Grow by making everything account-based (ABX)
Ben Pollack built and finely tuned a beautifully sophisticated growth journey by making everything account-based.
Table of Contents
- What does ChartHop do?
- 👨👨👦👦 Target Audiences
- 📝 Briefly describe the growth project
- 🚀 How does this generate growth?
- 📈 How has it gone so far?
- 😍 Why is account-based everything (ABX) a great growth tactic?
- 🤔 Downsides to using ABX?
- 🏗 How to build your own ABX system
- Step 1 - Find your target Audience and Accounts
- Step 2 - Setup CRM + Triggers
- Step 3 - Create content
- Step 4 - To to market
- Step 5 - Track your results and iterate
- 💡 Advice for someone trying to build something similar?
- You can follow Ben and his growth work on LinkedIn
Apr 14, 2022
ChartHop is an HR technology tool that helps leaders across the board design, build and create transparent orgs. This not only helps drive employee engagement & productivity, but also allows everyone in an organization from HR leaders to managers stay on the same page. What’s even better is that all of this lives in a beautiful front-end interface instead of cumbersome spreadsheets.
ChartHop as a product has 2 main components:
- Backend API that normalizes ‘people data’ from all point solutions (equity management systems, tracking systems, learning platform, performance management platforms, etc.
- A front-end UX where all the data gets pulled into so the organization design can happen.
- Run people analytics by cohort (like when they started or what team they are in)
- Which managers have the highest attrition, performance, etc.
- Individual worker info like compensation, learning, obtaining OKR’s, promotion history, Myers Briggs, how they work, etc.
- HR leaders, Finance Leaders
- C-Suite, VP’s, Execs, etc.
What does account-based everything (ABX) mean?
Account-based marketing has been around for a while, but Ben sees it as flawed. Like the name suggests, it typically stops at what’s generally considered “marketing”. The problem? You’re building a relationship with your community, so why would you only personalize part of their Journey? The solution is ABX.
How ChartHop applied a new method
Ben’s goal as Growth Marketer is to grow the ChartHop’s revenue opportunity (i.e. Pipeline) and make sure it’s solid enough to hit super aggressive revenue targets. LinkedIn was one of the only platforms where everyone in the above target audiences “hangs out” during their work day (when they’re at a state of mind to buy a B2B product). Their target professionals (i.e. ICP) are on LinkedIn because that’s where their teams and potential candidates are. They are on it daily (Ben knows this from their own research). The business context is also playful - it’s getting more fun every day. You see less cringy motivational posts and more memes and tactics.
More traditionally, if you were to give someone, say, $100k to target these company leaders, it would be done through field events, manual outreach, etc. Not anymore. Ben knew LinkedIn not only allowed him immediately target his EXACT market, but he could specify based on the revenue, growth rate and demographic standpoint they know will convert. You may love or hate LinkedIn, but you cannot deny it simply has invaluable data you can’t find anywhere else. LinkedIn provides all this information, making it the best B2B channel in both organic and paid acquisition.
Most traditional LinkedIn tactics are... distasteful. Demo ads, pop-ups to sign up for demo, lead forms within LinkedIn, etc. But you can’t expect someone in a fresh audience to just immediately convert.
ChartHop runs a waterfall funnel – they spread far and wide a couple brand awareness campaigns (cool animations where only CTA is to check out website). It’s not really lead gen, just relevant and valuable content. Things like guides, resources, etc. They’re not trying to get people to sign up, just introducing to the ChartHop brand.
The value comes in building remarking audiences off of the engagement to these adverts. These can be more strict and value focused because they know what their target engages with. So by the time they send a demo and case study, they are well aware who ChartHop is and it leads to a conversion. It’s done in a way that’s natural, feels good and is slow.
This method of ABX has put millions of dollars into their pipeline growth, and generated hundreds of thousands in new booking ARR in less than a year! Already the channel has generated over $300k.
We’ve all learned to ignore spammy and irrelevant messages. This is why so many marketing channels like paid ads and cold emailing get a bad reputation. ABX changes all of this by identifying who exactly has the problem you can solve. Not only that, it lets you meet the user exactly when they need the solution, and allows you to tailer the messaging for exactly their needs. These are the kinds of marketing messages people want to be receiving.
- Higher conversion rates
- More revenue
- Happier and more devoted customers
- A higher ROI on your marketing spend
There is no denying that these systems are complex and hard to build. It’s a complex system that involves you building multiple growth channels (email, content, paid ads, direct sales, social media, etc.) to fully utilize the scale.
Some of these tools can also be expensive to use if you are bootstrapping. It’s best to utilize this system after you already have some sales under your belt.
- Finding the exact audience on LinkedIn
- Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find your prospects.
- If you have existing customers, take that info (company size, industry, etc)
- If you don’t have many customers, consider testing a few targets your hypothesizing will work.
- Create audiences with LinkedIn ads
- Leveraging filters like Title, Company Size, Growth Rate, Industry and more → high conversion audience list
- Import your Accounts (and Leads/Contacts) into a CRM
- Ben and his team use Salesforce, and this is highly recommended because of how many products have existing integrations (more on this in Step 3).
- If you don’t use Salesforce, make sure you use a CRM that can identify triggers with any external systems you use.
- Outline your important triggers
- This will depend on your business. If you’re a B2B product, it might be “fundraise” after a startup raises a round and goes on a hiring spree. Maybe your product becomes relevant when a startup hits a certain size.
- Think critically about what “event” happens to the decision maker at a company which leads them to making a purchase.
- Connect your triggers to a signal based audience tool like Primer
- Primer connects directly to your CRM and LinkedIn. This will allow you to synchronize your lead touch points across multiple platforms.
- As an example, imagine you identify a company that’s perfect for your product. The decision makers in the company all start getting served your brand content for weeks across platforms like LinkedIn and Google. By the time your sales team sends you an email, they already know who you are.
- For more information on this new approach of Signal Based Marketing, check out this blog post by Primer.
Content marketing is its own animal, but you will need great content for your sales funnel to work.
- Build resources
- What problems does your audience have? Figure them out, solve them, and create content around the solutions.
- For companies, things like guides, resources and how-to videos work very well.
- Create things that are GENUINELY valuable. Don’t focus on what you are trying to get the person to do, focus on solving their problem.
- Create your ads on LinkedIn
- Like with your content, your goal is not to necessarily generate an action here. It’s brand awareness!
- Make sure your ads are solving someone’s problem at the right time. LinkedIn (and Google) are perfect for this.
- Automates new leads with intent signal that puts them on a flow once you’ve figured out a system with good conversion rates.
- Spread on organic social media
- Just because you are running LinkedIn ads doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use organic social media. All of this plays a part in your ABX system.
- Post on your own pages, but also comment on influential posts that are relevant.
- Paid social - launch your ads!
- Trigger your automated email systems, which will depend on your own product and flow.
- Re-use your content in your email flow.
- Make sure everything is incredibly targeted and personalized.
- See what ads performed better than others. How can you improve them?
- Run different style ads with different creatives and different copy.
- Use what works well in your content to inform your ads.
- Generate new audiences, new content and new emails constantly. You can’t set and leave!
- This tactic works well when there is VERY close alignment organizationally between sales and marketing.
- Have a ‘Account-Based-Everything’ philosophy where your messaging is aligned with everything and the data they know.
- Customize communication based on the specific info about their company. All valuable brand building starts to combine over time.
- This tactic is not about one platform or tool. It’s about using everything together in cohesion as a mature and scalable marketing system.
- These are advanced systems to build! You can figure it out yourself, but likely you’ll need some help from experts in complex tools like Salesforce.