Scaling is hard. You can have the best sales team in the world, but if they’re not focusing on the right accounts, their work likely won’t amount to new clients for your business. When you focus your efforts on ideal target companies, you maximize the campaign’s efficacy and conversion.
“Don’t try to boil the ocean.” Tossed around often in the marketing world, this phrase suggests that you should focus on smaller niches at a time rather than killing yourself trying to attack the whole. This advice can directly be applied to driving Account Based Marketing (ABM) success in the digital era.
Scaling is hard. You can have the best sales team in the world, but if they’re not focusing on the right accounts, their work likely won’t amount to new clients for your business. When you focus your efforts on ideal target companies, you maximize the campaign’s efficacy and conversion. When you launched your platform, your leads initially originated from your network, your investors’ network, your sales reps’ rolodex, or from a few customer referrals. But now it’s time to scale, and to do that you must define your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Defining Your ICP
When defining your ICP, you can’t just look at companies from a specific industry with over X employees and X revenue. While that is a great starting point, you have to narrow your focus and make the pond smaller. How well do you know your ideal customer? You already know their size and revenue range, but what other requirements do they need to meet to be considered a qualified account?
What technologies do they use?
Are they hiring for a role your product could supplement?
Fit vs. Intent
Once you have established the requirements that a company must have in order to be included in your target list, you should start looking at what accounts have been demonstrating intent in purchasing your solution. You should check if any of those companies:
Have visited your site in the past 90 days
Have downloaded your content or read your blog
Have engaged with your marketing or sales emails
Have visited your booth at a tradeshow
These actions are all classified as 1st party intent. You just need to analyze the data on your CRM or marketing automation system and score the accounts accordingly.
The next step is to look at the 3rd party intent data. You can monitor what your target accounts are researching on and analyze if:
They have checked your page or a competitor’s page on a review website (G2, Capterra)
They have acquired or removed a specific platform (Datanyze or BuiltWith)
They have been doing research on topics related to your business (Bombora)
When you combine 1st party and 3rd party data, it helps you define your ICP, and also narrow down your target account list to only those accounts that are most likely to benefit from your product. This allows you to personalize your messaging, using data-driven insights and buying signals to develop segments and messages for ads/outreach.
Building and Segmenting Your Target Accounts List
Building Your List
Now that you’ve answered the questions necessary to define your ICP, you’re ready to build your ABM target account list. Having a target list of accounts to focus on is beneficial because it’s easier for your team to focus on a small market and have intimate conversations, rather than broad ones with more people -- quality over quantity. Also, having one target list to focus on allows you to track engagement against that list, seeing where your accounts are in the funnel.
Starting from the ICP, you want to build a well-defined, manageable list of, ideally, between 500-2000 accounts (but it depends on your business model). Some data sources to pull these accounts from include:
Previously generated leads
Users (if you have any freemium products)
Intent data - identify accounts ready to buy
> Example: Marketo can build smart lists based on account filters and track engagement
> Example: Engagio can do account scoring based on minutes of engagement
*A note on behavioral intent data - find accounts that show buying intent from your ICP, but don’t add accounts JUST because they show intent -- a bad fit is a bad fit. Leverage artificial intelligence to filter through the noise.
Segmenting Your List
Once you’ve pulled your list of target accounts, segment them by cold, aware, Closed-Lost, etc. If you have multiple product lines, you can also build sub-segments based on these to make sure you send the right messages to the right people. Finally, divide them into more manageable sublists - Tier 1, 2, and 3. Tier 1 will be your top, ideal accounts. Your target account list is now ready, and it’s time to drive engagement from those companies! The last thing you need to do before launching is set your goals and budget.
Building Your ABM Budget
What are your goals? If you have 500 accounts, how many MQLs do you want to generate? Think of your KPIs: Number of Opportunities, Qualified pipeline, Closed/Won deals, Overall engagement, and CAC. Be realistic, it’s hard to track against impossible targets. Next, what is your budget for this campaign? You should plan to target your account list on multiple platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Display Ads, Direct Mail, Google AdWords, etc. How will you divide this budget across platforms and Tiers?
