nicole dinicola building an abm coalition

There’s something magical about a collection of individuals working together to become more than the sum of their parts. From legendary sports teams to the most innovative businesses, these building these teams is what we all strive for. A team built the right way can overcome impossible odds and accomplish extraordinary achievements.

That said, there can be teams within teams as well. Some of the most extraordinary results have come from a smaller team within the larger organization. And that’s a lesson we can all take when we’re trying to get a new go-to-market strategy off the ground, like ABM!

Someone who knows a thing or two about that is Nicole DiNicola, who runs ABM at Qualitrcs. She’s a wealth of knowledge, which is why on today’s vlog, I wanted her insights on how to build an ABM coalition within an organization.

Here’s Nicole!


Brandon: How do you build an ABM coalition at your organization? Hey, there. Brandon Redlinger here, Director of Growth at Engagio, and I’ve got the perfect person to answer that question today. It’s Nicole DiNicola. Now she runs ABM over at Qualtrics and what I love about Nicole is, on the one hand, she can go really deep on the strategy side, but on the other hand, she really is a pure practitioner. So with that said, Nicole, take it away.

Nicole: Hey, Brandon, great to talk with you this morning, especially on one of my favorite topics, Account Based Marketing. And, yes, building your ABM coalition is a critical step of your strategy. It can be very tempting to just, you know, dive into the fun part, which is selecting your accounts, building the content, thinking about the strategy for ABM, but you need to take a step back and think about one of those critical pieces of change management, which is building your coalition.

Marketers are pretty savvy now when it comes to Account Based Marketing. They know what it looks like and how it should be. But we can’t assume that everyone across the organization is on the same pace as us when it comes to changing, or moving to Account Based Marketing. So to build that coalition, think about your key stakeholders that are going to be impacted by ABM. Or that you’re going to need their support in order to make this happen.

So, first and foremost, you need to talk to sales. And make sure you talk to sales at various levels to educate them on ABM and get their feedback. Also, to think about customer success, which I think sometimes gets left out of this conversation. ABM touches every point of the customer journey, from awareness to adoption retention. So make sure to get their input, too. They have a ton of account knowledge that is so helpful.

And then, of course, you have to meet with all your different marketing stakeholders. So you need to meet with your channel owners, like direct mail, paid media, email, webinars, anyone that might interact with your strategy there. Your campaign executors. Your creative team who’s going to be building some awesome content for you. Make sure you speak to all these different stakeholders individually, one on one. Get their feedback, get their buy in.

When I’m meeting with these individual stakeholders, I just put together five quick slides to help them understand, where we’re headed and some of the benefits we’re going to see. That first slide is, what’s our definition of Account Based Marketing? There are a lot out there, so just pick the one that you feel strongly about and get everybody to rally behind it with you. The second slide that I show them is, hey, I’ve got a process and a framework for building out our ABM strategy.

There are steps that we’re going to take to make sure we are successful as we roll this out. A lot of great places where you can frameworks out there as well that you can follow. Don’t feel like you have to build that from scratch. The third slide I show is, what are the roles and responsibilities across marketing, sales, customer success, when it comes to ABM. People, all people, but especially sales, you know, they want to know, what’s expected of me? What are you going to need from me? So that way everybody feels like they are contributing in the right way and we’re all going to see joint success.

Speaking of success, I also like to show a little bit of the vision of what this could be, you know, a year from now, three years from now. Doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t have to be exact, but you need to give people a taste of what’s to come and what the benefits of ABM could be. The last slide I show is what we’re going to measure. What are the metrics that we are going to look at when it comes to ABM to know if we’re successful. Be sure to get feedback on that. You may have sales leaders that want to look at some different things. Just make sure that everybody is bought in to the same metrics so that way everybody is seeing success in the same way.

So that is how I build my ABM coalition. It’s a critical step of your ABM strategy so don’t skip it and go make it happen.