The Buyer’s Guide

Five questions worth asking ABM platform vendors

The Buyer’s Guide

If you’re a marketer researching ABM platforms for your business, you’ll know that there’s a lot to consider before making a purchase.

In this guide you’ll discover some of the key elements to look out for when choosing an ABM platform. We highlight five questions that all prospective buyers should ask ABM platform vendors. This buyer’s guide discusses why these questions are important, and the kind of answers you might hope to hear in return.

Who is this guide for?
This guide is designed for senior marketing professionals who are assessing the suitability of ABM platforms for their organization.

Marketers are Rapidly Adopting Account-based Marketing (ABM)

According to one recent survey, 61% of B2B marketers across all industries have moved beyond experimentation to run ABM programs as an established part of their marketing mix1. Marketers running ABM campaigns typically report measurable improvements in the strength of customer relationships, pipeline growth and revenue per account.2

As a mainstream strategy, ABM traces its origins back to the mid-2010s. At a basic level, ABM grew out of a desire to align marketing and sales more closely, and to create more personalized marketing programs that really resonate with prospects.


of companies say that ABM delivers higher ROI than other types of marketing


report improved revenue using ABM over other types of marketing

1 Demand Gen Report, 2021 ABM Benchmark Study (October 2021)
2 ITSMA and ABM Leadership Alliance, Rethinking ABM for the Next Opportunity: 2020 ABM Benchmark Study (November 2020)

Marketers Deploy ABM in Three Ways

One-to-few campaigns, in which marketers focus their efforts on a cluster of accounts that share common pain points that can be addressed by similar solutions (e.g. the need for infrastructure modernization in the public sector)

One-to-one campaigns that focus on the buying committee within a very high value account in a highly customized fashion.

One-to-many ABM campaigns with higher volumes and lower levels of customization, but still targeted (for example, a campaign describing the benefits of business process automation inservice industries).

Your Approach to ABM Depends Partly on the Nature of Your Business

For example, a manufacturer of anti-virus software probably won’t be undertaking many one-to-one campaigns. By the same measure, a vendor of quantum computing hardware probably won’t be targeting their audience via a one-to-many campaign.

One way of thinking about ABM platforms involves focusing on the key characteristic of ABM: a close working relationship between sales and marketing. ABM platforms reflect this: they are typically built to integrate closely with martech platforms like Marketo and sales/CRM platforms like Salesforce. Their single most important function is sales activation: handing off appropriately-nurtured leads to the right sales people, at the right time.

The ABM platforms we discuss in this buyer’s guide typically come into their own as a way of efficiently managing and orchestrating one-to-few and one-to-many campaigns, where the accounts are numerous, the channels are multiple and ROI depends to a great extent on efficient execution.

The Growing Need for ABM Platforms

Many organizations start off using their existing marketing automation software to manage early stage ABM campaigns. As ambitions expand, the functionality offered by dedicated ABM platforms starts to look attractive.

The ability to orchestrate campaigns across multiple channels often becomes the most pressing need. Without this capability, marketers are limited to the reach of their email lists or advertising channels. On their own, neither of these channels is sufficient to engage today’s large and complex buying groups.

Typically, another emerging requirement is the need to comb through very large prospect lists, rapidly selecting specific accounts for inclusion in specific campaigns. Successful ABM campaigns rely heavily upon the ability to identify and include accounts that are likely to purchase solutions. There are two ways of selecting
accounts for ABM campaigns: manually, or AI and machine learning. AI is much faster and less error prone, and it produces better results.

When your marketing organization commits to an ABM platform, it’s important that you and your team understand the implications fully. To maximize the value you generate from your investment, it is particularly important to understand the differences between the available platforms in a number of key areas.

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