Senior Inflexion Group Consultant, Catherine Ahern, recommends deepening your understanding of your chosen ABM accounts before you start developing a plan.
If you want to bring fresh thinking and actionable insight to your ABM plan for a strategic account, you’ll need to understand what’s driving that client. This research will help you identify new opportunities, build trusted relationships with key stakeholders, and better align marketing and sales.
As well as understanding the account’s general context, you will need a clear understanding of its objectives and strategy, the people involved, how this client buys your company’s products or services, the status of any current engagements, and the impact of any existing or previous marketing campaigns.
Here’s four steps to structure your approach.
1. Mine existing resources
There should be plenty of information available in your internal systems and in the account plan to get you up to speed with what’s happening on the account right now, but don’t only rely on this. Spend some time mining public sources to find recent information on your client’s organisation and the individuals within it that influence the relationship with your business.
2. Talk to stakeholders
If you’re new to the account, it provides a great opportunity to talk to everyone involved. Set up interviews with key stakeholders to hear their views and combine this with your own research to create a Power SWOT – a great way of summarising and considering the implications of the information you have found.
3. Assess current activity
Explore how well you’re currently serving this account and the challenges you are addressing. Get to grips with the budgets, people, processes and success metrics to uncover what’s working, and what isn’t with your current service delivery. If you understand current pain points it will help you identify where the best new opportunities for growth might lie.
4. Make your kickoff meeting count
Armed with all this insight you will be in a strong position to drive maximum value from your first meeting with the account lead. Now is the time to get answers to the questions which have arisen from your research to date. Make a list, ask intelligent questions, take notes, and work hard to build a good first impression with this pivotal stakeholder.
To find more resources to help you build a successful ABM plan, visit the Resources page of the Inflexion Group website www.inflexiongroup.com.