The Low-Cost ABM Tech Stack

In prior posts, we reviewed why you should consider an ABM platform and what to look for. This is a big investment in money and time. In this post, we will review how you can get started with ABM with a low-cost ABM tech stack.

Can you implement ABM with a low-cost tech stack?

Yes, you can!

Warning: the process is manual and can be a grind. Eventually, you will need to consider an ABM platform, but by then, you should have created a business case to justify the investment. You will also have a much clearer

In an earlier post, we provided examples of ABM pilots. Each one of these was implemented without an ABM platform or a sophisticated marketing automation system.

Here are some examples of low-cost ABM tools that are available for those with limited budgets.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

For about $100 per month per seat, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a valuable and very cost-effective tool for the budget-conscious ABM practitioner. This allows you to create a list of your target accounts, list of contacts by accounts, and lists that allow you to track accounts that are engaging with you. LinkedIn Sales Navigator now includes second-party intent data that will pinpoint which prospects and accounts are engaging with your content and social media posts on LinkedIn.

You can also use Sales Navigator for outreach to prospects using DM and InMail. It can be a simple, effective way to run outreach sequences.

Leadfeeder and LeadLander

One of the biggest challenges is knowing who is engaging with you. These two low-cost tools can help with this. They provide you with insights about which accounts are engaging on your website and what they are looking at. This enhances your first-party intent data. They are not perfect, as they depend heavily on IP addresses for this information, so they provide data on only a partial list of the accounts on your website.

Third-Party Intent Data

You do not have to buy an ABM platform like Demandbase, Terminus, or 6sense to use third-party intent data. You can buy this directly from vendors like Bombora and ZoomInfo and directly see who is showing intent for topics that are relevant to you. This will be a big investment for a small firm. Annual licenses are in the tens of thousands of dollars. However, if you are committed to an ABM strategy, this can be invaluable. You can initially leverage a free (limited) trial of some of these intent solutions, like Bombora, to see the weekly top ten accounts that are showing intent for topics that are relevant to you. If you have not used these tools before, we recommend giving this a try and seeing how this data can provide insights to deliver targeted outreach before you make the investment.

Low-Cost Marketing Automation

You will need a marketing automation system to run automated campaigns. There are many CRM and marketing automation systems to choose from. For example, Ontraport is a simple platform that has many of the features that platforms like HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketo have but at a fraction of the license fee.

In a prior post we showed how you could use Hubspot for ABM. They have significantly improved the marketing automation platform’s ABM capabilities.


When it comes to running content marketing campaigns, NetLine is worth considering. This is a syndication network that will generate leads with target accounts using gated content. As you pay only for the leads you get, it can be very cost-efficient.

Low-cost ABM Ads

LinkedIn Ads

We love that LinkedIn lets you run ads to specific titles at a defined set of accounts. And as we describe in the third pilot example in the previous chapter, you can overlay intent data to make your ads work even harder.

B2B Media Companies

Many of the major media firms, for example, HIMSS Media and Techtarget in healthcare technology, now offer ABM programs that include intent data, engagement dashboards, and highly targeted ABM campaigns.

Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer

These freelancer platforms are amazing resources for finding talent who can help you with implementation. We have used these to outsource LinkedIn outreach programs and find brilliant content writers, strategists, and even animators to create videos.

Google Sheets Dashboards

Our final low-cost favorite (or, in this case, free favorite) is Google Sheets. This can be used to create simple, easily shareable, and easy-to-update dashboards. These can be labor-intensive and a pain to keep up to date. You also won’t have the “intelligence” and dynamic predictive benefits of an AI-enabled ABM platform, but then again, this is a free option.

Next week, we will review the other of the spectrum, the full-enabled ABM tech stack.

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

Also posted on LinkedIn.

13 ABM Articles – Our Greatest Hits

Over that last year or so we have published a ton of articles on ABM we hope you find helpful. We have categorized them by topic as a kinda “Greatest Hits” digest.

ABM Strategy and Concepts

1. The Craft of Personalization in ABM – Why, What, and How

One of the main things that make ABM different is personalization. In this article, we will review why personalization is necessary, the different uses of personalization, and how to create ABM and ABX campaigns using personalized approaches. We also review how implementing ABM will change your marketing department’s operations.

2. What is ABX?

In this two-part blog post, I do my best to define Account-based Experience (ABX). In part 1, I review the issues that Account-based Experience can address that go beyond what ABM in its current form does. In part 2, I will expand on what Account-based Experience (ABX) is.

