4 practical tips to make scalable ABM a reality

Estimated reading time
6 minutes
23rd February 2022
Author: Sabrina Stubbs
Posted in: Content Distribution & Promotion, Content Operations, Content Production, Impact & ROI, Personalization, Sales, Strategy & Planning

Are you struggling to scale your account-based marketing? You’re not alone. According to TOPO, the top challenge in implementing ABM is creating a scalable strategy for multiple accounts.

ABM stat snapshot:

  • 91% of companies using ABM increase their average deal size, with 25% reporting an increase of +50% (SiriusDecisions)
  • 208% increase in revenue witnessed by companies using ABM (MarketingProfs)
  • 171% increase in average annual contract value after implementing Account-based Marketing (ABM Leadership Alliance)

The jury is out.

Account-based marketing is one of the most effective business strategies we have. But what do you do when your ABM team is maxed out on accounts?

stairs symbolising scalable ABM

1 – Content creation, but make it modular

First, let’s look at one of the biggest barriers to scaling ABM operating: getting enough content.

It’s a huge misconception that ABM needs to be a drain on content resources. It needs content to function, of course, but there are ways to plan strategically ahead when creating content to maximize its usage.

The most important tip for ABM content creation is to take a modular approach.

Modular content is the creation of assets that are designed to be broken down, rearranged, and repurposed. You can think of it like lego blocks. Creators can recombine pieces in multiple ways to create seemingly new content without actually creating new content.

Pile of blue lego blocks

How Turtl can help

Turtl is designed to be modular. A Turtl Doc is split into two levels: Surf and Immerse. Surf pages are like chapter covers that consist of an image or video and a heading and subheading. Readers skim through these pages to find topics they have interest in. Immerse pages are the content of each chapter. They host the bulk of your content, including your copy, imagery, video, and a range of interactive features, like polls.

Both Surf and Immerse pages can be easily dragged around, copied and pasted into documents, and rearranged to create new content. This process can even be automated. So a simple form submission triggers an arrangement for a new piece of content, based on the information available.

The Turtl team’s top tip

Whether you’re manually or automatically building modular content, its success depends on how well you label and categorize your content. For example, if you’re working on an account in the financial services industry, you should be able to search for all of the content pieces relevant to that industry so you can quickly build your content. This system needs to be even more robust if you’re setting up automated content creation as data triggers will need to dictate what content is built in which order.

2 – Personalization, meet automation

On a similar note, personalization is key to ABM but continues to be one of its biggest barriers. In an ideal world, every touchpoint in ABM would be hand-curated. But, unless you can scale your team members with your account list (unlikely), you have to choose between sacrificing quantity of accounts or quality of personalization. Until now.

Automated personalization is very much a reality. There is no need to manually edit 100 PDF documents for one account anymore.

How Turtl can help

Turtl’s content automation platform takes on the heavy lifting in ABM personalization. Something as simple as a form, or as complex as an API, can facilitate automatically generating a new piece of content depending on the modular approach we looked at earlier.

The software can personalize external signals like name, company name, logo, but can also omit or include individual pages tailored to what you know about that individual or account. It can even personalize the imagery or video throughout the Doc for a custom aesthetic feel. 

People walking in a white station

Our favorite example

Punch! ABM is a marketing agency that specializes in account-based strategies. They’re also Turtl users.

As Q4 was drawing to a close and sales conversations were beginning to dry up, the team at Punch! had three cybersecurity companies sitting in their pipeline.

While the conversations were going well, they were concerned about how several weeks of vacation would impact that momentum. To accelerate the sales cycle, Deanne Crocker, Marketing Manager at Punch! ABM, turned to Turtl.

Deanne was able to create one piece of digital content using Turtl’s editor that would appeal to all three cybersecurity companies because it was an analysis of their shared audience and an overview of content consumption trends.

She then used Turtl’s automated personalization to instantly generate three separate versions of the content, each tailored to incorporate the company names and other identifying markers. 

In the end, they closed 2 out of 3 accounts before the end of the quarter. Deanne believes it is because Turtl helped her create seemingly custom content at speed.

“I think Turtl’s personalization features are the real sweet spot for us. It’s great for outreach because you can quickly build a piece of content and then automate it so that every recipient sees a personalized video on the cover page, for example. Having all of these custom elements appear automatically throughout the document is really powerful on a one-to-many scale.” – Deanne Crocker, Marketing Manager at Punch! ABM

3 – Squeezing the most value out of your CRM

Your CRM is key to any scalable ABM strategy. Not only is it your data repository and your machine for distribution, but it’s also one of the most important places where marketing and sales can align and work together. By having everything visible and transparent, you have a platform in which every team member can see the state of each account and what needs to be actioned next.

How to get the most value out of your CRM account

  1. Set up custom events
    Track a variety of instances that help you better understand your accounts (page views, email opens, video plays, etc.).
  2. Tag engagement with content interests
    Every engagement indicates the unique interest area of an individual and therefore their account.
  3. Integrate this with your account scoring
    Make sure this data influences your account score so you understand what stage they’re at.
  4. Surface key data points for visibility
    Create dashboards that reveal content engagement data, third-party intent data, marketing engagement data, and firmographic data for a truly birds-eye view of your accounts.

Having this data ecosystem in order allows you to juggle a broad list of accounts and will help you understand where your priorities lie. One of the keys to scaling ABM is to understand exactly who to target, in what way, and at what time. Your CRM is vital to this.

Once this is in place, it’s time to refine how you automate interactions with your prospects. This is the ultimate sales-marketing alignment. You can see exactly how we do this at Turtl by watching this webinar.

How your sales-marketing ecosystem should work

  1. Account engages with your content in a key interest area
  2. They are tagged as being interested in that topic
  3. A piece of personalizable content generates automatically using API
  4. Teams collate content properties until accounts are ready for outreach

example of static CRM processes preventing scalable ABM

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example of effective CRM processes encouraging scalable ABM

4 – Take a tiered approach to scalable ABM

Not all accounts are created equal. You can’t (and shouldn’t) give every single account the same amount of resources. You have to prioritize the accounts that are most likely to close.

While we’ve looked at automated personalization and the power it has in scaling ABM strategies, there are times where you will want to actually invest resources into creating something completely bespoke. A tier system helps you separate your accounts, to find those that are most likely to close, and therefore most deserving of that resource.

Your account readiness score, which is a numerical display of an account’s aggregate intent data, will help with this. You can take the accounts with the highest score and dedicate custom-tailored content to them as Tier 1. Then, Tier 2 could be accounts that you use automated personalization on.

Tier 3 is perhaps the accounts that aren’t quite ready or that you don’t know a huge amount about. You could target them with “public personalization” where they fill in forms or answer questions to generate their own personalized content. 

What if you incorporate all these steps to scalable ABM?

Scaling your ABM effectively means you are reaching the right accounts (differentiated by tier) in the right way for them (personalized and relevant) at the right time (with your CRM analysis). Moreover, all of this can fit your business’s budget, schedule, and team capabilities if you approach it in an engaging, modular, and intuitive format.

So what’s the most efficient way to achieve your ABM scaling goals? With Turtl of course!

Turtl