-up and nurture activity in the most effective way. And we cut back on development time by utilizing Hubspot's native API connections to integrate with common Martech solutions.
Hubspot’s business model is built on bringing together all the marketing and data tools needed to employ successful marketing campaigns. The platform allows for blog publishing, SEO, ad tracking and management, social media engagement, video, and live chat – all controlled from a convenient dashboard.
Without the right technologies, your sales team will struggle to reach its full Account-Based Marketing potential. True sales enablement is powered by truly game-changing tech that connects teams and effectively moves the needle.
- By clearly identifying targets, curating messaging, and personalizing content for the right audience at the right phase of their buying journey
- By helping marketing teams refine account-focused tactics and assets
- By increasing ROI
Though multiple tools exist to optimize sales efforts, implementing too many can overwhelm your tech stack or create TSS (Tech Stack Syndrome) among your sales team.
So which ones should you focus on?
Here are five.
The global leader in enablement, Seismic offers a multi-use tool that helps sales teams navigate a variety of sales situations and find meaningful, personalized content in seconds. The best part? Your sellers can leverage agency content that BOL produces and determine what level of content customization to deploy.
Highspot elevates customer conversations to drive strategic growth. The intuitive platform combines intelligent content management, training, contextual guidance, customer engagement, and actionable analytics—and eliminates much of the sales fog that can slow pipeline acceleration and growth.
A true Enablement Operating System (eOS™), Showpad aligns sales and marketing teams around high-impact buyer interactions while generating the insights needed to continuously improve conversion rates. Its Sales Content Management engine enables sales teams to create a curated one-stop-shop to locate, manage and distribute high-impact content at scale.
Guru is a largely off-the-radar internal workflow management tool. It’s a company wiki embedded within your workflow, so the information you need is always at your fingertips. It can organize multiple sales cadences (e.g. Slack, Email, CRM, Browser, Text-to-Call functions, and more) and bring clarity to the sales process.
Gong’s revenue intelligence program creates total visibility into the deals, market advancements, and sales performance metrics that yield profitability. It can objectively identify, analyze and daylight insights to sales leadership and sellers themselves.
Remember, ABM is a marathon. But if enabled properly and powered by the right technology, you can bring prospects through your sales cycle faster.
Security and Privacy Compliance
With so many tools available, security and privacy can’t be overlooked. We prefer a security and privacy solution that makes it easy to use and understand compliance. For this, we have partnered with SafeGuard.
SafeGuard seeks to help companies “audit and ensure compliance across their complex marketing operations.” They provide an easy-to-follow set of questions that helps determine what type of solutions would be right for you and provides legal advice from licensed lawyers, as well as resources and forms that can be downloaded and completed. Essentially, they offer everything you could need to get security and privacy compliance going, even if you currently have none.
Beyond the platforms discussed here, there are many different options built for different industries and business sizes. These included are our preferred platforms because they provide the tools we need and are easy to use.
However, it is important to remember that a platform itself will not run a successful ABM campaign. You will still want to have expert analysts, marketers, content creators, and other team members orchestrate a successful ABM campaign that will result in substantial ROIs.