picture of the abm playbook

Top 3 Questions about ABM asked at Hubspot Inbound

In September, the Propensity team descended into Boston for a chance to connect with and learn from marketers, sales, and customer success professionals about their challenges and solutions at HubSpot Inbound

One of the core groups we connected with was professional services experts, there to work their magic and teach about the solutions to diverse problems.

But they also met us with their challenges, such as scaling their businesses. Now that we’re back, we want to illustrate a better path to growth. One lined with a faster, more predictable path to revenue growth. 

Questions We Fielded During Inbound

While we worked the floor at Inbound, an undercurrent of questions and thoughts caught our attention. We summarized them into these: 

  • I am not doing ABM, how can you help out?
  • I know I need to do ABM, can you tell me how it works?
  • We started an ABM approach using ZoomInfo accounts, but we’re realizing there is more to it than data. 

The questions are thought-provoking and dig deep, but open the floor to better solutions to grow and scale. Throughout the piece, we provide you with a couple of key pointers to start on a better path forward using ABM for your professional services firm

Pondering: I am not doing ABM. How can you help?

ABM takes your traditional demand generation approach and flips it on its head — literally. It promotes an inverted funnel, guided by your desired target accounts, rather than a wide breadth of accounts that may or may not fit your solution. 

In our approach to ABM, we prescribe an approach called the 5 Steps to ABM, which begins with identifying your high propensity, ready-to-buy accounts and courses through a campaign to target those accounts effectively, so when they reach your sales team’s desks, the customers are not just familiar with your solution, but they’re the contacts you’re trying to reach. 

Using a spearfishing approach instead of casting a wide net is how ABM takes a risk to achieve higher growth. Too often, professional services firms are tied to the referral network, but ABM gives you a chance to scale with new types of growth. At Inbound, we heard from Viola Davis about the importance of taking risks. The jump may feel scary, but it can make all the difference to launch from your comfort zone into opportunities once only dreamed about. 

Pondering: I know I need to do ABM. Can you tell me how it works?

ABM can be approached in diverse ways, but it’s imperative to have a process that matches your motivations and actually pulls in the right people at the right account. ABM bets on personalized strategies to win over customers, gain new opportunities and engage accounts at a much higher level than traditional demand generation alone. 

At Inbound, personalized strategies were repeatedly touched on by experts as a method to get closer with your prospective customers from the jump. Neil Patel addressed this in his SEO panel and other panelists outlined personalized content creation’s ability to connect at a deeper level with the audience you’re hoping to serve. 

Our 5 Step Process focuses heavily on personalization, both to actively market to your ICP and with the sales handoff to ensure sales personalizes the message to the right contacts at the right account. In order to scale your business, you need to give that personal touch to ensure you’re reaching the pain point with an offer to a solution they’re looking for. 

Pondering: We started an ABM approach using ZoomInfo accounts, but we’re realizing there is more to it than data. 

Intent data is a fundamental part of ABM. It illustrates accounts by attaching contacts to each account. However, this contact data must be of good quality in order to be effective. We heard from professionals at Inbound about their experiences with outdated data or working with companies that gave them data with no plan to follow through.

Data is only as good as its quality, and we reiterated this throughout the entire 5 step process. It’s a significant component of identifying in-market accounts, but it cascades across the process from marketing engagement to sales engagement to measuring and optimizing future campaigns. 

Without useful data, ABM is nothing more than an approach that lacks the necessary clarity and guidance to win and scale your business. Good quality data gives you the tools you need to act on accounts, connect with the right people, and measure the outcomes. 

If you source tons of leads, but they don’t align, they’re not just bad — they’re unusable. ABM attempts to fix this by using intent data to match you to the right accounts. Then, with the right information, you’re connected to the right people at those accounts, so you can show your solution and how it’s applicable to their pain point. 

Moving forward…

Inbound introduced us to new people and the challenges they’re facing. It inspired hope in ABM, the future of sales and marketing, and the world. And we can’t wait to go back in 2023.

We hope this could help inspire your professional services firm, but if you’re looking to bring new, actionable approaches to scale your business, we’re happy to help with that too. 

Learn more about how Propensity can help scale your professional services firm with ABM