Three ABM project management habits to champion your people

May 16, 2024

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by | May 16, 2024 | Technology

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Selecting an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy is a significant step, but it doesn’t end there. It’s important to realise that strategy is only the starting point for success. What follows next is a critical focus on the people involved. Here’s how effective project management will rally your team to achieve ABM success.

Let’s face it, executing excellent Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is challenging. All businesses, whether kickstarting with an ambitious pilot or managing mature programs, run the risk of conflicting priorities during campaign planning and strained team dynamics at the heart of execution. Aligning on measurement and optimisation of both tangible and intangible Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – incorporating brand, reputation, relationships, and revenue – then creates an additional headache. 

We’ve put together three agile project management habits to keep your team aligned and motivated to achieve ABM goals.

 

1. The ABM Scrum

A daily scrum is a great Keystone Habit that can put a team on a success-footing. In ABM we often talk about this being a marketing and sales mission, but in reality there’s lots of layers to it. For example, your ABM team might bring together: a senior sponsor from the exec level; content and campaign team members contributing to storytelling and paid media management; CRM and data team members; agency partners and potentially multiple levels of the sales team such as sales ops, BDMs and SDRs.

‘[daily scrums] create an environment where the team habitually comes together to talk about their plan for the day of work ahead’.

AND Digital

In the truest sense of agile project management, a scrum is a daily habit – but in borrowing for ABM, a couple of times a week will still drive a big impact. 

One really powerful approach is to review a performance dashboard containing headlines across Reputation (brand and digital campaigns’ impact on accounts) Relationships (sales outbound progress and priorities) and Revenue (live opportunity and deal-acceleration efforts). This is a proven method of creating advocates across the business for your campaigns.

 

2. Celebrating Success 

As mentioned, ABM is tough. B2B enterprises often campaign across sales cycles that span years, and as 2024 research compoundingly shows, buyers who are in-market are traveling as far as 70% through the buying journey before any direct hand-raising to a vendor organisation. 

Creating a culture of actively looking for those little wins – and building systems that really celebrate key signs of success – is a huge part of keeping those ABM advocates fired up and committed to the cause.

A great way to thread Little Wins throughout your ABM culture is connected to your source of truth reporting. Start a team Slack channel that includes key exec sponsors, sales and marketing stakeholders, and assign team members a regular task to share any green-shoots spotted in reporting. Examples include:

  • xx net new contacts gained this week
  • top xx accounts for Sales Outbound activity volume
  • the most reached accounts via digital campaigns
  • persona engagement flashpoints and trends – reactions on ads
  • opted in contacts trends
  • time spent on page for a key content experience
  • small results from AB tests
  • just great creative doing well on basic KPIs such as CTR
  • xx accounts with increased velocity – time to move between a journey stage decreasing

 

3. The Retro 

One of the great things about ABM being tough, is the potential for continuous improvement. Your ambitious, hybrid ABM team is going to be working together towards their goals for an extended period of time, and one of the healthiest ways to keep that team unified for success is periodically creating a space for group and self-reflection. 

A Retrospective or ‘Retro’  is a facilitated session that brings all key members together – these tend to work best when they are led by someone who has not been directly involved in your project but is familiar with how your teams and business deliver its work.

A simple, low-lift way to organise one of these is grabbing some coloured sticky-notes, getting together at a whiteboard and having a STOP > START > CONTINUE discussion. Members identify activities they should stop, start and continue doing before coming together to review themes and commonalities.

To really step-up your retro-game, use platforms like Miro to create a digital whiteboard or Mentimeter to run a team Q&A online, leaving your team with living, adjustable findings to look back on and see progress. 

Using these habits will help your ABM strategy and people evolve over time. With successful connection and collaboration within teams, you can overcome the challenges of ABM and be well on the way to success. 

But the power of people doesn’t stop there. See how CMOs are continuing to focus on their teams following the emergence of a strategic skills void in Modern’s latest research report: Digital Connections 3.0.

Do you need help navigating these spaces?
If you’re feeling confined to walled gardens, our dedicated Digital Team is here to ensure you’re getting the most out of your digital strategy. If you would like to discuss how we can support you, get in touch.

Further reading

The impact of the strategic skills gap in marketing technology

When conversion tracking goes wrong, everything gets shaky

Leading change: Unpacking the Forrester B2B Summit, North America