How to leverage your CRM to automate ABM strategy ?

Ziel Lab
6 min readNov 23, 2020

Account based Marketing has become a trend in marketing since 2016 with 70% of B2B marketers ramping up ABM specific programs, according to ITSMA study 85% believe that account based marketing delivers better return than any other marketing approach.

But marketing to certain high-value accounts has shown better results and it can be really challenging. So how can we really do this effectively over a period of time but before deciding this we should look at what exactly is account-based marketing?

What Is Account-Based Marketing, or ABM?

Account-based marketing is an ultimate personalization tool. Instead of incurring unnecessary expenses on different segments of the population, an account-centric strategy focuses on key business accounts and markets directly to these individual units. They focus on specific leaders and stakeholders who can benefit from what your company has to offer and through this you can make marketing efforts more personalised and more effective.

This strategy is not new by any means, but it’s gained widespread recognition and adoption over the past few years as it’s evolved with the progression of technology. Now the tech-based strategy is the differentiator as which platforms provide a plethora of marketing automation solutions that are measurable and at the same time affordable for businesses of all sizes.

After understanding what ABM is we further get information to pursue how account-based marketing appears to be effective in delivering ROI. A research from the Altera group found that 97% of respondents reported that ABM had a somewhat higher or much higher ROI than other marketing campaigns.

One other thing to mention is that there are ways to automate account-based marketing as long as you have the right data and a system to communicate between sales and marketing. Automation tools like Autopilot are a SaaS platform that gracefully brings together account-based marketing and automation.

4 Effective tools to Implement Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is like learning a new language. Here you are not targeting demographics or personas, but rather specific organizations.

The playing field changes a bit, and it requires a strategic and tactical approach to perfect. It requires a lot of data and understanding of consumer journey and process so that each function is automated with some prior knowledge and the process is automated with someone who has enough experience in that very industry. Let’s look at some players who are dominating the ABM field.

1: Marketo

Marketo brings sales and marketing teams together to target and engage key accounts bridging the gap between account-centric strategy, execution and success. Marketo helps to unite ABM and lead management in one solution, which makes it easier to execute personalized campaigns for both accounts and leads in one motion. This will also help them to reach key decisions and deal with influencers.

Marketo ABM consists of three components:

1) Target

Account Discovery

Lead-to-Account Matching

Named Account Lists

2) Engage

Account-based Personalization

Cross-Channel Engagement

Account-specific Workflows

3) Measure

Account and List-level Insights

Account Engagement Score

Pipeline & Revenue Impact

Marketo along with this also offers various tools to personalize account experience across channels. Email & Landing Page Personalization, Web Personalization, URL Personalization, Ad Personalization and Personalized Remarketing.

2: Hubspot

Account-based marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. HubSpot’s ABM software makes the use of both your marketing and sales team and helps them to identify valuable accounts more efficiently, reduce any friction impacting your flywheel, and grow better.

Here is how Hubspot helps -

  1. Setting up ABM strategy on HubSpot tools is intuitive and fast. It uses workflow templates to define your ideal customer profiles and identify good-fit target accounts. Then it leverages on the AI-powered recommendations of target accounts to ensure sales never misses a beat and it does this all within a CRM that has information about your existing customers and qualified leads, so you never have to worry about losing important contact details across marketing and sales.
  2. Through Hubspot Marketing and Sales can finally use shared tools that unite them around the same data, in the same place. Hubspot also has the Target Accounts Home feature, which helps them to understand the progress across all target accounts. This helps everyone to understand and work together on high-value target accounts, create channels named after the deal or account, regularly post KPIs, and share notes automatically.
  3. HubSpot’s ABM tools create personalized content and tailor how you engage with stakeholders within an account. With new features like account-level targeting added to the LinkedIn Ads integration, you get the ability to target companies by target account status or tier, and contacts or subsets of contacts at target accounts.
  4. Hubspot also helps to track and measure key milestones throughout an account’s journey, continuously using data to adapt and iterate on your ABM strategy. This would further lead to gathering a more detailed understanding of what’s happening at an account level with the account overview feature, or get a higher level view using out-of-the-box ABM reporting dashboards. This would help you to identify the highest value accounts and help prioritize reachout.

3: Autopilot

Autopilot as a marketing automation tool is basically for someone with more workflow specific needs. It’s a tool which is used best for capturing leads, lead nurturing and along with it all the other things most marketing automation tools does can be simply done in Autopilot. The best thing about Autopilot is that it really well connects the social media platforms, and helps in using them in your automations.

Autopilot is a whole other tool as compared to other Automation tools. Most other automation tools focus on a lot of options and things you can do with it. But Autopilot seems to mainly focus on the visual builder to make automations, and they do that really well.

The other tools are also great but more a “complete package solution” with a lot of options. And that can be overwhelming. So if you want a great easy-to-use workflow/automation builder and less of all the other options Autopilot is a great start.

It’s a great tool for email marketing and making automation flows with those emails. Also push your communication to multiple platforms (social media, SMS, WhatsApp, etc). The clean interface and not too many functions don’t make the tool too overwhelming.

4: Segment

Segment is a next gen consumer segmentation tool where it collects and transforms any stream of first-party customer data from webhooks into Segment events. Segments also help businesses the ability to create customer personas and target audience through it. It resolves identity with Personas, enriches additional data, and ensures clean, consistent data across all your tools. It is easy to establish in your business it just takes ten lines of code to capture new data points, enrich your data in new ways, and run advanced campaigns across tools. Segment will help you to handle automatic and rapid scaling so that you can focus on your business, not capacity planning.

Putting an ABM strategy in place is just the beginning. The most important thing is you need to determine whether it’s meeting your goals. With account-level advertising, you can monitor campaigns in real time and make rapid changes when messaging doesn’t appeal to your audience. That is where a partner like Ziellab helps, establish campaigns, maintains the performance and implements the best ABM strategy for your business.

About Ziel Lab

Ziel is a boutique marketing lab, based in Bangalore, India, and we build laser focussed campaigns for your inbound and outbound marketing.

While our experience spans a wide variety of projects and disciplines, our clients all share one common thread: They are all serious professionals who excel at what they do, and understand thevalue of great campaigns. If that sounds like you, send us a message and let’s talk.