Account-based marketing (ABM) is a proven strategy to attract, nurture, and close high-value customers. And one of our best customer acquisition strategies at UserGems.
But without the right strategy and tools supporting your efforts, getting results that meet your expectations is challenging.
In this piece, we dive into HubSpot's account-based marketing features and share expert-backed tips and tricks on how to make the most of them to create successful ABM campaigns.
What is an ABM tool?
ABM tools help sales and marketing teams align on who they should go after, whether a target account is a good fit for their product, and what the metrics are for a successful campaign. They’re part of an overall growth strategy a sales team can use to ensure they target the most promising accounts.
Some function as standalone systems while others work best as integrations to other tools or platforms.
Either way, they’re integral in building a growth strategy that involves creating personalized buying experiences for a select set of companies that are the most likely to convert.
Now that you understand what ABM tools are, let's take a look at HubSpot’s ABM tools and how you can use them to keep your pipeline full and close more deals.
HubSpot ABM tools to use at each stage of the sales cycle
A successful ABM program requires coordination between different teams. Without it, the program will fall apart due to a lack of bandwidth or sales and marketing misalignment.
Luckily, HubSpot has a suite of ABM tools that support you in all stages of the sales cycle. Here’s how you can use them to achieve your goals no matter where you are in the funnel.
1. Identify target accounts
The first step to creating a successful ABM strategy that works is to have an outline of your ideal customers and the types of accounts you should target. This is where HubSpot’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool comes in handy.
It gives you an overview of contact interactions so that you can identify target accounts from your contact list and accelerate your ABM campaigns. You can also add multiple contacts to your list and bulk edit it using the “Edit” option within the ABM tool.
2. Align your sales and marketing teams
Once you’ve identified who you’re selling to, you need to align your sales and marketing teams to create laser-focused content and improve each account’s KPIs.
HubSpot has a lot of features that make sales and marketing alignment easy. Here are some of the best ones:
- File manager: Creating a central filing system with dedicated folders for each account helps reps find everything they need to educate prospects and counter objections during sales calls.
- Slack integration: Sales and marketing teams spend a lot of time going back and forth between messaging tools like Slack and CRM platforms to share updates and metrics related to a specific target account. Using a Slack integration tool creates a bridge between the tools and simplifies communication for both teams.
- Sales sequences: Directing sales reps towards a list of tasks they should do to drive engagement with target accounts reduces their workload and facilitates the pitching process. This is where sales sequences come in handy.
These automated tools contain a list of tasks like enrolling a contact in an automated sequence and following up with them to guide the sales conversation in the right direction. It also helps align sales and marketing teams when it comes to content creation and distribution. For instance, marketing teams can build a sales sequence and have reps enroll assigned accounts into it to coordinate outreach with other content releases like blog posts.
3. Attract and close leads
You’ve identified target accounts. And your sales and marketing teams are aligned with your ABM strategy’s goals.
So far, so good.
Now, it’s time to hit the right people with targeted content and build relationships with them to facilitate the buy-in process.
Here are some of the HubSpot ABM tools that help your marketing and sales teams in this stage:
- Buying roles: This contact property allows you to mark the role of the target contact on the buying committee. Some examples of buying roles include legal, finance, decision-maker, etc.
- Playbooks: This is a sales enterprise feature in HubSpot that helps reps discover the right strategies they must deploy during different stages of the sales cycle to convert prospects.
- Company lists: HubSpot’s company lists are similar to contact lists — you can segment companies based on different criteria and create targeted ads for a particular company or a specific decision-maker within the company.
4. Measure your success
Tracking progress throughout your ABM campaign helps you get actionable insights about which accounts are most likely to close.
HubSpot’s ABM reporting tool provides 3 types of reports you can use to gather insights on your ABM campaigns:
- Account-based marketing reports: You can use this report to find how many accounts you have in each Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) tier and which accounts engage the most with your content. This helps you decide which accounts you should prioritize.
- "My Target" accounts reports: Salespeople use this report to keep track of recently closed deals and recent engagements from target accounts.
- Target account landscape reports: Both sales and marketing directors can use this dashboard to get a high-level overview of the entire target account list and its associated activities.
Expert tips to make HubSpot's account-based marketing tools work for you
Here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of HubSpot ABM tools and create a cohesive ABM program.
1. Segment your ICP into tiers
One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your sales teams and create a successful ABM program is to segment your ICP into tiers, so reps know which accounts they should — and shouldn’t — prioritize.
“Being able to tier your ICP contacts with workflows in HubSpot allows you to automate and distribute these audiences to your team in a way that makes sense and is extremely low-lift on their end. Hand your SDRs contacts on a silver platter, and they will be much more effective at other pieces of your job,” says Isaac Ware, my colleague and Director of Demand Generation, UserGems.
If you’ve already defined your ICP, set up a workflow that automatically filters your contacts into different tiers to lighten your workload even more.
2. Expand your list with HubSpot ABM's AI-based tools
Apart from creating ICP tiers within the tool, Isaac also recommends using HubSpot’s AI-based tool to expand your contact list. "You can also use HubSpot's AI segmentation suggestions if you are struggling to find more target accounts."
It considers different attributes like company size, revenue, and engagement to find new accounts similar to your targets without breaking a sweat.
Or you can use our Account Tracking feature 😉
3. Check out who's championing for you
HubSpot has a “champion” property within buying roles, allowing you to see how many champions are on your side based on your past interactions.
Now, who are these champions?
These are the people who aren’t involved in the decision-making process but can influence it. For example, an account manager may not be a decision-maker. But they can sway the decision-making process. Using HubSpot’s champion property gives you a chance to find out who they are and start building a rapport with them.
These can also come in handy if you need to multithread an account.
Personalize your HubSpot ABM tools for exponential growth
HubSpot’s ABM tools will work best for you if you customize them to include features like automated pipeline generation, gifting, and advanced ad targeting.
Here are some recommended tools to help you with these features:
- Pipeline generation: An SDR’s biggest nightmare is constant pipeline creation. Without it, they can’t produce a steady stream of qualified leads to achieve their aggressive revenue targets. Although HubSpot gets you leads based on those who interacted with your website and social media, UserGems goes a step further and tracks their job movements, so you get repeat business on autopilot and reduce your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). For example, Electric, an IT solutions company, created a new customer acquisition channel by tracking the job changes of decision-makers with User Gems.
- Advanced ad targeting: You can’t use Hubspot to create a highly targeted audience based on granular interactions customers have with your website. But the Hubspot- LinkedIn ads integration helps you convert any CRM data point into a specific set of audiences and create targeted messages for them to improve your engagement.
- Gifting: Creating hyper-focused content is one way to build a personalized experience. But a more memorable way to create an impression and forge a personal relationship with a target account is to send them gifts. Use tools like Postal to send digital rewards to target accounts for completing a specific action like accepting your email invite or participating in a survey.
Ready to supercharge your ABM strategy?