3. SDRs and ABM – Like PB&J

SDRs and ABM are a magical combination. This article will dive into how ABM can boost the SDR team’s effectiveness and how intent data can improve SDR’s life.

I want to give a massive shout-out to Ben Person, martech entrepreneur and the former CMO of Nuvolo, for his insights in writing this post. Ben has forgotten more about this topic than I will ever know.

Getting Started with ABM

4. How Can You Get Started With ABM?

Two of the questions that have come up a lot this year are “How do we get started with ABM? And what’s the right ABM approach?” In this post, I will try to give you a way to get started without costing you a fortune and ideas on pilots you can execute without an expensive ABM platform.

5. How to Create an ABM Playbook

In this post, I will describe how we create an ABM Playbook. This is our method for defining an account-based marketing plan. This is typically done over 4-6 weeks through multiple collaborative workshops.

6. ABM Tools and Templates To Help You Get Your ABM Program Moving

In this post, I share the ABM Marketing tools and templates we use that support our ABM process.

7. The Pilot: Getting Your ABM Program Moving

One of the biggest challenges in ABM is how to get started. I know many marketers who have considered but put off an ABM program for several years before getting going. One of the best ways to get moving is to run a simple and short ABM Pilot. In this article, we review three examples of simple ABM campaigns.

ABM Examples

8. Three ABM Campaign Examples

In this article, we look at three real-life ABM campaign examples. These are all campaigns that B2B firms have successfully implemented in the last two years. The names of the firms have been kept anonymous.

9. Twenty-Five ABM Use Cases and Ideas To Provide ABM Inspiration

Whether you are working on how to get started or scaling up your ABM program, I hope that this list of ABM Use Cases will give you new ideas and inspiration.

ABM Technology and Data

10. Do You Need an ABM Platform?

If you are serious about account-based marketing, you will be thinking about what technology you need and when you should consider an ABM Platform. This article reviews the different types of technology you will need to consider and the role of an ABM Platform.

11. What to Look for in an ABM Platform

If you came to the conclusion that you needed an ABM platform, this article is designed to help you formulate your ABM Platform requirements.

12. How to Use Intent Data in Healthcare

One of the sexiest things in Account-based marketing (ABM) is intent data. I am a bit of an intent data fan-boy and have written a lot on my blog about it. Most of my posts have been short video snippets, so I thought writing a more comprehensive post on using intent data in healthcare was time.

13. How to Leverage Hubspot for Account-based Marketing

As a long-time Hubspot user, I used to be frustrated about how clunky this platform used to be for Account-based Marketing (ABM). They have made some great strides in this area. This excellent article by my partners at Smarketers explains how to leverage Hubspot for Account-based Marketing.

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

B2B Marketing Budget Benchmarks

How Much Should You Spend on Marketing?

This question is a bit like how long is a piece of string. To help you answer this question, here is a compilation of recent data on B2B Marketing Budget Benchmarks.

B2B Marketing Budget Benchmarks Sources

According to Gartner

Survey results show that budgets have recovered somewhat, with the average marketing spend increasing from 6.4% to 9.5% of company revenue across almost all industries.

The typical marketing budget as a percentage of revenue for a $2 billion dollar company can vary widely depending on the industry, business model, and marketing strategy of the company. According to Gartner, the average B2B marketing budget as a percentage of revenue is around 11.2%.

According to BDC

A common rule of thumb is that B2B companies should spend between 2 and 5% of their revenue on marketing. For B2C companies, the proportion is often higher—between 5 and 10%. This is because B2C companies typically need to invest in more marketing channels to reach various customer segments.

According to Hubspot

B2B product industries allocate, on average, roughly 7.8% of revenue to marketing. This is similar to B2C services (6.5%) and B2B services (5.9%). B2C Product allocates the highest amount at 15.1% of total revenue. Small businesses are also spending.

According to The Marketing Spend Decision:

Benchmarks for B2B Companies survey by the CMO council, B2B companies spend on average 7.5% of their revenue on marketing.

According to a Leading VC Firm

Companies in their portfolio with >$100mn in revenue spent 23% of revenue on sales and marketing. Companies with 25% YOY growth spent 29% of revenue on sales and marketing.

A Deeper Dive on the Gartner Report

Gartner’s The State of Marketing Budget and Strategy 2022 is well worth getting hold of. You can download it here.

