Account-Based Marketing Framework - Free Template and Guide

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What is an Account-Based Marketing Framework?

Navigating the world of B2B marketing can be a maze. Over time, we've pieced together strategies, written articles, and created tools to help make sense of it all.

Now, we are bringing everything together in one place: the ABM Framework.

Think of the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Framework as your go-to guide.

It's a clear roadmap to help B2B marketers get the most out of ABM. From understanding the basics to diving deep into the details, from best practices to scaling tips, this framework has it all.

And there's more. It is also packed with practical tools and templates. Whether you're just starting with ABM or looking to up your game, this framework is here to help.

Account-Based Marketing Framework 1st Edition xGrowth

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ABM Framework - Use Cases

As mentioned previously, xGrowth’s ABM framework consolidates all the ABM resources that you need while executing your account-based marketing program. 

Here are the use cases of this template:

  1. It’s a one-stop-shop for all things ABM
  2. You can use this to get a jump start on the operational aspect of ABM. You already have the templates and the formats in which you will capture, process and analyse data. This means you can focus on the key thing that matters - execution.
  3. The framework can be used to socialise the approach internally at your organisation to get leadership and sales buy-in. The presence of a framework sends the message to the non-marketing teams that you are well-prepared and informed, which in turn further instils more confidence.
  4. Finally, you can use the ABM framework to ramp up new employees in your team and drive standardisation in ways of working.  

ABM Framework - How to Use it?

The Account-Based Marketing approach has different stages. We have organised the resources in the framework as per each stage. 

So, for instance, if you are just starting up and looking for information on this approach, you can refer to our ABM guide. Similarly, if you are looking for guidance on how to measure the performance of your campaigns, you can refer to the ABM Metrics guide, and so on.

With the above two guidelines out of the way, let’s dive into the framework.

Stages of Account-Based Marketing Framework

STAGE 1: Getting to Know ABM

Getting to Know ABM

What is ABM all About?

Account-Based Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide: ABM is a strategic approach where the marketing and sales teams collaborate to target key accounts and create personalised campaigns during the sales process.

It's about quality over quantity, i.e. focusing on accounts that have the highest potential for business growth.

Who's it for?

ABM is ideal for B2B businesses.

It's for companies that want to align their sales and marketing efforts closely and drive meaningful engagements with high-value accounts.

Our ABM guide also talks about things like minimum ACV and the complexity of the sales cycle that influence whether ABM is right for your business or not.

The Different Tiers of ABM

ABM can be tiered based on the level of personalisation and the number of targeted customer accounts selected.

From one-to-one approaches to one-to-few and one-to-many, each tier requires a different level of focus and resource allocation.

STAGE 2: Who to Reach Out To?

 Who to Reach Out To?

Crafting the Ideal Customer Profile

The foundation of any successful ABM strategy is a well-defined Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

It's essential to understand your ideal customer and target accounts thoroughly. This involves creating a persona of your ideal customer company and understanding industry trends, annual revenue projections, and other key data points.

By having a clear ICP, you can identify companies that align with your criteria and ensure that your account-based marketing programs and efforts are laser-focused.

Picking the Right Accounts

Account Scoring: A Guide: Once you've established your ICP, the next step is to create a target account list consisting of organisations that fit the ICP.

To refine this list further, it's crucial to prioritise accounts. This involves scoring accounts based on various parameters such as ICP fit, current need, opportunity revenue, decision-maker inclination, and buying history.

By calculating a priority score for each specific account name, you can ensure that your resources are directed towards the most promising prospects. For instance, an account with a high ICP fit and known current needs would rank higher in priority.

Approaching ABM Account Selection: It's also important to understand the need for vertical expertise within your ABM initiatives. Engaging the appropriate internal stakeholders who can bring the right industry experience can help you further fine-tune your final target account list.

Intent Data: Intent data provides insights into a potential buyer's interest in purchasing based on their online activities. This data can be a game-changer for ABM, allowing you to target accounts showing genuine purchase intent. By understanding and utilising intent data, companies can tailor their marketing efforts more effectively, ensuring they engage prospects at the right time with the right message.

STAGE 3: Choosing Your ABM Tier

Matching ABM Tiers to Your Goals

The success of your ABM strategy also depends on selecting the right tier that aligns with your business objectives. Each tier, be it one-to-one, one-to-few, or one-to-many, requires a different level of resource allocation and personalisation.

For instance, a one-to-one approach demands high personalisation and is suitable for targeting high-value, specific accounts only, while a one-to-many strategy is broader and targets a larger segment of accounts with similar characteristics.

It's essential to understand the intricacies of each tier to ensure your efforts yield the desired results.

STAGE 4: Planning Your Approach

Planning Your ABM Approach

Researching Accounts

ABM Playbook: xGrowth's ABM playbook and the account planning template emphasise the importance of understanding your target accounts inside and out. It guides you through the process of gathering insights about potential and existing accounts, which is crucial for tailoring your ABM strategies effectively.

