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Switching to account-based marketing is a major strategic decision that many B2B organizations are currently facing. Many of the benefits are clear (e.g. sales and marketing alignment), but the costs, especially with the setup and implementation, are unclear and daunting.

While it’s possible to dip your toes in the account-based marketing water without making major changes to your martech stack, to fully commit to an ABM strategy, there are technical changes that need to be made in the CRM centered around switching from leads to contacts.

We recently completed this transition in Salesforce, and, from the other side, we can see the total effort that went into the transition.



Having gone through the entire process, we learned a lot, from the questions that should be asked beforehand from both a technical and strategic perspective, to tips and tricks, to mistakes that we made, that can save days -- even weeks -- of work.

For example, on the technical side, we learned the value of planning. When switching from leads to contacts, not all of the fields are available by default and not all of the fields are available even with customization. Find out what your stakeholders absolutely need and do some investigation into whether the data will be available as contact fields. It’s important to identify potential deal-breakers upfront so that you can try to find workarounds before you invest a significant amount of time.

And on the strategic side, we learned how both our outbound demand marketing and our inbound content marketing needed to adapt in order to leverage the new capabilities of using target contact lists. In particular, with richer persona data and a better understanding of accounts as a whole, we are able to drive deeper engagement with target accounts with persona-specific ad campaigns and content.

We compiled all of our learnings and turned them into an ebook -- one that we wished we’d had about a year ago. It’s 30 pages long and includes six steps for making the switch from a technical perspective and seven steps for making the switch from a strategic perspective. If you’re thinking about making the switch to ABM or are currently going through the process, I hope you check it out.