Some Highlights

  • Marketing budgets have recovered post-pandemic, increasing from 6.4% of revenue to 9.5%. This is still below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Tech Product CMOs reported the largest increase in budget year over year, jumping from 5.0% in 2021 to 10.1% in 2022.
  • FYI, another Gartner study that surveyed 500 hardware, software, and service companies reported average tech marketing as 8.5% of company revenue.
  • Digital accounts for 56% of marketing spending, but offline channels rebound as CMOs balance awareness and performance.
  • Most (61%) of CMOs report that their in-house teams lack the capabilities to deliver their strategy.

Spending Allocations

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So if you work for a tech company with $10 million in revenues, your marketing budget should be $1 million, according to Gartner (i.e., 10%). This would break down as follows:

  • Agencies and Services: $240,000
  • Paid Media: $260,000
  • Labor: $250,000
  • Marketing Technology: $250,000

I am very curious to know if this benchmark makes any sense. To be honest, the labor cost seems too low.

Leave a comment or email me ( with what you think.

Drive More Website Traffic With An SEO Content Audit

In selling to healthcare clients, your website is the single most important marketing tool at your disposal. But it’s not uncommon for firms to spend tens of thousands of dollars building a website – only to find it’s not delivering the leads they expected. Does this sound familiar? If so, it may be time for an SEO content audit.

What is an SEO Content Audit?

For $2700, we will help you increase your search-driven traffic by optimizing some of your key web pages.

At healthlaunchpad, we’re outspoken advocates for the power of search engine optimization (SEO). Implementing an effective SEO program has been critical to our own growth, helping us boost organic website traffic by more than 150% within 6 months. For that reason, developing an SEO marketing strategy is always at the top of our list of recommendations when a client is looking to drive more (and better) traffic to their organization’s website.

However, we also know that implementing a full SEO strategy for your business can require a significant upfront investment. That’s why we developed our SEO Content Audit process.

The healthlaunchpad SEO Content Audit is designed to be a fast, simple, and affordable way to quickly optimize your website – helping you make subtle content changes that can produce a measurable difference in organic traffic.

What’s Included in an SEO Content Audit?

There are four elements of a healthlaunchpad SEO Content Audit:

  1. A Snapshot of Organic Traffic: Our SEO expert will conduct a high-level audit to provide an overview of your website’s organic search traffic. During the audit process, you’ll learn about search keywords already associated with your current website’s top three pages. Then, we’ll let you know which pages have the most potential to boost organic search traffic – and which pages will benefit the most from SEO optimization.
  2. Competitive Analysis: Provide our team with the names of your top three competitors, and we’ll let you know how their websites stack up against yours. After our audit is complete, you’ll have more insight into how your competition is using online marketing to drive online traffic.
  3. SEO Keyword Recommendations: After reviewing your audit results, you choose three web pages to optimize for SEO. Then, the healthlaunchpad team will recommend targeted SEO keywords for each page. These keywords will be selected based on their ability to drive the right type of traffic to your website.
  4. Content Optimization: To help optimize your website, a member of our content team will then integrate the SEO keyword recommendations across these three pages. For each of these web pages, your current web copy will be edited to improve your SEO ranking – while maintaining a natural writing tone and style. We’ll also provide best practices on SEO tactics such as URL names and meta descriptions.

What are the Benefits of an SEO Content Audit?
By working with healthlaunchpad for your SEO Content Audit, you can significantly improve the return on your website investment. The benefits include:

  • Improved Website ROI: You’ve already spent a lot of time, money, and effort building your organization’s website. Our SEO Content Audit helps you maximize the impact of that investment.
  • Low-Cost Implementation: Our SEO Content Audit is priced to fit any budget. For only $2,700 you can generate a quick marketing win, or demonstrate the value of a future SEO investment.
  • Better Sales Leads: After optimizing your website for SEO, you won’t just get more traffic to your website. You’ll get more of the right traffic. The result? Better leads for your sales team.

Maximize Your Website Investment

Interested in learning more about how you can quickly and effectively optimize your website for SEO? Schedule a call to learn more about the healthlaunchpad SEO Content Audit today.

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

How Language AI and ChatGPT can Help PR Professionals Thrive

The Role of AI and ChatGPT for PR Professionals
Guest post by Erin Farrell Talbot, Founder and President, Farrell Talbot Consulting

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last 30 days, you have probably heard of the latest advanced technology solution called Language AI, specifically ChatGPT. And chances are, you have probably tried it and have an opinion about the technology. In this post, I will cover some ideas of the role of ChatGPT for PR professionals like me.

