73% of B2B marketers interviewed by Forrester stated the term, “account-based marketing,” (ABM) is used “inconsistently.” When the majority of B2B marketers are confused by the state of ABM, it’s not easy to understand which software and tools to considering adding to your technology roadmap for the year to come.
Let’s start by drawing some lines with Forrester’s definition of account-based marketing.
“[Account-based marketing is] B2B strategy through which marketing and sales jointly obsess over how to pursue, establish, and grow long-term, highly engaged revenue relationships with specific customer accounts.”
ABM software is, for this discussion, any marketing app or technology which supports B2B marketing teams' execution of an account-based marketing strategy. This includes identying target accounts, engaging decision-makers and buying committees within those accounts, and monitoring marketing and sales activities at the account-level.
The Best Account-Based Marketing Software
If you’re searching for an end-to-end solution to facilitiate every aspect of your ABM programs, you’re going to be disappointed. It doesn’t exist – especially if you’re hoping to find a tool that can help you manage account relationships, execute paid account-targeted campaigns, optimize and personalize your website, and engage in the dozens of other activities that play a role in an ABM strategy.
The 2016 Forrester report Vendor Landscape: Account-Based Marketing captured a hig-level view of the quickly changing technology market. Forrester’s analysts write that “pure-play” products for ABM processes are generally superior to tools that are marketed as all-in-one ABM solutions, which is why many B2B organizations leverage multiple tools to fulfill specific aspects of ABM.
In the vendor landscape report, Forrester’s analysts recommended that you think about the ABM software landscape in relation to the four steps to Account-Based Marketing Success, which they define as:
- Select and Target Accounts
- Gather Insights into Target Accounts
- Design Engagement, including Targeted Assets and Messaging
- Orchestrate Engagement with Marketing Activity and Tools to Track Interactions
This is obviously a simplification of everything you’ll need for a successful ABM strategy, and it may not fully address the need for technology-supported sales and marketing alignment. However, in an attempt to capture the complicated landscape, we’ll use Forrester’s four success steps to illustrate where each of the softwares reviewed below fits into an ABM strategy.
Reviews of the Best Account-Based Marketing Softwares
The following reviewed softwares are curated from real users and testers, all of whom are navigating common account-based marketing challenges at B2B organizations in industries that include technology, professional services and finance. Note that it’s not possible to capture comprehensive user feedback on the entire account-based marketing software landscape in a single article. The order in which these tools are reviewed in no way reflects a ranking of value or the priority certain tools should take within your ABM tech stack.
InsideView is a sales intelligence and social selling platform that enables B2B marketers to identify target accounts, access real-time insights, and unlock a single point-of-truth on opportunities. InsideView offers several products, including platforms designed for marketing, sales and account management.
The platform specializes in data accuracy, contextually-relevant insights and relationship-based insight for ABM marketers to better understand firmographic factors. InsideView has native integrations with many other tools for B2B marketing, including many CRM and MAP - Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Oracle Fusion, Marketo and Eloqua.
Tara Lathrop, Account Executive at OneSource Virtual writes that she has used InsideView in multiple B2B marketing roles at different employers, and likes the accuracy of lead data. She particularly appreciates the depth of available insights on smaller firms and how “tightly integrated with Salesforce.com” the product is. Lathrop describes the InsideView support team as “very diligent” and responsive.
Alex Lynch, North American Marketing Manager of Workflow Solutions at Honeywell uses InsideView for targeted list development. He writes “the ability to export contacts to a CSV formatted file is a huge time-saver when it comes to importing” data into other applications. Lynch also notes the InsideView customer success team has been very responsive to improvement suggestions.
Where it falls in the ABM Landscape: InsideView supports the account selection process.
Demandbase specializes in account-based marketing software solutions, offering a tool that supports activities and alignment across advertising, marketing and sales programs. Features within Demandbase support account identification, targeted advertising, content personalization and marketing automation. The software can help B2B marketers connect campaign performance and paid account-targets ads to sales revenue. It offers several native CRM integrations.
Jim McLemore, Director of Marketing Technology at West Unified Communications Services describes DemandBase as a “good product” which is “getting better.” During his time as a user, McLemore has worked with the Demandbase team and saw the software evolve to a more “user-friendly” and “self-service” solution. McLemore says that Demandbase has made a difference in how he thinks about sales.
Michael Rosenvall, a Senior Marketing Ops Manager at SiftScience, reviewed Demandbase during his prior role as Web Operations Manager at GoodData. He found that Demandbase’s product was constantly evolving and offered quality insights to identify prospects. Rosenvall writes “Being able to accurately identify anonymous traffic to our web properties has changed how we go to market and approach accounts.”
Where it falls in the ABM Landscape: Demandbase features support identifying accounts and orchestrating engagement.
Engagiois an ABM analytics tool designed to help B2B marketers "drive new business and expand relationships with high-value accounts." Users can combine lead data from multiple internal and external sources, create multi-channel engagement strategies, and use data to score, prioritize, and measure ABM success.
