Account-based marketing (ABM) is on every B2B marketer’s mind. But even though 64% of programs were started in the past five years, teams are still learning how to use the ABM framework to its full potential.
ABM is here to stay, but success isn’t guaranteed. It requires careful planning and a growth mindset. InsideView, a B2B data company that works with sales, marketing, and revenue operations teams, has evolved its ABM strategy three times since 2016 and achieved new wins with each iteration.
In this Q&A, VP of Growth Marketing Lisa Smith and her team share how InsideView uses the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform to power its ABM efforts.
How does Salesforce help you maintain a complete view of your customers?
First, we use our own data products within the Salesforce CRM to stitch all of our customer data together and provide a single source of truth that everyone in the company can work from. This includes critical things like clean and accurate firmographics, account hierarchy links, and contact coverage of the buyer groups.
This data plays a huge role in our ongoing strategy for new logo account selection. We identify accounts with the highest total customer value, evaluate those customers against firmographic dimensions like industry and employee size, and use our own products to find companies that match the characteristics of our best customers. Then we work with sales leaders to compile a list of the ones we want to target. This is how we continuously evolve our pursuit of new business.
On the existing customer side, we look at account engagement measures and intent data to spot potential upsell opportunities or prevent churn if a customer is less engaged.
Our customer data also feeds into Pardot
, Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation platform, where we execute our campaigns including target account engagement, lead nurtures, landing pages, and forms.
It's also where we take the conversational marketing experiences happening on our website and turn them into lead follow-up for sales. (Our sales development representatives act as the front door of our company, and they engage website visitors over chat.)
All of this engagement information — including where visitors are coming from — is tracked in Salesforce thanks to Pardot’s Connected Campaigns capability, which aligns our campaigns across both platforms and gives us full visibility into campaign attribution. As a result, we can track the active and closed sales opportunities associated with each marketing campaign and see which ones are making the biggest impact.
“...we can track the active and closed sales opportunities associated with each marketing campaign and see which ones are making the biggest impact.”
Our CRM data also powers analytics dashboards for sales to help them quickly forecast pipeline, identify upsell opportunities, focus on customer success initiatives, and more. And when we see a lack of engagement, the data helps us understand where we can improve their experience.
All of this information works together to help us target the right accounts, measure engagement, and deliver the best customer experience possible to drive more revenue. It’s so powerful.
How do you use Salesforce to engage a buying committee?
Salesforce’s capabilities are crucial to everything we do for ABM. For new logo acquisition, Salesforce helps us get a more complete view of the buying committee. When people come to our website and complete a form, they’re engaging with a Pardot campaign. That information rolls up into Salesforce through the Connected Campaigns feature. If it’s an unknown lead, we'll use some of our own lead-to-account mapping capabilities to better understand them.
That information gets populated into the Engagement History dashboard
on the account’s record in Salesforce, where our salespeople can see the latest actions from key buyers within their target accounts. It’s also a great way for them to learn about marketing leads that were previously anonymous to sales. Moving forward, they can include these buyers in future conversations with the account.
Salesforce solutions also help us get the right marketing messages in front of our buyers. Each member of the committee is placed into an automated nurture campaign. If they've engaged with our content, that information lives in Salesforce, and we use it to personalize their experiences on our website with conversational marketing (chat).
We follow the same personalization principles when communicating to existing customers. For instance, we use dynamic content in our product newsletter to make sure we’re only sharing relevant information with each account.
Last but not least, we run nurture campaigns for accounts in our “not ready yet” category. We think about engagement in key segments — new logo prospects, existing customers, and “not ready yet.” The latter are accounts that were opportunities but didn’t purchase anything — from us or a competitor.
Many marketers ignore this valuable population, thinking the accounts will “come back” when they’re ready. But we’ve found that nurturing these leads with a “ready someday” approach keeps us top of mind, and they come back sooner.
As ABM strategies evolve over the next few years, how do you see Salesforce playing a role in helping B2B businesses execute?
B2C companies today are leading with such highly personalized experiences and recommendations that enterprise buyers have come to expect the same level of personalization in their business relationships. Salesforce can help the B2B space deliver on those expectations with its CRM and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
For instance, we’ve implemented Einstein
into our sales data to help us predict which opportunities will close, which customers might churn, and where the potential growth is in each account. Meanwhile, marketing can make a bigger impact on our most important customers and create experiences that are highly personalized, relevant, and contextual. That's one piece of it.
The other piece relates to the modern sales funnel. I think of it as an infinity symbol focused around four key points: Find — Engage — Close — Grow. Find an account, engage them, win their business, grow the relationship, then do it all over again. And when you bring intent data into the mix, you can reach out — in the moment — to buyers who are actively considering us.
Account-based sales and marketing is becoming the norm, and marketers can work with Salesforce Customer 360 to power their go-to-market motions with the right technology. Helping sellers engage at the right moment, close more new deals, and expand customer relationships is the growth engine to drive revenue.