[Article re-posted from LinkedIn]
I was running through an Intro To Account-Based Marketing presentation with a client the other day and he asked if ABM is appropriate only for billion-dollar target accounts. The answer is no.
You don’t need to necessarily be targeting $billion+ accounts for ABM to be a viable strategy. There is no minimum revenue threshold for ABM. A truer indicator of whether or not ABM is a good fit for your company is the old “80/20 rule.”
In the 80/20 rule, 80% (or some large percentage) of your business comes from 20% (or some small percentage) of customers. ABM is built upon the premise that some small percentage of customers are way more valuable than most other customers, so it’s worth putting more effort and expense into pursuing each of them.
If the 80/20 rule applies at your company then deploying ABM almost certainly makes sense. In fact, if you are not developing a strategic, coordinated sales and marketing plan and committing significant resources to fuel 80% of your business plan then you are probably doing something wrong.
The top of the pyramid represents your Tier 1 target accounts — the “whales” for your ABM program. Sharpen your harpoons and execute ABM to land as many of these Tier 1 target accounts as possible.
The bottom of the pyramid is where your broadbased lead gen tactics should be applied. Use the right bait (content marketing), find the right fishing grounds (media strategy), and cast your net.
In the middle of the pyramid you might consider some sort of hybrid approach. Identify Tier 2 target accounts and deploy “ABM Lite” or “Programmatic ABM.”
- ABM Lite: A one-to-few model, often focused on a wider group of strategic accounts or the next tier down of accounts. It follows similar ABM approaches but focuses more on small groups of accounts that share similar business attributes, challenges, and initiatives. The ABM Lite approach is less resource intensive per account than strategic ABM.
- Programmatic ABM: This one-to-many approach emphasizes technology to automate ABM-inspired tactics across hundreds or even thousands of identified accounts.
So, is revenue size of your sales and marketing targets immaterial for ABM? No, knowing the revenue size of your target accounts can indeed be valuable. Often revenue size is used as one component of your tiering methodology, under the assumption that higher revenue targets might be more likely to yield bigger deals or more prestigious reference accounts. Revenue should not be the only factor, but it might be an important consideration. For a good methodology for prioritizing and tiering your ABM target accounts, here’s a template you can use to get organized (free download, no form).