Making a Game Plan

Crafting a strategic plan is essential. This involves understanding the needs of your target and existing customer accounts, aligning your offerings with their pain points, and devising a communication strategy that resonates with them.

Understanding Key Decision-Makers

Recognising the buying committee and their personas is pivotal. These are the individuals who will influence the buying decisions. Tailoring your messaging to address their specific needs can significantly move the sales cycle and enhance engagement.

STAGE 5: Building Your ABM Team

Building Your ABM Team

Picking your ABM Champions

Assembling a dedicated team is another critical step. This group will lead the ABM initiatives, ensuring strategies are effectively executed and organisational goals are met. The key here is to have a strong sales champion who you can partner with to get deeper insights into target accounts.

Keeping an Eye on the Budget

ABM Metrics Guide: It's essential to monitor and manage your budget. Key metrics can help in tracking the return on investment, ensuring efficient use of resources for marketing and sales activities.

Building a Business Case for ABM

Benefits of Account-Based Marketing: To secure buy-in from leadership, it's essential to present a compelling business case for ABM. This article helps you understand the myriad benefits of ABM and how to leverage potential ROI metrics to highlight its value.

STAGE 6: Getting Sales on Board

Aligning sales with your ABM plan

Our ABM strategy template includes a sales alignment checklist. This checklist ensures that your sales processes are seamlessly integrated with your ABM initiatives, leading to effective nurturing and conversion of accounts.

Getting the Sales Team Excited About ABM

Ways to Get Sales Excited About ABM: This article provides strategies to foster enthusiasm within the sales and marketing team for ABM. When the sales team is onboard and motivated, the likelihood of ABM success significantly increases.

STAGE 7: Crafting Your Campaign

Selecting the Right Theme for Your ABM Campaign

ABM Campaign Theme Podcast: The theme of your campaign should resonate with the pain points and needs of your target accounts. It should be compelling enough to capture their attention and drive engagement.

Choosing the Right Channels for Your ABM Campaign

The choice of channels is crucial. Whether it's through direct mail, email, social media, webinars, or events, ensure that your target accounts are active and engaged on those platforms.

Key Elements of a Successful ABM Campaign

Foundational Elements of an ABM Campaign: A successful ABM campaign is a blend of the right personalised messaging, targeting, and timing. It's about delivering the right content to the right people at the right time.

Piloting Your ABM Campaign

Before going all out, it's wise to run a pilot and engage target accounts. This will give you insights into what's working and what's not, allowing you to tweak your strategies for better results.

Executing Your ABM Campaign

Execution is where the rubber meets the road. Ensure that all elements of your campaign, from content to targeting to follow-ups, are in sync and working towards a common goal.

Tools And Technology for Executing ABM

ABM Tools: Our ABM tools analysis provides a comprehensive list of software vendors that can aid sales and marketing teams in the successful execution of ABM campaigns.

From targeting to engagement to measurement, these tools can streamline the process and enhance the efficiency of your team.

Drawing Inspiration from ABM Examples and Case Studies

Account-Based Marketing Examples & ABM Campaign Examples - Singapore: Reviewing real-world examples and case studies can provide invaluable insights and inspiration for crafting your own successful ABM campaigns.

STAGE 8: Metrics and Continuous Improvement

Tracking ABM metrics and reporting

ABM Metrics Guide: Our guide on ABM Metrics delves into the key performance indicators that can help track the ROI of your ABM efforts. From engagement metrics to revenue metrics, it provides insights into what numbers to track and how they impact your bottom line.

Understanding ABM attribution

ABM Attribution 101: ABM attribution is a tricky subject. Understanding which campaigns and channels are driving the best outcomes in terms of revenue and customer engagement is critical. In our ABM attribution resource, we highlight common challenges and offer strategies to drive accuracy in your attribution efforts.

Continuous improvement in your ABM strategies

ABM is not a one-time thing. It's a continuous process of learning, iterating, and improving. Regularly review your strategies, gather feedback, and make necessary adjustments to enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Conclusion

We've journeyed through the intricacies of the ABM Framework, touching upon its foundational concepts and diving deep into its stages. We've also linked to invaluable resources that can guide you at every step. From understanding what ABM is all about to crafting impactful campaigns, this article has been a comprehensive guide to all things ABM.

It's been a delightful experience putting this together, and we genuinely hope it proves to be a productive read for you. ABM is a transformative approach, and with the insights shared here, we're confident you'll be well on your way to mastering it.

Should you need further assistance or have questions about acing your ABM journey, we're here to help. Feel free to contact us by clicking here.


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xGrowth brings a very structured approach to ABM. It’s been amazing working with you.

Michele Clarke
Head of Marketing, APAC Secure Code Warrior
When I think ABM, I think xGrowth. xGrowth were 100% committed, the whole team was just like our business partner. I would say you are not a business vendor; you are our business partner.
Reena Misra
ANZ Marketing Leader
OutSystems