In part 1 of this post, we’ll review why leads matter to your ABM strategy. In part 2, we’ll discuss a key problem with account-based marketing, and why using leads is the solution to this issue.
So, why use leads? A lot of the time, ABM strategies are employed with the idea of using accounts and contacts exclusively, while completely ignoring leads. While this speaks to a lack of understanding of the Salesforce model, it also kind of makes sense, in a way: You’re doing account-based marketing, so why shouldn’t you do everything from the account?
To this, we pose the following questions: Do you want public-facing web forms—which anyone can fill out—to populate accounts? Likely not. If you host a webinar, for which thousands of people may register, do you want to funnel all these names into accounts? Again, probably not. Think about it: How would you maintain and manage duplicate contacts at these accounts that get created?
Many of our current clients only allow their Sales Ops team to create accounts. It makes sense: Sales Ops tends to be very specific about how much data needs to be in an account before it’s created because the account record feeds things like segmentation models and capacity planning. These teams need to know which accounts are target accounts, so that they can decide how many reps are needed and other key operational data. This is the heart of your CRM system—it needs to be high-quality data!
Regardless of your ABM strategy, you need a system for triage, and that system is the Lead object. With leads, you always have a place to stick the data. This is the core reason to use leads in your ABM strategy: It gives you a place to store names, to vet them, de-dupe them, audit them, score them—and separate them from the fundamental, integral CRM system that is your Account object. It’s the dumping ground where you do your vetting and auditing. It’s also where you may want to do your assignments from.
To do ABM at scale, it is crucial to employ a robust lead-to-account matching strategy; lead-to-account matching is the bridge between traditional inbound marketing and ABM account management. Which brings us to a problem with ABM: Maintaining inbound strategies of marketing automation, as well as outbound prospecting.
We discuss this more in part 2 of this post