Data Is the Force Multiplier of Your ABM Strategy

B2B data
AI in Data
Account Data
Account signals tracking
Bespoke Data
March 25, 2024

In military operations, just like in marketing or sales operations, a force multiplier refers to a factor that dramatically increases (hence “multiplies”) the effectiveness of an item or group.  For example, if key intel or certain technology like GPS enables a force to accomplish the same results of a force five times as large but without GPS, then the multiplier is five.The same applies to data in an ABM campaign.  Just like a general would never go to war with subpar intel, a smart ABM marketer would never consider launching an ABM strategy with subpar data. Successful ABM marketers deploying “data as a strategy”, routinely enable sales to be multitudes more effective than when data is not properly invested in.However, now that ABM has become mainstream for many B2B marketers, we are beginning to hear more examples of why the strategy stalled.  The most common reason… a lack of quality, actionable data.With an ABM strategy, you’re playing the long game to win the war vs a few quick wins.  So when you factor in data points that have a limited shelf life, it’s critical to look at data as an ongoing strategy vs a component of ABM.

Why exactly is data the most important part of an ABM strategy?

Think about all the budget and resources that go into a well thought out strategy:Time spent:

  • Gaining interdepartmental and executive support
  • Performing a data audit and gap analysis on existing data
  • Conducting a TAM analysis, selecting and tiering targeted accounts
  • Agreeing on tiered ABM plans, campaigns, workflows, playbooks and goals
  • Implementing engagement scoring, and measurement of account penetration success metrics
  • Training stakeholders, choosing and educating supporting vendors
  • Researching target accounts and contacts to ID the compelling angles needed for response
  • Jumpstarting the ABM strategy if your internal ABM champions leave

Budget spent:

  • Producing tiered assets (direct mail, tailored scripts, events etc.)
  • Onboarding any new martech or sales-tech tools supporting your ABM strategy
  • Enriching accounts with firmographic, technographic, persona, intent and engagement data

What is the smart way to scale “actionable” data?

Scaling "actionable" data—the kind that directly informs and drives marketing and sales strategies—is a critical concern for businesses committed to an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) approach. The allure of ABM lies in its promise of highly targeted and efficient marketing efforts, but its success hinges on the quality and relevance of the underlying data. Marketing and sales operations teams are increasingly recognizing the importance of investing not just in data, but in high-quality, multifaceted data sources that can provide a comprehensive view of potential accounts.

The Pitfalls of Relying Solely on Bulk Data Subscriptions

The market is flooded with bulk data subscription services offering firmographic, technographic, intent, and engagement data. While these services can provide a broad overview, they often fall short when it comes to delivering the granular, up-to-date information that ABM strategies require. Accepting these gaps and proceeding with ABM initiatives regardless is a gamble that many marketers take, but it's one fraught with risk. The likelihood of executing a successful ABM campaign diminishes significantly when the data guiding those efforts is incomplete, outdated, or inaccurate.

Beyond Traditional Data Collection Methods

In the quest for actionable data, some organizations have turned to their sales teams, asking them to fill in the data gaps. This approach, however, places an undue burden on sales personnel whose primary focus should be on closing deals, not data collection. It's an unsustainable strategy that's both inefficient and costly. Similarly, outsourcing data collection to freelance platforms like UpWork or Mechanical Turk has proven to be hit-or-miss. While these services offer a quick fix, managing the quality and consistency of the data obtained can be a challenge, often leading to subpar results that do little to advance ABM goals.

The Strategic Advantage of Consultative Partners

Recognizing these challenges, seasoned ABM practitioners are taking a different route. They understand that to truly scale actionable data in a way that supports their ABM strategies, they need to look beyond traditional data sources. By partnering with consultative data providers, they can access a continuous stream of precise, actionable data tailored to their specific needs. These partners go beyond merely supplying data; they work collaboratively with organizations to understand their unique objectives and challenges, ensuring the data they provide is not only accurate and up-to-date but also directly aligned with the company's ABM strategy.

These consultative partnerships offer a strategic advantage, enabling companies to leverage data effectively to identify and engage their target accounts. With the support of the right data partner, businesses can ensure their ABM campaigns are built on a foundation of reliable, actionable intelligence, significantly increasing their chances of success.

How do I cost justify the force multiplier?

ABM as a strategy is clearly paying dividends for those who do it right.  And for those who do it right, view “data as a strategy” as the key to success.By delivering a steady flow and measuring the effectiveness of fresh, quality data:

  • Marketing and sales teams become more aligned
  • Upsells, cross-sells, and overall customer LTV increases
  • Sales cycles and close rates accelerate
  • Contract values and retention rates increase

Here’s what some other thought leaders revealed:According to FlipMyFunnel, companies using ABM generate 200% more revenue for their marketing efforts compared to those that don’t.According to TOPO research, the Average Contract Value (ACV) for companies post-ABM was 171% larger than the pre-ABM ACV ($195,294 vs. $71,941).The SiriusDecisions Command Center™ reported that 91% of respondents say that deal size is larger for ABM accounts and 1 in 4 say it is over 50% larger.In a report developed by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance, 45% of firms polled reported achieving more than double the ROI on their ABM investment.With so many benefits, it becomes much easier to ROI justify the investment in the actionable data needed to ensure your ABM success. Even if the data you need cost two, three or even five times as much as the data you don’t need, it’s a smart investment in light of the other investments you’ve made in your ABM strategy.Whether in combat or marketing, actionable intel is a force multiplier that must be invested in, methodically gathered, precise, and delivered on time. Don’t send your sales troops into battle with poor intel. You’ll sink their morale, and risk losing not just the battle for accounts, but potentially the ABM war you are waging against the competition.

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