In part 1 of our How to Buy ABM mini-series, we covered how to sell ABM to your counterparts in the C-suite and your executive board. In this post, we’re going to cover how to determine your readiness for ABM.

How to determine your readiness for ABM

Everyone starts somewhere on the ABM journey. To be successful, you need to know where you are and where you want to go. With the right guidance, you’ll be up and running in no time.

There are many different facets of ABM. You may be strong in some while weak in others. Getting the full picture and assessing where you at on the ABM maturity curve is an essential step before committing to any technology. Let’s cover those key facets and take a closer look at what each entails.

ABM maturity curve

1) Determine your organization’s overall readiness.

Start at the beginning – you must not only have buy-in from other key stakeholders, but also their alignment around the most important foundational components. You absolutely cannot work in silos!

Are you sure ABM is the right approach for your organization? Do you have support from management? Does your Sales team support your ABM initiative?

2) Assess your current tech stack.

There’s no shortage of technology for B2B marketers today. However, the challenge is most of the solutions out there are lead-centric – they’re not set up to support ABM. I’m not saying you have to get rid of them or replace them, though you will likely need additional technology that was built for ABM and is centered around accounts.

The key technologies that you will need to become account-based are lead to account matching to set the foundation, Marketing Orchestration to drive engagement, and analytics to measure impact.

3) Review the accuracy and integrity of your data

Data is important for so many reasons. The most important step in the 6-step process for ABM is choosing which target accounts. To do this correctly, you’ll need the right data as your foundation, so you’ll want to draw from firmographic, demographic, behavioral/intent and predictive data.

After you’ve launched your ABM program, you’ll then need to implement a regular and continual data quality strategy to support your going efforts.

4) Select the right target accounts

As I just mentioned, account selection is the most important part of ABM, and you should spend ample time, energy and resources getting this right. It’s about more than just picking the accounts that you think will close. It’s a science. It’s about using rigor and analysis. Do you have a clear strategy for selecting your accounts?

5) Get the right support for your marketing programs

ABM isn’t something you can just turn on like a light switch. In order to execute it properly, you must make sure you have the right support. Support means headcount and budget, but it also time and energy. Take an honest look at all of your resources and ask yourself, “Is this enough for ABM? Do I need to fight for more?”

6) Make sure you can measure and analyze the impact of your efforts

The metrics for AMB are different than the metrics for traditional demand generation. In ABM, the focus is on quality over quantity. You’re also looking at everything through an account-centric lens rather than a lead-centric one.

Rather than tracking lead-centric metrics, like MQLs and SQLs, you’ll need to add things like Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQAs) and account engagement.

I want to make this as easy for you as possible, so I’ve created this ABM readiness assessment.

Take this 3-5 minutes assessment to help determine your strengths, weaknesses, and where you are on the maturity curve. Use the results and recommendations to help you become an ABM expert.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our How to Buy ABM mini-series where I’m going to walk you through how to evaluate vendors and give you an RFP template.