What is ABX for SaaS companies?
Account-based experience (ABX) is a GTM strategy that uses data and insights to orchestrate relevant, trusted marketing and sales actions throughout the B2B customer journey. Another way to look at ABX is as a shift in thinking from the value of accounts to the value of customer relationships. It's a more comprehensive, long-term, and holistic approach that ensures a buyer’s journey isn’t just seamless across touch points and channels, but also flows with maximum impact.
ABM ( Account-Based Marketing) - ABX is a fashioned targeted marketing + sales alignment.
The very name Account-Based Marketing focused on just one department: marketing. ABX takes it to the next level and brings all customer-facing departments into the account-based tent. So the entire go-to-market team works together to deliver a coordinated experience to accounts.
It’s time to recognize that we’re not marketing and selling to a lead. We’re marketing and selling to an account. There are 3-5 people in the average buying committee. Think about it. It’s called business-to-business. Not business-to-lead.
The experience your accounts have with your brand as they move through the buyer's journey is the key driver of revenue, retention, and satisfaction
Step 1- ABX Objective Setup
A growth phase company can setup 3 main goals (6 to 12 months target) for the ABM team, which are:
- Lead Generation
- Pipeline improvement
- Cross-sell & Up-sell for existing accounts
Step 2- Select the right accounts for ABM
Defining ICP is vital, hence thorough research is required while choosing the right set of accounts for ABM. Here are a few ways we can understand which accounts to target:
- Firmographic: We can choose accounts based on the Revenue, Industry, Size of the company, number of users and geolocation. This can be done using tools like DiscoverOrg or Slintel.
- Technographic: We also need to research companies with what kind of tools they are using, what will be the expiry date for those tools. For this, we can use Builtwith or Slintel to give us the details.
- Understanding maturity of the company: This is vital to understand if the company is ready for the change or ready in terms of funding and onboarding a new tool.
- Intent: We need to understand whether the companies we want to target in ABM has the intent to buy our product or services. For this, we can use Bambora and choose a rating of 7 and above. We have to upload the accounts into Bambora, use the keyword which our company is known for and check how many companies are searching on those keywords. The objective of step 2 is to select accounts that match company goals by taking into consideration of all the above factors.
P.S. - These tools show 70-80% accuracy
Step 3- 1:Many awareness campaigns for selected accounts
Running 1: Many campaigns for an awareness campaign for the chosen accounts. But before that, we need to understand whom to target, meaning we have to select personas/ designations who can be either decision-makers or influencers.
For awareness campaigns, we don’t have to be strict in our targeting but as a best practice, we should always show ads to job functions that will get benefitted from our product and services.
Where to find the email address and other details: You can either use LinkedIn sales navigator or use tools like DiscoverOrg/Leadiro to extracts contacts for your targeted accounts.
Where to run 1:Many awareness campaigns?
- LinkedIn ads (account & contact level)
- Google ads (using personal email address)
- Influ2/Recotap (account & contact level)
- Webinar on a topic (gated to get enrolled) -
- Content syndication Free guide, Checklists, ebook (non-gated) + Leadfeeder integration - blog (non-gated) + CTA for demo in the end demo ads (gated)
- add Leadfeeder in the website to understand account activity
The focus of 1:Many campaign would be to create brand awareness towards our target audience (product aware + product unaware)
Step 4- 1:Few industry-specific + persona campaign
Before coming to 1:few industry-specific campaign, we must do a lead scoring to understand how many accounts from our target accounts are resonating with our campaign. The ones with good scores come into 1:few industry-specific campaigns. For the ones with fewer scores, we need to experiment with our content to get them in 1:many stage till they satisfy the criteria score.
In 1:few campaigns, we will create and promote content assets based on industry or job designations.
Eg: We go a bit deeper into the industry and industry segments. We run podcasts based on a specific industry, we write blogs and case studies for specific industries.
Content for 1:few campaigns:
- Blogs that relate to pain points of a specific industry (non-gated + trackable with Leadfeeder)
- Industry-specific case studies (gated)
- Webinar on an industry-based pain point and guest industry leader (gated for enrolment)
- demo ads (gated)
Where to run 1:few campaigns:
- Create a segment in LinkedIn ads and run specific industry-wise campaigns (directed to landing page + lead generation forms)
- Run demand generation campaign on Influ2/Recotap to a specific audience (directed to landing page)
- Email segment based on industry (direct to landing page)
Success criteria: Come closer to personas that engage with your content. Check what works and what doesn’t and take action.
Step 5- 1:1 campaigns
If we arrive at this stage then it means we know who our top 10-20 accounts are. Meaning in this stage we choose accounts whose scores are better than the rest.