I think it is a valuable tool, and I look forward to continuing to utilize the technology, but my recommendation is to proceed with caution.  

Since the launch of the technology, writers, journalists and PR people have been debating its usefulness. We witnessed the death of newspapers and hard-copy publications and watched everything move online, creating 24-hour global news cycles. We figured out how to utilize social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and TikTok to share messages, raise visibility, and communicate with the right audiences. We have embraced data analytics and media database tools. And now, we will learn how to collaborate with language AI tools. 

The consensus seems to be that the powerful language model has the potential to revolutionize the field of public relations and become one of the best co-workers and PR partners. And, as the technology continues to evolve, it will become increasingly adept at understanding and communicating with targeted audiences. Here are some of the ways I have been using the tool and how I believe it will have the ability to make the most positive impact on the PR industry.

  1. Using NLP: One of the most significant ways that ChatGPT can impact public relations is by using natural language processing (NLP). This technology allows ChatGPT to understand and respond to human language in a way that is like how a human would. We have spent years learning how to speak like computers, and now they are learning to speak like humans. This can be used to create more engaging and personalized interactions with audiences and quickly and accurately respond to media inquiries or clients.
  2. Content Creation: Another area where Language AI can have a big impact is in the area of content creation. The model can generate high-quality written content, such as press releases, blog posts, social posts and articles. This can save PR professionals significant time and effort and ensure that the content is tailored to the audience and on-brand. 
  3. Social Media Support: ChatGPT can monitor and analyze social media conversations, providing insights into what people are saying about a brand, product, or industry. This can help PR professionals stay on top of trends and quickly respond to any negative sentiment.
  4. Contact Search: Tools like can be a great productivity force multiplier for PR professionals. It can help us identify and reach out to the right reporters. As we all know, this is one of the most time-consuming tasks for a PR professional.
  5. Measuring ROI: Demonstrating the measurable value of what we do in PR is always challenging. Tools like have the potential to help us do that more effectively.

Language AI and ChatGPT have the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public relations by automating repetitive tasks, supporting the creation of high-quality content, and providing deep insights into audiences. There are not many downsides to the tool, but there are some things to consider if you want to utilize the AI platform.

  1. Lack of Creativity: AI can’t completely match all human skills– creativity being one of them. Deciding what makes a good story and how to bring it all together is something only humans can do. And, if everyone in the industry is using the same algorithms, everything will start to appear generic and certainly less creative. The tools are great as thought starters, but infusing a unique human voice and creative flair is meaningful.
  2. Develop Editing Skills: Language AI can become an important tool, but proceed cautiously as it spits out some generic content. PR people will need to develop their editing skills to create a unique final product and targeted to their respective audience and/or client. ChatGPT gave me a decent first draft every time I tried it, but every draft needed some customizing and editing. However, I will admit it was certainly better than starting with a blank screen.
  3. Use as Support: Language AI should be viewed as another supporting tool in the toolbox. PR tools have evolved through the years, and we have learned to adapt and incorporate them. For example, you would never stand at a fax machine and fax a press release to every reporter you know. (which is what we used to do in the early 1990s). 

PR professionals who can learn to leverage this new advanced technology solution and figure out how it fits into the toolbox to help augment their workload will be well-positioned to succeed in the future and to quickly meet the needs of clients and the press. I look forward to seeing it evolve.

Guest post by Erin Farrell Talbot, Founder and President, Farrell Talbot Consulting

Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

Resources for Healthcare Rookies

Starting work in healthcare is like entering a parallel universe. Nearly everything is different. The business dynamics, the purpose of the organizations, and the economics are alien to anyone who, like me, has spent a career in other industries.

Stranger in a Strange Land

After a couple of decades of marketing for companies in financial services, consumer goods, retail, and technology, I started a company in the healthcare market.

I remember going to my first meeting with the leadership of a hospital. As I walked into the building I realized I had not been in a hospital for twenty years, and that was for the birth of my son.

The meeting might as well have been in Spanish. I could understand some of the words, but I wasn’t sure what was being said.

What was I thinking?

Fortunately, my founding partner was a physician. He translated for me and became my guide. After about six months, I started to get the hang of healthcare. After a year, I felt almost confident.

We Hope You Find This Useful

Over the last couple of years, we have written several posts and articles that we hope will be helpful to anyone on your team trying to get to grips with healthcare.