Engagio's portfolio includes a series of products for B2B sales pros and marketers working in execution, management and operations. These technologies can support account insights and data aggregation, tools for making orchestrated account-based plays, as well as account-based analytics and attribution reporting.
Alyssa Fein-Davis, a sales professional at Sales Performance International (SPI), says Engagio Playmaker "enables us to truly orchestrate a strategic omnichannel approach to marketing." While the product is relatively new, she's found the customer support team is receptive and responsive to her feedback on improvements. Fein-Davis writes "now that we have this tool we are able to see the 'whole picture' of an account."
Kathy Kraysler, Director of Marketing Operations at NewStore says Engagio ABM Analytics offers the "ability to track engagement...at the account and contact level and identify the most engaged accounts overall." Krayler appreciates Engagio's integration with Salesforce CRM and describes it as an "invaluable tool for marketing."
Where it falls in the ABM landscape: Engagio's various products support gathering insights, designing engagement and orchestrating engagement.
Terminus is designed to serve as an "Account-Based Marketing Hub." B2B marketers can leverage the Terminus platform to engage key decision makers at their target accounts with advertising campaigns across web, mobile, video and social, even without having contact data for those individuals.
Users define their target audience down to the company, department, and buyer persona within Terminus, which serves as a centralized portal for testing and launching targeted display advertising. The tool also contains in-depth reporting at the account and campaign levels and integrations with tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, and LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.
Grant Fuellenbach, Director of Sales Ops and ISV Partnerships at TextUs™, says "as long as you have quality content (i.e., good advertisements) and can build reports in your CRM, Terminus is a very cool tool to get your product seen." In his former Sales Operation role at Digabit, Fuellenbach used Terminus to increase the number of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) generated each month. He also notes the product is "a great tool as long as you have a significant advertising budget."
Allison Winkle, Senior Digital Demand Coordinator at Return Path, says "it has been very beneficial for our marketing and sales team to work with accounts on this granular level." While she says ABM newcomers may need sources for campaign ideas, she's relied on her Terminus representative for training. Winkle writes "our dedicated rep is helpful and responds quickly to all of our questions...[since] we have never done account-based marketing before."
Where it falls in the ABM landscape: Terminus' capabilities enable organizations to perform actions related to identifying target accounts, gathering insights, designing engagement and orchestrating engagement.
Integrate provides a comprehensive account-based demand generation solution that enables marketers to implement always-on account-based marketing programs. B2B marketers use the Integrate Digital Marketplace to execute account-targeted digital campaigns using display, mobile, video, native ads and more. The Integrate Data Marketplace is a powerful tool to generate account-based leads, enabling marketing and sales organizations to directly engage buying committees at target accounts. The company's demand orchestration software supports top-of funnel program automation, lead processing, and full-funnel insights to scale account-based revenue.
Offering integrations with other leading ABM tools, as well as major MAP and CRM systems, Integrate enables B2B marketers to sync target-account data, implement target-account criteria, and actively manage the target-account selection process.
Patrick Walsh, a Digital Marketing Associate at Turbonomic, uses Integrate as a “centralized hub” for all of his organization’s lead capture initiatives with multiple top-of-funnel lead sources and vendors. He notes it’s saved significant time by acting as a single source for lead delivery. Walsh writes “Integrate is a no-brainer if you are running multiple lead programs with multiple vendors” and that adopting the platform has helped the Turbonomic marketing team “save... time and money by rejecting leads that are duplicates, do not having working emails or fall outside our criteria.”
Dawn Colossi, Senior Director of Worldwide Digital Marketing at Commvault has used Integrate to increase marketing-attributed deals by 450%. In order to intelligently use third-party sources for lead targeting and capture, the Commvault team needed a “thoughtful” way to carefully manage content distribution and paid lead generation performance. Colossi writes, “that’s where Integrate comes in – it’s an intelligent way to manage all the channels and measure all the performance data.”
Where it falls in the ABM Landscape: Integrate supports account-based marketing success through features that help B2B marketers gather insights for account selection, use data insights to design engagement and orchestrate engagement.
Bombora is a specialized ABM product focused on B2B intent data. The organization coordinates a "data cooperative" that monitors 30 billion monthly content consumption events from 3.4 million companies across 3,000 websites. Those content consumption events are then categorized across 3700 topics to identify when individual companies are consuming more content that usual around certain topics.
Users of Bombora can leverage this data to identify when target accounts are demonstrating potential buying signals for their product and services. Other features include fit modeling, target account list prioritization and customized engagement strategy insights.
Erika Robinson, Senior Media Manager at Look Listen, has used Bombora to solve lead generation challenges in an agency setting. She writes "Bombora has been helpful in not only identifying [key decision makers] but in finding them across the internet to convert them for our clients." While Robinson notes she has augmented the tool's reporting capabilities, she's a fan of its ease-of-use factors, writing "super easy interface to navigate and good customer service. Their team has been really easy for us to work with."
