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ABM MarTech Buyer's guide - key questions to ask your vendor

Lois Dixon
by Lois Dixon - March 29, 2019

MarTech Stack - tech buyer's guide We have spoken a lot about MarTech lately…how there are currently 7000 differently applications on the market, but this is expected to increase to 9000 in the next two years…how integration is causing numerous headaches as getting these 7000 apps talking to each other is more than a challenge…how many companies end up with a Frankenstack – a series of siloed solutions. However, if you can get to a point where you are looking to make an investment what are the questions you should be asking your MarTech provider? Knowing the right questions to ask your MarTech provider is integral to narrowing down your choices. And with thousands of solutions out there, you need to narrow them down. If you’re not quite at that step yet and need some tips on how to tame your Frankenstack, then look no further – we have put together 5 top tips for taming a monstrous MarTech stack – otherwise, keep reading to find out what questions to you should be asking to take the next step as a buyer to build a technology stack for exceptional ABM. 

The first question you should be asking when looking to address ABM MarTech, is regards to the platform’s capability. Does the vendor claim to offer a comprehensive ABM platform?

Successful ABM campaigns depend on deep personalisation, orchestration across multiple accounts, and the ability to harvest vital insights from the nuances of interactions and relationships. For this reason, they require more powerful solutions and often, bigger investments. However, the tech to support them is still largely in its infancy. A rush to get products to market during this current period of high demand has led to a widespread lack of integration. This is why only 3% of marketers currently believe they get full value from their tools. There does not seem to be a single silver bullet for running an entire ABM programme, so the key is identifying which platforms seamlessly integrate in order to provide the essential capabilities in a digestible and effective manner. Make sure your vendor is clear on the capabilities and limitations of their platform, whilst keeping integration requirements at the forefront of any conversation.

Start to think about the future…ABM MarTech should not be a short term investment, as ABM is not a short-term programme. Therefore, does the vendor offer strategic support for the development and evolution of your ABM programme?

The main thing to remember here is that any platform will not run the campaign for you – the strategy needs to be there in the first place. The tech simply makes your team, insights and processes more efficient. Therefore when investing in a MarTech platform, it is vital that the vendor understands your business objectives and long term goals, as opposed to just being interested in getting a sale. Your team will be running the technology, so they need to be fully trained on the platform and be involved in a closed feedback loop with the platform developers to ensure that their user experience helps generate developments, updates and improvements going forward. The platform should allow your ABM programme the evolution it needs to best serve your business objectives. 

Does the vendor allow you to create a highly personalised, adaptable experience for each visitor, across platforms, whether they are known to you or not?

Personalisation is a deal breaker when running ABM programmes. ABM is highly targeted and your messaging needs to reflect this. Using tracking, intent, behavioural and your ability to harvest vital insights from the nuances of interactions and relationships, you can identify your customer’s pain points and can serve them appropriate solutions at the appropriate time whilst building relationships. If your platform allows you to get personal, you can create a good experience and build trust with your customer, nurturing them through their buyer’s journey. This goes beyond just adding a first name to the top of an email…can your platform identify new companies visiting your website and serve them personalised content based on their IP address? To exceed at ABM, your campaigns need to be dynamic and speak directly to those you want to target; your MarTech needs to cater for this.

With dynamic campaigns, we as marketeers need to be agile in our responses. But, we can only do this if we have full visibility of the campaign performance? Does the vendor deliver campaign analytics and sales insights in real time?

Creating a cohesion between sales and marketing requires real time results, which can prompt real time actions. In order to create opportunities and nurture them you have to be timely in your responses. How can you offer a fully personalised experience and react to your prospects’ behaviour if you aren’t aware of their actions until the two weekly reporting session? At Sherpa we have the capability to provide clients with a real time dashboard, which gives them access to campaign insights as they happen. They are then able to work with us to optimise and maximise the sales cycle. If your vendor is not able to offer full visibility of campaign analytics as they happen, then my suggestion would be to look elsewhere! 

ABM MarTech is a complex and substantial investment and these are just a few of the questions you should be asking! But don’t worry, you don’t have to navigate the minefield alone. We have outlined more questions you should be asking MarTech vendors in our Tech Buyer’s Guide, which you can download here, for free! Don’t say we never give you anything. 

As a B2B technology marketing agency, we see hundreds of MarTech platforms for both direct and channel marketing – and we’re encountering new ones every day. This puts us in the ideal position to aggregate intelligence on MarTech stacks, understand what works with what, and continually investigate and update best practice by refining technology combinations on behalf of our clients. So why not get in touch using the methods below and we can show how. 


If you would like to discuss how Sherpa can transform your marketing, please get in touch… 

 

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