US Healthcare Market Segmentation

This post breaks down the US healthcare market with a heavy focus on the provider market. It’s our most popular post and, as far as we know, one of a kind. You can download a companion presentation here too. We plan to do an update on Payers soon.

Download the US Healthcare Segmentation White Paper

How the US healthcare Provider and Payer market is segmented, size of each segment and how each segment is structured.

Why Selling to Healthcare is so Hard

This post goes into detail about why healthcare is so different and why selling to healthcare is so much tougher than other markets.

Barriers to Market Entry

In this post, we review the top eight reasons why starting a business in healthcare is so challenging and what you will have to overcome to be successful in the US market.

Why Healthcare Sales Cycles are so Long

The first thing anyone in sales and marketing will tell you about healthcare is sales cycles are sooooooooo long. This post explains why.

Healthcare Technology Buyer Insights

Late last year, we ran a webinar with HIMSS where four healthcare technology executives spoke about the realities they face in 2023 and beyond. It’s a sobering look with many insights about healthcare buyers.

Healthcare Marketers’ New Realities

Five leading healthcare technology marketers talk about how they market to healthcare buyers. This is a really lively group, and they share perspectives and ideas on how to market in this industry.

Why ABM Matters in Healthcare

Given my obsession with ABM, I could not not include this post on why ABM can be effective in the long and complex sales cycles faced in healthcare.

Hope you enjoy these and they are helpful to you and your team.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

A B2B Social Media Masterclass with Simon Rost, GE Healthcare

Social Media has long been the domain of big consumer brands. It’s a medium that many in the B2B space still struggle with. Late last year, I had the pleasure of speaking with Simon Rost, from GE Healthcare for an episode of the Healthtech Marketing Podcast with HIMSS. It was a master class in B2B Social Media Strategy and Social Media Marketing at scale.

In an absorbing conversation, Simon told me how his group within GE Healthcare adapted to the pandemic by creating a very successful and highly compelling brand campaign driven by social media. What impressed me most is that GE Healthcare is doing what you would typically expect from a small, nimble digital health startup globally and at scale. It’s impressive!

Rather than tell Simon’s story for him, here are short excerpts where Simon describes their strategy.

#1 Why B2B Social Media Is Increasingly Important

In this first clip, Simon explains how the pressure on budgets has meant that many B2B firms are looking to digital marketing, especially Social Media, to do more with less.

Why LinkedIn is THE B2B Social Media Platform

Simon explains why LinkedIn is their primary B2B Social Media Platform and why it’s such an effective way to reach their buyers.

4-Part B2B Social Media Strategy

Over the last couple of years, Simon and his team have developed a 4-part approach to building their brand and demand through social media.

Strategy 1 – Create a Big Social Media-Driven Campaign

The GE Healthcare team developed a compelling storytelling idea that turned their social media channels into news channels. The campaign is called Care with Confidence.

You can see this campaign here. It’s brilliant! Wonderful storytelling about how GE Healthcare’s solutions make an impact.

I love the campaign’s authenticity. Watch this Youtube video between Mike Kay, the campaign’s presenter and GE Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer.

Strategy 2 – Create Snackable Content

Simon and the team were incredibly resourceful in developing short videos that were highly shareable across their B2B social media network.

They have tried many different ways to make the content available for audiences to consume how they want to when they want. This includes their own podcast.

Strategy 3 – Master Influencer Marketing

This approach is typically associated with consumer brands, but influencer marketing is just as effective in B2B Social Media. The GE Healthcare team had a deliberate and granular approach to getting content into the hands of influencers.

One of their own leading influencers is their Chief Medical Officer, Mathias Goyen, Prof. You can see one of his articles here. Simon is also a big influencer, as this feed shows.

This strategy included peer-to-peer idea sharing via social media. Here are three excellent examples:

Strategy 4 – Reverse Mentor Senior Executives

The last piece of the puzzle has been to turn the GE Healthcare senior leaders into influencers and prominent voices across LinkedIn. Simon and his team developed a clever approach where younger social media natives trained their bosses on how to be effective in B2B Social Media.

I want to thank Simon for sharing these insights with candor and transparency. It was a ton of hard work for Simon and his team. In my view, this is a best-in-class example of how to do B2B Social Medis at scale.

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

SDRs and ABM – It’s Like PB&J

In B2B marketing, one of the primary roles of marketing is to bring prospects to the door of your house. The role of the demand generators (we will call them SDRs for convenience) is to open the door and bring them into the house. The role of sales is to close the deal.

