Why Leads Matter to Your ABM Strategy – Part 2

[In part 1 of this post, we reviewed why leads matter to your ABM strategy. Here, we’ll discuss a key problem with account-based marketing.]

Scaling Your ABM Strategy

Once our clients realize that the Lead object is essential for triaging incoming leads, we can move on to discussing scaling their ABM strategy. One question we hear often from Marketing teams is “How do we know we’re generating leads at target accounts?” This is where a lead-to-account matching strategy comes in. Such a strategy can tell a Marketing team that half of their leads are matched to target accounts, for example, at which point they can devise a plan to market to those leads. After all, you want to treat your target prospects in a very special way.  

Scaling your ABM strategy means adopting a lead-to-account matching system; lead-to-account matching is the bridge between traditional inbound marketing automation strategies and ABM account management. So, how do you deal with inbound strategies of marketing automation as well as outbound prospecting?

ABM Starts with Target Accounts

At the heart of any ABM strategy is the idea of target accounts. By definition, these are good accounts. Someone at the organization has done the work of finding them and decided that these are the accounts that the organization wants to attack. (Whether that’s through some automation, or the manual work of a Sales Ops person, for example.)

Typically speaking, the reps who are prospecting these accounts—through cold-calling initiatives and other ways of finding the people in that company that are specifically engaged with your product—are dealing with accounts and contacts. A well-thought-out prospecting model starts with your target accounts.

The Need to Balance Inbound and Outbound Marketing Strategies

Let’s take a look at a common business scenario: You’re at a conference where you have a high-quality, targeted meeting with a prospect. The next day, your company receives a demo request form that was filled in by someone at that same company. If you’re a very small business, you may see that lead come into your database. But at scale, you just can’t know. So, a hot lead that should be routed to a qualified account is left to languish in the system, where it may or may not get scored and then be randomly assigned to an SDR.

Here’s what should happen: That hot lead is routed as soon as possible to the team responsible for maintaining that account. How can your organization accomplish this? That is the fundamental disconnect between marketing automation doing demand-generation activities and correlating that to all of your outbound lead prospecting. And that’s the heart of Lane Four’s account-based matching and routing tools.

This is a quintessential problem not only for ABM strategies, but for any marketing automation strategies. There needs to be a balance of inbound and outbound strategies. Because when your inbound marketing channels do their job, and your outbound prospecting channels do their job, then you’re in business!

To sum up: There’s this idea floating around the ABM space that you can skip using Leads altogether (see part 1 of this post, if you missed it.). But does this notion make any sense to your actual Salesforce data model? When put through even the smallest of tests, you’ll quickly realize that you need to use leads as a dumping ground where all your information can be properly triaged, in a way that doesn’t clutter up your actual CRM system. Salesforce has created the Leads object for a specific reason: It stores data as leads to get it away from the really clean customer data.

And yet, many third-party application providers persist in making these types of accounts-only recommendations. These third parties are treating Salesforce as a utility, a piece of data that you plug into, rather than the core engine of an organization. We’ve said it before: This is one of the many reasons why having a 100%-native tool matters—you need to be inside the engine to effectively perform these functions. And, as we’ve said before, you should rely on Salesforce experts to give you Salesforce advice.


Data Management for Account-Based Sales