Other anonymous reviews from B2B marketers in industry and agency roles noted satisfaction with Bombora's support for segmentation activities, a "straightforward" platform, and responsive customer support representatives.
Where it falls in the ABM Landscape: Bombora supports activities related to identifying target accounts, gathering insights, and designing engagement.
Radius has a mission of helping B2B marketers "demand better prospects." Described as a predictive marketing platform, it enables ABM teams to identify and engagement with target accounts and decision-makers. The company worked in insight collection for several years prior to the launch of the marketing software in 2009, and today collects and aggregates on over 25 million companies in the U.S.
Radius users are empowered to identify ideal accounts and the identity of decision makers at these organizations, and design the launch of targeted ABM campaigns. The software also offers real-time results tracking.
Richa Shukla, Application Development Senior Analyst at Accenture UK, says the software "offers direct customer relationship management (CRM) integration, enabling marketers to visualize where they have historically had success and identify the top opportunities to pursue next." She appreciates the tool's ease-of-use and "clean" user interface.
Brandon Hawes, Director of Sales at Indeed, says Radius offers "a very simple way for reps to get additional contact info for a company or verify the info they have." While he notes the insights available can vary by target industry, he has found the greatest value in this tool as a source for verifying the quality of CRM data.
Where it falls in the ABM Landscape: Radius supports target account identification, gathering insights, designing engagement, and launching engagement.
Triblio was designed to act as a "single integrated platform" for ABM programs at mid-sized and large organizations. It offers support for both digital and paid marketing campaigns, sales-marketing alignment activities, and real-time behavioral tracking.
Users of Triblio can launch personalized content on websites and transfer new MQLs to sales in real-time. Other features support retargeting, attribution reporting and account scoring.
Melissa Meinert, Marketing Program Manager at Sales Loft, says Triblio has helped her team "successfully and easily provide relevant messaging to customers and prospects." She notes that Triblio's features are being "tweaked" as the company grows. She enjoys using this software to provide "custom messaging to different accounts or market segments."
Brendon O'Donovan, Director of Product Marketing at TrendKite, says "Triblio gives us the flexibility to deliver fully custom experiences for each of our segments, target markets - or even individual customers." His review of the software notes that users will need "basic web editing and coding experience" to fully use the features. O'Donovan also notes that Triblio's support for one-to-one marketing experiences has created efficiency in his company's sales cycle.
Where it falls in the ABM Landscape: Triblio supports designing engagement and orchestrating engagement.
LeanData is a part of the Salesforce.com (SDFC) ecosystem of products, positioning itself as "the only visual lead-routing flow-builder for Salesforce" users. The product was designed to support actionable insight into ABM leads for superior sales and marketing results. It aims to help B2B remove sources of "friction" in the sales funnel.
LeanData features include the ability to match leads to target accounts with in-tool insights into targeted decision-makers and campaign performance. It also enables lead assignment in real-time. The software offers support for attribution reporting, including an understanding of campaign influence on pipeline and revenue.
Josh Davis, Sales Operations Manager at Kount, uses LeanData for "matching new leads to existing accounts in the system to keep owners consistent" and "easy redistribution of leads." In Davis experience, this product is a necessary Salesforce add-on to address all the necessary lead routing variables used at Kount. Davis writes "ease of maintaining" the platform has been beneficial.
Matthew Lenhart, Manager of Sales Operations at PandaDoc believes LeanData can be an "incredibly valuable" product for mature ABM programs if you "have a good grasp on your current lead process and where you want to be." While Lenhart notes the product implementation process was time-intensive, he believes the outcome has been worthwhile. He writes "Lean Data has been great at reducing the number of duplicate leads and transitioning our Mid Market team to an Account Based model."
Where it falls in the ABM Landscape: LeanData can support various ABM activities for SDFC users, including gathering insights and orchestrating engagement.
Adopting the Right Software for Successful Account-Based Marketing
While there are several options reviewed here that can support many aspects of account-based marketing execution, building the ideal martech stack for ABM is complex. In addition to these specialized options, organizations also need marketing automation (MA) and customer relationship management (CRM), both of which play an essential role in paying off on the promise of ABM.
When coupled with the right tools MAP and CRM systems, B2B marketers may find success with fast-tracking ABM software that enables the orchestration of complex, multi-channel efforts. While account-based marketing isn’t easy, the best ABM software can allow real B2B marketing teams to achieve better visibility and integration throughout the entire sales funnel.
Regardless of whether you’re an experienced ABM marketer or new to an account-based strategy, there’s value in objectively measuring where your program stands against best-of-class B2B marketing programs. How much progress have you made towards effective goal setting, account targeting, content creation, engagement tactics and ABM software adoption?
Integrate’s "Developing an Account-Based Marketing Program" Workbook provides actionable advice, customizable templates and expert guidance that will help you nail your ABM fundamentals. Grab your copy today.