SDRs and ABM are a magical combination. In this article, we will dive into how ABM can boost the SDR team’s effectiveness and how intent data can improve SDR’s life.

I want to give a massive shout-out to Ben Person, martech entrepreneur and the former CMO of Nuvolo, for his insights in writing this post. Ben has forgotten more about this topic than I will ever know.

SDRs and ABM – Your Secret Weapon

In an account-based marketing model, SDRs are critical. Marketing resources are focused more on a narrower set of targets. Each lead is even more likely to be a good fit than traditional B2B marketing, as the account has been targeted more precisely with personalized content based on their interests and current activity. Each lead is even more precious, so getting these leads over the metaphorical threshold is even more important.

A strong alignment between marketing and sales is the key to a successful ABM program. And more importantly, marketing and the SDRs need to work seamlessly together. In many organizations that have embraced ABM, the SDRs are part of the marketing organization to ensure complete alignment between the group.

Using ABM can also be transformative in how effectively your SDRs perform. Let’s look at life for SDRs with and without ABM, and let’s start with the situation without ABM.

Being an SDR Without ABM

What’s the day like for an SDR that comes into a new SaaS company that is not using ABM?

To start with, they have poorer intelligence in their outreach activities besides the traditional tools like social media and data sources like Zoominfo. The challenge is how to make the SDRs’ jobs easier and make them more successful in increasing those conversions from marketing leads into opportunities and revenue.

And so, let’s start with a little bit of a story from Ben Person, the former CMO of Nuvolo.

 “So before ABM, what did we do? We had a team of SDRs, and they would define the target market, and the ideal customers we wanted to call into, and then they would start their outreach. They’d go into Salesloft and begin their outreach and targeting. The challenge with that is all of those outreaches, for the most part, are completely cold. They would use templated email and phone scripts written by product marketing and polished by marketing writers. But even with those standard talking points, they were sending those messages to potentially a non-engaged buyer. We don’t know if they’re in a buying cycle or currently looking for information that the SDR is sending. We don’t know what that buyer is currently using, evaluating, or even interested in. For us, that is as cold as outreach gets. They don’t even know our company exists in many cases.”

How ABM Changes The Way an SDR Works

In a situation where ABM has been implemented effectively, the life of an SDR looks very different. When is ABM running, it will feel like you are delivering automated awareness and movement to get buyers interested based on the topics they’re investigating and getting them to convert into a lead. For the SDR, this means that SDRs spend more time calling into a person with interest and intent, and they’re calling in with real data about that buyer.

For example, the SDR will know what content the prospect is engaging with, what topics they are researching, how long they are on your website, and what competitors they’re looking at.

Once you have ABM up and running, your SDRs will be armed with the key intel to set them up for success in their outreach. If the marketing team has done its job well, the buyer will have been targeted with content that is relevant to that particular buyer. So when a phone call or email comes into that potential client, they already know the company exists and why they are reaching out. They have already seen relevant information they have been researching, which was valuable to them.

As a buyer, you are more likely to be ready to speak with an SDR, and when an SDR does reach the buyer, the buyer is better informed and more engaged.

SDRs have much more control over the process. It feels like a more deliberate 5-step approach.

  1. Start by building targeted brand awareness.
  2. Get the best-fit accounts engaged through digital channels
  3. Use intent data to determine who is in-market
  4. Score them based on engagement with your content
  5. When they show enough intent, have your SDRs pursue them using the intent data gathered throughout the process.

You can’t just turn on an ABM campaign and expect that SDRs can start calling tomorrow. You need to warm up the buyers and filter out the accounts not currently in a buying cycle. First, you see intent; then, you start to put ads in front of them for an entire month. As the intent increases and there’s more interest, your SDRs should begin their follow-up. And you will need to cycle through different topics and segmentations to engage unresponsive target accounts. Below is a visual of what an ABM and SDR combined plan could look like.

As a marketer, your objective is to ensure that you have enough of the right accounts with the right information at the right time so that when your SDRs are outreaching, they have an improved hit rate.

SDRs are typically compensated based on their ability to create new customer meetings and generate opportunities and a sales pipeline. By introducing ABM to your SDR, you positively affect their ability to make more commission and increase the company’s bottom line revenue.

A Quick Way To Introduce ABM to Your SDRs

One of the simplest uses of intent data is to provide in-market reports to your sales team, especially SDRs. This can be achieved by integrating the source of intent data with your CRM. This can become a critical dashboard for the SDRs. A well-designed dashboard combines intent surge data with company website engagement. It creates a “Spike Heat” signal that indicates which companies are most actively in-market and engaging with them. Ideally, your ABM dashboard will aggregate and visualize all the data to allow marketing, SDRs and Sales to operate from the same playbook as they prioritize their targeted outreach.

