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Account-Based Marketing
Blog / For Sales Pros / Mar 15, 2017 / Posted by Dan McDade / 6744

Account-Based Marketing


Would you rather get 56 leads for $49,835 or 27 leads for $172,200?

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our special 1-week series on sales prospecting, from experts on the subject.

When we assess a new (for PointClear) business opportunity, or evaluate the results of a current client’s program, we look at the following:

Market (60%)

Message (20%)

Media (20%)

The percentages are the weights we assign to each of the “Three M’s”. What this says is that you could get “A’s” for Message and Media and still end up with an “F” if the market is off target. You end up with a “D” (albeit a low one) if the market is perfect but you failed on the message or media.

The importance of market is magnified using Account-Based Marketing processes. ITSMA developed their proprietary Account-Based Marketing process in 2004 (yes, it has been around a long time – some even cite that the concept goes back as far back as 1993 when Peppers and Rogers proposed marketing would take an increased role in the development of intelligence on key accounts: “When two marketers are competing for the same customer’s business, all other things being equal, the marketer with the greatest scope of information about that particular customer… will be the more efficient competitor.”)

Let’s define Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to set the stage for a more detailed discussion about markets:

The following is from this blog by ITSMA:

ABM is a strategic approach that combines targeted, insight-led marketing with sales to increase mindshare, strengthen relationships, and drive growth in specific new and existing accounts.


  • Client-centricity and insight: Outside-in problem solving, not sales pitches
  • Marketing and Sales partnership: Full collaboration for an integrated approach
  • Reputation, relationships and growth: Objectives beyond just near-term revenue
  • Tailored programs and campaigns: Personalized propositions, content, and “plays” to drive interest and engagement.

Unlike what you may be reading today, ABM need not be complicated or automated (automation helps to scale, but you need to start by developing a simple manual process rather than automating an “intuitive”, untested, wasteful process.)

Here is an example of what I mean by the statement that ABM need not be complicated or automated:

A client came to us with the following project:

Contact 4,200 sites, with 7,500 contacts. The objective was to find and have a discussion with a specific C-level function in hospitals that had 300 or more beds.

Red lights went on at our office because we knew there were nowhere near 4,200 hospitals with 300 or more beds. What we found was:

  1. there were just over 800 decision-making hospitals with 300 or more beds
  2. the functional area we were targeting would require approximately 1.5 contacts per hospital – or around 1,200 contacts (not 7,500)
  3. we also found that the client provided list had fewer than 400 of the targeted hospitals – regrettably, this happens all the time – most lists “suck”.

The results:

Our approach resulted in 56 highly qualified sales opportunities for a total fee of $49,835 as compared to the 27 highly qualified opportunities we would have generated doing what our client asked for a total fee of $172,200.

As outrageous as this scenario might seem, it is true – and this sort of thing is happening more frequently than any senior executive would like to think. Imagine spending $172,200 to generate 27 leads at $6,378 per lead. Instead the client spent just under $50,000 and we generated 57 leads at a cost per lead of $890.

An accurate target market is critical to the success of any campaign. Yet, I have seen executives spend $20 on a dimensional mailer and then argue over $.25 per name for a list – and many executives are mailing provided lists WITHOUT TESTING the list. Why? Accurate targeting is even more critical using Account-Based Marketing because you are going to spend more per account than using non-ABM processes. Want to talk more about this. Reach out to me at

About Author

Dan McDade is founder and CEO of PointClear, a lead generation, qualification and nurturing company that helps B2B companies with complex sales processes drive revenue. Dan is the author of the award-winning outbound sales and marketing blog, ViewPoint.

Author's Publications on Amazon

The Truth About Leads is a practical, easy-to-read book shedding light on the secrets that help you focus your B2B lead-generation efforts, align your sales and marketing organizations and drive revenue. Written by prospect development expert and PointClear founder and CEO Dan McDade, The Truth…
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