The Value of a CRM & Automation in Account-Based Marketing Jonathan Herrick Account-based marketing (ABM) allows companies to generate more business within individual accounts. Rather than producing general marketing for a particular industry, ABM involves marketing to individual companies with specific offers and value propositions related to their needs. Traditionally, this method was used by large enterprises where the size of the deal justified the amount of energy focused on marketing to only one business or account. But with the help of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool and automation, small- to medium-sized business can also engage in account-based marketing to increase their sales and generate value with individual customers.Creating your ideal buyer personaUsing the data in your CRM, you can build your ideal customer profile (ICP). Your ICP describes the kind of company that is an ideal fit for your product or service. In this way, you can identify which companies are worth account-based marketing efforts, so you don’t waste time and energy on businesses that have a low chance of generating significant revenue. Identifying which companies are the money makersWith a CRM, you can quickly determine where most of your money is coming from. If you notice that a huge portion of your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) comes from a handful of companies, you can develop ABM strategies targeting those businesses. Alternatively, your CRM will show you which customers require a significant amount of attention, but only bring in a small amount of revenue, allowing you to adjust the amount of effort you expend on them accordingly. Understanding the problems and interests of your key accountsNot only will your CRM identify who your money makers (aka key accounts) are, it’ll also help you understand what problems, solutions, and topics your marketing should focus on. If you’ve used your CRM effectively, you’ll know what those customers buy, what content they tend to consume, and the nature of their conversations with sales associates. In this way, you can reevaluate your digital marketing efforts to focus on these themes. Setting up automated social media postsOnce you know what kind of content you need to produce, it’s as simple as creating it and pumping it out regularly. Automated social tools allow you to schedule this content, so it’s automatically pumped out throughout the day on all of your social media channels. You can also use these tools to pick up on what day and times your target accounts interact with your content the most. Syndicating your content effectivelyIf you decide that you need a little bit of help drawing the attention of your target accounts, you can enlist the help of content syndication networks. The fact that you’ve already compiled a list of your key accounts means that you can make these arrangements as results-oriented as possible by setting up an arrangement to only pay for content distribution to accounts that meet the exact same criteria as those listed on your key accounts list. Setting up automated workflowsIf you have a large number of key accounts you’d like to target, automated workflows help you ensure that none of these accounts fall by the wayside. Using marketing automation tools, you can set up automated workflows that are triggered based on different criteria. For example, an email workflow might be triggered by a key account downloading specific pieces of content, like an ebook or a whitepaper, letting your automation tool know they are far enough down the sales funnel to justify sending product offers.Account-based marketing can be lucrative if used effectively and appropriately. A CRM can help you identify the ideal customers for account-based marketing while marketing automation tools can help you execute an ABM strategy efficiently.