In a recent project with a client, we used Zoominfo intent data with a client and saw positive results within a week. Their SDR team was researching current customer intent for a relatively new service that they were offering, e.g., Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). The head of the SDR team saw that a very large current customer was showing intent for RPM but still needed to purchase it from them. She alerted the account team, and within a few days, they reached the right person at the customer, who said they were about to start an RFP process and would be included.

If you are thinking about piloting intent data with your SDRs, let us know how we can help. We have a ton of experience in this area and a real passion for helping them get working with it.

Photo by Freddy G on Unsplash

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

ABM Platform Requirements – What to Look For

Last week, we asked, do you need an ABM Platform? If you came to the conclusion that you did, the obvious next question is what to look for in an ABM Platform. This post is designed to help you formulate your ABM Platform requirements.

(I want to give Ben Person a big shout-out for his help in writing this. The guy is a fricking ABM Jedi Master)

When you review the leading ABM platforms, from Demandbase, Terminus, 6Sense, Triblio, Rollworks, and others, they have several functions in common. The biggest thing is that they help you take the guesswork out of marketing.

Let’s break down the functions of an ABM Platform. We suggest you build an ABM Platform Requirements checklist with these main functions.

1. Account Intelligence

Account intelligence is the foundation of ABM. Your ABM platform should simplify your ability to find the right accounts in the market and look for solutions, engage with those accounts, close those deals faster and measure it all.

This will require bringing together different types of buyer behavior data, including your first-party intent data from your website analytics and third-party intent data. The key thing is that whatever sources you use should help you understand which accounts are in the market for your category of products before they raise their hand.  In addition, your ABM platform should help you identify accounts that are coming to your website anonymously.

The more sophisticated platforms use artificial intelligence to provide even greater insight into what customers and prospects are interested in. Some also include firmographics, including industry revenue, employee and account location, financials, etc. Check if they include account hierarchies with parent and child account mapping.

Some even help you discover new accounts and expand your total addressable market. Their recommendation engines will show you which accounts you should focus on and help you easily add those to your CRM.

Typically, third-party intent data only provides account-level info so you will need a way to source contact information for key buyers for target accounts. This should include privacy-compliant contact data that helps you identify and contact decision-makers across the buying team, including name, title, role, email, mobile, phone, and social.

All this account insight must appear in several key places to make this actionable. In addition to being in the ABM platform, the most important information should also feed into your marketing automation system and your CRM. Why? So that you can use it to run campaigns and so that your sales execs and SDRs get that insight into the platform where they do their work. This is important. You will be more successful by minimizing disruptions in how the sales team works.

When you evaluate, these platforms have multiple use cases and scenarios mapped out so that when the ABM platform vendor demos, you can ask them to slice and dice the data to create account lists in a way appropriate for your organization.

2. Account Prioritization and Predictive Analytics

One of the most important ABM Platform requirements is using account intelligence to prioritize target accounts. A good ABM platform will make it easy for you to find and prioritize your ideal accounts. First, you should be able to easily create customer lists and segments for your accounts and the people at those accounts that are part of the buying process. This includes choosing from the most common attributes like company size, revenue, industry, geography, and technologies.

Some ABM platforms include qualification scoring that uncovers your best-fit accounts and allows you to rank and segment your total addressable market easily. This will enable you to prioritize your time on the best opportunities. Some even include a predictive model that can quantify the chances of an account becoming an opportunity.

They use machine learning to find patterns that precede opportunities, e.g., a spike in intent or engagement, and then automatically and continuously look for similar patterns at other perspective accounts and your current customers. This lets sales teams prioritize outreach on accounts with a higher probability of converting.

A key ABM platform requirement is to track where an account is in its buyers’ journey. This is critical. You will implement campaigns partly based on where an account is in its buyer journey. The journey stage will be the core of your campaigns, allowing you to know what and when to market to an account.

3. Orchestration & Personalization

ABM campaigns are about engaging intelligently with your accounts at the right time and in the right way as efficiently as possible. As you design your ABM platform requirements, you need to include how the system allows you to orchestrate interactions across channels and systems and use targeted advertising and website personalization to attract and engage the right people in the correct accounts.