As the campaign continues to run, make sure to track your engagement progress and optimize sponsored content and spend to drive responses from the right prospects. Automate data imports using a tool like Zapier that saves time with sophisticated flows, such as: LinkedIn/Facebook leads to CRM campaigns, automated notifications, Calendly responses in CRM, tasks in Trello/Asana, and more.
To summarize, a successful ABM campaign starts with a well-defined target list and defined KPIs. Start from your CRM data and your current customers to build your ICP, and be as detailed as possible with your requirements. Then leverage 1st party data and 3rd party intent to prioritize your list on a weekly basis.
Make sure to always track campaign progress in your CRM, and revisit your target list every one or two quarters. Perhaps most importantly, focus all marketing channels against the same account list -- don’t dilute your efforts! The beauty of targeting one set of accounts is you can target the same list everywhere, your prospects will eventually engage if they keep seeing your brand everywhere.
No matter what stage your SaaS startup is in, landing a whale–a big client that will account for a majority of your revenue–will help you generate the ARR required to keep growing. At this year’s SaaStr, the team at SaaSMQL showed hundreds of SaaS leaders an effective way to do just that. 🐳
SaaS demand generation is an essential part of getting new customers and growing your business, but it's not easy to do well. Read these 7 precious tips on how to build a powerful SaaS demand generation machine.
What does it actually cost to get a new customer? This is a vital metric to master if you are looking to scale up your business in the near future. If you are a SaaS startup looking to build a predictable customer acquisition engine, or a SaaS Company that is ready to scale, this article is for yo
Demand generation is the most crucial role for every SaaS company. Startups need to get on board with key strategies that promote SaaS lead generation, and generate a consistent pipeline to feed the growing sales team. Do you have all the necessary elements in place to run a successful demand gene
SaaS demand generation can be complicated, but there are many ways to get your product to the front of your potential customers’ minds. Here we’ll go over some SaaS lead generation techniques that you can use to increase sales and beat the competition.
This article will discuss why direct mail marketing is so important for ABM's success and how to create an effective campaign. We'll also share some tips on measuring the success of your direct mail marketing campaigns.
SaaS direct mail is also a powerful way to reach decision makers and influencers at companies that aren’t currently using your product or service. When used as part of an account-based strategy, your integrated direct mail has the ability to amplify your results exponentially.
Nurturing enterprise accounts requires continuous education through multiple channels before they might see a need for your solution. Here we discuss the most effective ways to use multiple channels to nurture your target accounts.
The shift to virtual events in 2020 and 2021, along with uncertainty about when live events will resume, makes this year’s budget planning a bit tougher than others. However, you can use the same methodology to set your team up for success in 2022.
If you’re targeting mid-market or enterprise companies, you can't rely on a single channel to drive engagement and qualified leads. Here we share examples of campaigns with solid ROI and show how to integrate different channels into a unique workflow.
HubSpot and Marketo are considered the #1 and #2 marketing automation softwares in the world. ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, is a powerful and easy-to-use marketing automation & sales CRM platform designed for small businesses on a budget. How do you decide which is right for you?
You might have a golden list of accounts that the sales team wants to focus on, but you don’t have the budget for a shiny new ABM platform. Jasmine Chung, Demand Generation Manager at Openprise, showed us how they are doing it at their company and the results they are seeing.
Intellimize used SaaSMQL’s expertise to launch targeted ABM campaigns, integrating Direct Mail with automated emails and LinkedIn ads to engage with 800 accounts within their ideal customer profile. Their investment generated $4.6M in ARR pipeline.
Looking for some no-nonsense SEO tips to boost your site’s search engine rankings? We sat down with Aaron Moskowitz, Director of SEO at Golden Hippo, and covered 5 easy-to-implement tactics that help increase your website's ranking and boost inbound traffic.
By tracking and taking action in improving essential metrics you can position your team for better performance and productivity. Here we provide some insights into what we believe are the most important KPIs every young B2B SaaS company should track as soon as revenue streams arise.
