Three questions to ask before scaling an ABM program

  • 15 Sep 2022

Momentum ITSMA Staff

Traditional marketing models often begin with demand generation and lead to broad-based campaigns, striving to touch the complete market and focusing on selling solutions. It is an inside-out way of thinking.

On the other hand, account-based marketing (ABM) focuses deeply on a comparatively small set of accounts that matter most, using insights and personalized content to ensure a customer-centric approach. ABM can offer higher revenues, deeper relationships, and enhanced brand reputation.

It is also a serious commitment for an organization, who have to invest money, resources, and time without seeing immediate results. It works best when you are selling large, complex solutions to that help a customer transform part or all of their enterprise.

Once organizations have had success with an ABM program, they often want to implement it companywide. However, it’s quite a leap to go from a successful ABM program to a full-blown account-based growth strategy.

Scaling account-centric growth is about tapping into an ABM mindset and approach and deploying that across a much broader range of accounts. Scaling growth leads to creating demand and co-innovating across the organization, based on insights and the buyer experience. It aims for an ideal “to be” state for any organization – knowing the customer almost better than the customer knows themselves.

But it’s not always the right approach. Before committing to account-based growth as a business strategy, you should answer these questions:

  1. Are we ready to scale?

Scale account-based growth makes the most sense if you have an established and successful 1:1 program, even if it’s a modest one.  That experience means you’ve developed your organizational account-centric muscle – you know what works and you understand critical processes and workflows.

  1. What are the risks?

A significant risk with scale account-based growth is that you blur the distinction between ABM and demand generation. You end up executing what are essentially demand generation programs but now under a new name, and, in the process, diluting the value and purpose of an account-based growth approach.

  1. When is it not right?

It might be worth holding back if your organizational account-centric muscle is under-developed. For example, you may have been buying technology before developing a program strategy. You need to design and implement a program strategy first before you can move on.

If, after answering these questions honestly, you still want to prioritize account-centric growth, you will need to understand the difference between 1:1 ABM programs and an account-based growth strategy, organize for scale, and determine which scale account-based growth model is right for you. That takes time, executive buy-in, training, experience, methodologies, and more.

Find more information in How to Scale an Account-Based Growth Approach. The full document with all the details is available at no cost to members on Growth Hub. If you’d like to learn more about membership, contact luisa.jones@momentumitsma.com.

Have you considered these three critical questions before committing to account-based growth as a business strategy?

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Momentum ITSMA Staff