Here, we have to deep dive into each account and each decision-maker, meaning we have to research on accounts (pain points + existing competitors) and create battle cards. In terms of contact research, we have to check what kind of things they are sharing and liking on social media and create content based on that.
We can create a personalized landing page for each account and run traffic to those specific pages.
We will run gift based campaigns where we will send them $100 gift coupon to attend a meeting with us.
Content for 1:few campaigns:
- Company based marketing collaterals (gated)
- Battle-cards (gated)
- Use case and solutions (gated)
- demo ads (gated)
Where to run 1:few campaigns:
- Email campaign with personalized researched content
- SDR/AE calling activity
- Influ2 1:1 account level ads
- Gifting campaigns which will ask them to attend the meeting
Step 6: Metrics to Measure
In the end, ABM success can be measured in 2 ways:
ABM generated SQLs: Meaning ABM first generated leads from the targeted account and it went to SQL stage
ABM influenced SQLs: ABM did not generate the lead from the targeted account but is influencing the accounts and decisions makers throughout the funnel (will depend on lead scoring criteria)
Other metrics for ABM:
- Amount spent vs. revenue generated (pipeline)
- Accounts reached: The number of accounts from your target account list that were served at least one ad or opened at least one email.
- Accounts visited: The number of accounts from your target account list that viewed at least one page on your site.
- Accounts engaged: The number of accounts from your target account list with at least three page views.
- Unique visitors: The number of unique visitors from all accounts reached. - Total page views: The number of page views from all accounts reached. - The number of target contacts that responded to the offers - The number of meetings booked with a seller in response to the campaign
Step 7- Team Structure & Budget planning
MarketingOps: To support with tool integrations and to make sure every tool stack talks with each other (1)
Content writer: To support with design content assets, in-debt research, become a subject matter expert (1)
SDRs: To support and run personalized campaigns on ABM leads + calling (1)
- Awareness stage: 50%
- MoFu stage: 25%
- BoFu stage: 25%
Most ABX platforms attempt to find the nexus between three data sets:
Fit Data + Intent Data + Engagement Data
Let's break down each data set:
Fit Data: Is the company a good fit for Us?
- Simple approach toward understanding our TAM and ICP is speaking with our customers and finding a common thread amongst the makeup of those companies. You can use those insights and some simple firmographic data to create your target lists.
Intent Data: Is the company showing intent?
- Intent data has continued to grow in popularity over the last several years. Typically, this data is a combination of google searches and blog consumption that can take place by any person at a company you're watching. Activating this data often requires a lot of assumptions. Personally, I see intent data as a superior tool to initiate strategic outbound sales, versus one that can really provide a lift for our marketing efforts.
Engagement Data: Is the company engaging with you?
- Engagement data isn't new. Marketing automation platforms have been tracking this information forever. ABM platforms might also offer an IP de anonymizer tool to help us see who is making up the "unknown" traffic to our site - but this data is only accurate 40-50% of the time. One advantage with ABM vendors is to also track engagement on the ads we're running through different networks
- LinkedIn campaign manager - Ads
- Google ads - Ads
- BuiltWith - Technographic research
- Bambora/Slintel - Intent research
- DiscoverOrg/Leadiro - Getting email addresses for targeted personas
- Unbounce - Landing pages
- Hubspot/Pardot - email automation
- Influ2/Recotap - 1:1 ads
- Outreach - text email for SDRs
- Canva & Adobe - ad and content asset design
- Leadfeeder - to be integrated with the website to understand which accounts are visiting
- Firmographic Data - 6sense or Metadata or Demandbase
- Behavioural Intent - G2, 6sense or Demandbase
- Enrichment - Madkudu or Zoominfo
- Personalisation - Mutiny, Drift
- Denonymsation - Clearbit, Leadfeeder
- CRM - Salesforce
- Gifting - Sendoso, &open
- How many target accounts are you going after? =>We assumed conservatively that ABM program will drive meaningful engagement with 40% of our target accounts. => So, for this example, let's assume 200 target accounts ( 40% of 500 accounts)
- With 80 (40% of 200) meaningfully engaged accounts, how many of those will turn into opportunities? =>We assumed conservatively that 25% of meaningful engagement turns into an opportunity. => So, for the example, that would mean 20 new opportunities (25% of 80 accounts)
- What is the average pipeline generated per opportunity? => Assuming initial deals are $50K per opportunity. =>$50K per opportunity X 20 opportunities = $1MN in pipeline over the initial 1 year contract with a $150K initial investment in [ABM tech stack]
With ABX, we know where each account is in its buying process and so we can orchestrate the right experience for them each step of the way. Use deep insights to ensure each interaction is relevant and useful enough to be worthy of the account’s attention.
Curious About ABX? Quench your intrigue.
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