You Say ABM/X, I Say Account Based GTM!

GD1 Thought Leadership

Concluding my most recent Blog Post, Sales Development…You Say SDR, I Say BDR, I opined that “SDRs must be viewed and operated as part of a larger Account Based GTM Motion - a focused effort on a specific grouping of accounts within your TAM.”

I wrote that my next post would dive into Marketing’s specific role. I started to, but quickly realized it would make better sequential sense to elevate the conversation to discuss an Account Based Strategy as a whole. 

Perhaps I should have done that from the beginning?

First off, when we say Account Based GTM in b2b, some historical context is helpful (and fun).

A decade ago…

Marketing: “Hi Sales, we want to contribute to high value customer acquisition. Check out ABM! Oh…and sorry about all those MQLs we wasted your time with for the past couple of years.”

Sales:  “ABM? We’ve been account based forever. Heard of a sales territory?”

With a new fancy acronym Marketing was off, buying some tech and running banner ads in isolation. Same problem, different day.

Marketing: Ok Sales…ABM does work in some instances, but we’re willing to admit, it didn’t live up to all the hype, but now we have something new…wait for it…ABX!”

ABX extends further, delivering personalized touch points throughout what can be a complicated and non-linear buying process for high ACV b2b customers. Layer on more accurate intent data and meaningful account engagement and now we’re getting somewhere!

Personally, I don’t like ABM or ABX. Say what it is!

Account Based GTM - a coordinated Go-To-Market motion with an intense customer focus on high value accounts. 

Account Based starts with discovering and aligning all contributing Go-To-Market team members on a specific group of customers. Rather than create mediocre for many, the team is empowered to create value in a more meaningful way. The goal is to drive awareness and obtain customers using multiple channels/tactics, such as outbound, events, email, paid ads, etc. All these channels are wrapped around and supported by a sound content strategy. 

As Seth Goodin said, “choose your customers, choose your future.”

In my role here at GD1, I’m working with various portfolio companies to build out an Account Based motion. These are the high level steps they’re taking to stand it up:

  1. Strategy & Alignment - company, departments, individuals. Fancy speak for, “we’re committed to this!” 🌈
  2. Nail Your ICP - data and insight driven 🎯
  3. Buyer Focus - understand their context 🛒
  4. Target Accounts - pick them wisely, good in = good out. 📈
  5. Authentic Content - produce and distribute value in the ICP ecosystem 📚
  6. Channels - choose wisely (hint, where your buyers already hang out) 🛣️
  7. Measure - Align everyone on meaningful metrics (pipeline and won revenue are a good place to start and end). 📊
  8. Develop Plays - Be creative, coordinate your plays as a team and go! 🏃
  9. Build - Keep going, measure, tweak and exercise appropriate patience. 🧱

Back to where we started, with SDRs. Within this context, if SDRs are part of a GTM strategy, they can’t be on an island. They must be viewed and operated as part of the larger Account Based GTM Motion. When everyone, SDRs and Marketing included operate in a coordinated GTM motion, 1+1=3.

So I say, Account Based GTM!

PS. I promise, now that I’ve put down some context, I’ll get into the nitty gritty details of marketing contribution in an upcoming post 😜

Written bY
Doug Bohaboy



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