Most of us learn from a young age the value of putting one toe in the water before jumping in headlong. Knowing if the water is too hot or too cold helps us prepare our bodies (and minds) for full immersion. A similar logic can be applied to launching an account-based marketing (ABM) program. At SiriusDecisions, we encourage our clients to utilize a pilot strategy for ABM before entering into further expansion into other regions, lines of business or even full program deployment mode.
The purpose of the pilot is to test the required processes and procedures in a controlled fashion. This also should have a defined and limited scope, and should be time-bound – ideally three to six months. Where we see some companies hit a wall is when they don’t always have a clear marker for the end of the pilot, which can make it difficult to assess how to incorporate lessons learned into the scaled model and create a business case for the extra resources they need as the program evolves. Here are a few areas to review at the end of the pilot:
As more companies look for more efficient strategies to support growth in their best accounts (both new and existing), ABM has risen to the top of the list as an important go-to-market approach. Utilizing a pilot strategy allows sales and marketing teams to test requirements for ABM in a walk-before-you-run approach. However, if clear criteria about what is meant by pilot success is not established, it’s difficult to state that the pilot was successful – let alone knowing what needs to be changed to proceed effectively to the full rollout.