The dashboard should allow you to create target audience segments, for example, taking all accounts in the awareness or problem definition stage and putting them on a campaign list. Or take all buyers group members engaged with vendor evaluation-oriented marketing content and push them into a direct mail or gifting campaign.

You will want to sync your account and people list to third-party advertising destinations like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so that you can orchestrate a multi-channel advertising approach. This way, your ads can update automatically as accounts move through the journey or enter new segments.

Ask the vendor how you can use their platform to orchestrate campaigns across all of these channels:

  • Social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook)
  • Display ads
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Video
  • In-person events and conferences
  • Blogs
  • Webinars
  • Mobile

Several of these platforms also provide a demand-side advertising platform (DSP) to automatically manage ad impressions’ delivery. This may be one of your optional ABM platform requirements. Ask the vendor how they can maximize your programmatic spending.

Also, how do they handle brand safety so ads are only served on a publisher whitelist?

In more advanced campaigns, you should be able to connect to streaming services like Hulu, Spotify, Disney+, etc., so that you can reach the buyer wherever they are with personalized ads.

You will want to know how the platform measures ROI and can determine the impact of a campaign. This is one of the most important ABM platform requirements.

Most importantly, you need to understand how each platform handles personalization.  How will the platform improve how your accounts receive a relevant experience when they visit your website, are driven by an ad, or arrive organically? Can it help you personalize the website based on their journey stage and create tailored experiences that will improve conversion?

4. Improving Sales Conversion

Account intelligence needs to be at the fingertips of your sales, right inside CRMs like Salesforce. Getting marketing, sales, and customer success alignment is among the highest priority ABM platform requirements.  Having these groups in the same CRM system, they use today and not requiring they go into another system for ABM will be a key to the adoption and success of the ABM program.

Ideally, your ABM platform will automatically populate account info in the CRM with information that will make the sales AE and SDR better informed, e.g., account hierarchies, news alerts, social alerts, and buying intent signals.

This will help your sales team reach out more reasonably and make it easier to impress them with knowledge about leadership changes, financial results, and other key news that may drive a compelling event.

More importantly, the sale team should have a single view that displays intent signals from third-party intent data and engagement insights such as website visits, email interactions, etc. Ideally, the ABM platform or your CRM will aggregate email, phone, and in-person communication history. Ask them how the platform empowers the salesperson through better insights.  A strong Revops (revenue operations) or Marops (marketing operations) person will be a key resource to making this successful.  Hiring the right operations person for this job will be key to your ABM program.

Some platforms offer web plugins so that when a salesperson is prospecting on LinkedIn, they get more complete contact details, including email addresses and direct and mobile phone numbers.

Suffice it to say that the ABM platform should also have customizable alerts for important information, such as highlights to the most engaged accounts with the highest pipeline predict scores, top intent, keywords, and key engagement signals from your open opportunities.

Lastly, how can the platform help customer success managers? This is one of the ABM platform requirements that is often overlooked. They should also be able to see changes within their accounts and quickly respond to opportunities or threats, such as the loss of a champion, expansion into new markets, rising or falling profits, etc. The platform should also help identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities for growth or help you know when a customer might consider a competitor.

5. Measurement

The last important ABM platform requirement is how it allows you to measure your ABM activities. In this post, we reviewed the ABM Measurement Framework.

At a basic level, you need to see which accounts are visiting which pages of your website with account identification and associated demographics. Ideally, this can feed into other platforms you might be using.

You need to show how you are driving demand, how you are driving the right types of traffic, and where your target accounts are coming from. The systems should help you understand the behavior of individual accounts, personas, and buying groups, all at a granular level as well as at an aggregate level. In addition, how does the platform display engagement?

You want to see across a buyer journey, measure engagement across your accounts, and track how they move through the buying journey with conversion rates and velocity metrics to understand where they get stuck.

For advertising campaigns, you need to be able to see where every impression was served and which ads have been most successful. In aggregate, how your programs and campaigns across all your marketing channels are performing.


ABM Platforms can do a great deal that is hard or impossible with other marketing platforms. Marketing Automation Systems like Hubspot and CRMs do some of these but not as well as the ABM Platforms.

In formulating your ABM Platform Requirements, it is important to have a sound strategy in place first. You don’t want to invest the time and budget in buying an expensive platform like with unless you are sure that you are ready to scale up ABM.

Maybe the most important of all the ABM Platform requirements is how it helps you operationalize your strategy. If you are looking for ideas on how to create an ABM strategy, this post will help.

Originally posted on LinkedIn.