Here we explain step-by-step how at SaaSMQL we are able to consistently generate over $1M in new sales pipeline every month by using a targeted direct mail approach. We also discuss mistakes to avoid during the process and how to track the campaign performance.
Direct mail is the best-performing direct response channel, bringing in results “10 to 30 times better than email”. Most companies don’t leverage direct mail because it's hard to execute, and requires plenty of time and resources. Here we will go over the 7 steps to launching a direct mail campaign.
In a recent webinar for DemandGen Club, Arun Sivashankaran (Founder & CEO of FunnelEnvy) shared the good, bad, and ugly from his years of experience with B2B demand generation teams tackling account based analytics & personalization.
How do you know which programs are generating qualified leads and pipeline, and which aren’t? How can you make sure a lead is tagged correctly throughout the entirety of their buying journey? Here we discuss the basics of B2B marketing attribution.
Modern ABM marketers are seeing direct mail emerge as an effective channel for B2B companies to engage and convert target accounts. When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through noise and reach prospects.
Your marketing “tech stack” is the set of technologies your organization uses to execute and analyze marketing across the customer lifecycle, and scale your business. The key goal of your marketing tech stack is to measure the impact of your marketing activities - making difficult processes easier.
Given the special nature of a direct mail package, it’s no wonder the average response rates are higher than email. Receiving a nice gift right at your desk in the middle of the work week is memorable, and shows that the sender made the effort to do something different.
A strong Demand Generation program allows a company to predictably scale the number of Opps sourced by simply increasing marketing spend. Whether you’re just starting out or have been running Demand Gen programs for years, here are a few core “sins” that your team should avoid at all costs.
Intent data can tell you when your target accounts show strong buying signals, allowing you to target the right people at the right time. Yet, many sales and marketing teams still aren’t sure how to include this new type of data in their workflows, let alone incorporate it into actionable programs.
The lead handoff process is one of the biggest bottlenecks for every company trying to grow their sales pipeline. Marketing has invested money and resources to generate qualified leads, but they are not always properly assigned to the Sales team and followed-up with.
Low confidence in marketing attribution and ROI often causes SaaS companies to cut investments on demand generation. By tracking your CAC and the value of each stage of your marketing funnel, you can allocate your budget to drive real growth.
Learn how to build effective Account-Based Marketing campaigns using LinkedIn Ads. We'll present specific examples and step-by-step instructions on how to target your named accounts and drive qualified leads.
In this video you'll learn how you can leverage intent data to increase conversion on your ABM campaigns and engage with your target accounts. We'll provide an intro about buyer intent data, the difference between 1st party data and 3rd party data, and how to track customers' offsite behaviors.
In this video you’ll learn how to draft a demand generation budget starting from your revenue goals. We’ll discuss about funnel metrics, Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC), what line items should be considered when creating the budget, how to forecast your ROI, and what tools can help you.
In this video we'll share lessons on how to generate pipeline sponsoring third-party conferences, how to best manage follow-ups and track results, and how to scale the strategy to 100+ events per year. We'll also discuss about best practices on how to run your first user conference successfully.
Direct mail has been emerging as an effective channel for B2B companies to engage and convert their target accounts. When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through the noise and reach your ideal contacts.
The 8 most common sales mistakes that I frequently notice in venture-funded SaaS startups. These include adding territories too early or hire a bunch of AEs when there is no pipeline. Avoiding these early mistakes will impact your ARR from the beginning.
Marketing is no longer incentivized to simply generate leads at the top-of-the-funnel and throwing them to sales. The metrics that matter now are account engagement, number of opportunities generated, pipeline ($) and revenue.
Demand generation entails generating sales opportunities for your company's products or services. A good demand generation engine can help a company engage new prospects, generate interest online and offline, and attract prospects, which are then converted to leads and turned into sales pipeline.
SaaSMQL is an Account-Based Marketing agency that helps SaaS startups scale recurring revenue with highly-targeted campaigns.