ABM for Partners: 3 Steps to Recruiting Success

There are very few businesses that succeed without the help of any type of partner. Whether the partners sell, market, consult, collaborate or influence, they can help to scale a company’s reach and ultimately, revenue.

That being said, not all partners are created equal. Rather than cast a wide net to lure a large quantity of partners, the key is to focus on high quality partners with which to form a symbiotic relationship and achieve mutual goals. As you look at developing a partner attraction campaign, an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) approach allows you to focus on the partners who will add the most value.

At Demandbase, we recently decided to put our ABM chops to use as we set out to attract new partners to help us grow our own footprint. I’ve boiled our process down to three easy steps, so you, too, can try it out:

Create a Target Account list – Partner sales and marketing sit down to discuss criteria for the ideal partner and match accounts that fit the bill. We chose 40 accounts, but this can vary, based on your goals.

Identify Target Titles – Who is the partnership decision-maker within these accounts? Identify this person and confirm their contact information.

Choose the Campaign Components – Include online and offline tactics and make sure you have a clear CTA at the end. Here’s an example of the online/offline pieces of our campaign:

  • We started with targeted, personalized web ads. Within the first 2 weeks, 22% of our target accounts had visited multiple pages on our site. (Don’t forget to determine baseline metrics before you begin so you have a point of reference!)
  • During the third week of this program, the partner sales managers sent personal emails, letting the contact know to expect something in the mail (yes, you read it right – actual direct mail!).
  • Later that week, the direct mail was delivered.
  • Following delivery, another email sent to confirm they received the mail and letting them know they would follow up with a phone call.
  • The next day, the partner sales team began direct phone calls to the individuals, with the CTA to schedule a meeting and attend an event.

Eight weeks after the targeted ads began, I can say that 40% of targeted companies visited our website, we have engaged with 40% as well, and we have 30% in pipeline as a result of this campaign. Again, these are prospective partners with whom we had no prior contact.

Once you engage and sign the partners, the next step is to create a joint Account-Based Marketing strategy with them to drive revenue. Check out this blog by one of our field marketing experts to learn how to do just that!

I’ve been working in partner recruitment/marketing for a very long time, and all I can say is…“ABM, where have you been all my life?!?”