Free guide: How to generate your first ABM opportunities in 3 months

Free guide: How to generate your first ABM opportunities in 3 months

In this guide, you will learn how to launch your first account-based marketing (ABM) campaign and generate sales-qualified opportunities for your B2B SaaS in under 3 months.


Who is ABM for?

Account-based marketing is for B2B (SaaS) businesses with ticket sizes between $10k and $100k.

If you don’t fit this kind of deal size, don’t begin with it. At least not as a first acquisition channel.

Why is ABM the right first acquisition channel?

If your average contract value is 30k$, and a customer stays with you for 4 years, then the Life Time Value of this customer is $120k. That makes higher initial acquisition efforts worth it.

At 30k€ per year, you don’t need that many clients to double your size. With only 10 new clients, you increase revenue by $300k.


Why does ABM work?

What many companies that reach $1m do wrong is they try to cold call prospects to get product demos. The problem is these prospects might not be aware of the problem. They will be more annoyed by your call than anything else.

Imagine you have 100 people in a room and you sell cars. At any point in time, out of these 100 people, only 3% will be actively looking to buy a car. So if you talk for an hour about all the great features that your latest car has, 97 people out of the 100 will not be interested and will see you as a boring salesperson.

However, if you use that same hour to explain the 5 things you should do to prepare your car for the winter, you most likely will interest 60-70% of the people in the room! You will profile yourself as an expert, not a salesperson. The 3 people who are looking to buy a car will reach out to ask for your advice. And the rest of them will remember you when they are ready.

This is why ABM works. You talk to people you know will be in the market at some point to buy your product, you just don’t know when. So the question is more about when these prospects will become customers than if they will become customers.


ABM doesn’t require huge costs or efforts

The ABM campaign that we’re going to set up today is a “market research” play.

The benefits of this play are:

  • It’s easy to get started.
  • It doesn’t require many resources.
  • You’ll learn a lot about your customers.
  • You won’t have to wait months to get results.

Here’s how to get started, step by step:

Step 1: Set up your ABM environment

ABM is about focusing on a select list of accounts instead of targeting an entire market and hoping to identify qualified leads.

Just imagine having a list of 200 companies you want as customers. You know the names of the exact people you need to get in touch with and sell to. You would definitely not use the same traditional marketing tactics as you used to. This is what ABM is about.

So you need to set up this list of target accounts. To get there, you need to know the criteria to (dis)qualify accounts to integrate that list.

This is why ABM always starts by defining an ideal customer profile (ICP).

Think about criteria such as

  • revenue
  • tech stack
  • geography
  • industry/vertical
  • employee headcount

Only then can you identify a first list of ideal target accounts.

Start with 20-30 accounts to launch this first campaign. You can expand the list over time.

Once you have your list of target accounts, you will need to add the members of the buying committees to your CRM and find their email and phone number.

Step 2: Send out invitations to your market research

We will start with a market research play for your first ABM campaign.

Don’t worry too much about understanding the entire play right now. Just follow the steps in this guide, and it will all make sense in the end.

The aim of this step is to get members of the buying committees you are targeting to accept to participate in a market research interview you are hosting.

To achieve this, we will set up an automatic sequence of 3 emails to invite them.

Between each email, you will also set up the creation of a task for an SDR to call the prospects to invite them.

The total sequence lasts 15 days.

You will then need to create an ABM-specific pipeline in your CRM. This will allow you to track the positive answers to your invitations.

You will also need to create a custom activity type called “market research interview”.

You can then set up an automation to create a deal in the ABM pipeline each time a “market research interview” activity is scheduled with a prospect.

If you didn’t get the prospect to accept DO THIS

Step 3: Interview your prospects as a journalist

The next step is to interview the prospects that have accepted to join your market research. You will need to have defined a market research topic and angle in advance. This should be interesting and specific to your ICP.

Once you know the topic and angle of your research, you can write a list of questions. The interview shouldn’t last more than 15-20 minutes. This will allow you to do some small talk to build the relationship while limiting the length of the full meeting to 30 minutes.

Many people fear the moment when they’ll have to interview prospects. They fear their guest will feel uncomfortable talking to a supplier and the discussion will feel “salesy”.

There is one simple trick to avoid this: get into the mindset of a journalist.

You are not selling anything at this point. You just have to act like a journalist asking questions and wanting to learn more about a specific topic. Don’t overthink this.

We recommend using to record your interviews remotely. It lets you get the best possible audio and video quality from your recordings while avoiding any possible internet freeze. They have clients such as Mark Zuckerberg, Gary Vee, and Hillary Clinton, so you can trust it.

Step 4: Activate them with personalized content

Once the interview is over, the real game starts. This is when you activate your prospect by leveraging what you have learned during the interview.

You will be sending 3 emails after the interview:

  • a first email the next day thanking your guest for participating
  • a second email 3 days later with the draft of a LinkedIn post you wrote about the interview
  • a third email 5 days later saying the LinkedIn post is live and that a like or comment would be highly appreciated

These emails are great for building relationships. But the gold is in the post-scriptum.

In each follow-up email, you will add a text snippet that addresses a specific challenge that the prospect has talked about during the interview. Here’s an example:

P.S. during our interview, you mentioned how you struggle to get all stakeholders aligned on a pricing strategy, here’s a short video about how Michael overcame this challenge by applying a value-based pricing methodology. Happy to discuss it.

You may have guessed it: you will need to anticipate this part by creating a set of customer testimonial videos that address specific challenges, fears, or pains your customers often encounter before working with you.

You can then create a list of 10-15 snippets and add one to your follow-up email with a single click, addressing the exact problem your prospect has mentioned to you.

You will also have to write a LinkedIn post summarizing each conversation you had. We recommend using a simple framework: “5 things I learned talking with {{Name}}”.

Finally, you will want to track all these efforts and their impact on your pipeline. Therefore, you will create a workflow in your CRM to automatically transfer the deal from the ABM pipeline to the main pipeline when a prospect reacts to one of the follow-ups and asks for a demo.


In summary: keep it simple.

Identify 20 accounts to start with. Invite them to a market research play and give them some great insights. Ensure you provide them with context about what you do and how you do it (snippets) so that they will come to you when they want to act on the topic you are solving.

Step 1: Set up your ABM environment

Step 2: Send out invitations to your market research

Step 3: Interview your prospects as a journalist

Step 4: Activate them with personalized content

Set up one SDR calling people for 60-90 minutes every day (more on how to manage them in our Sales Management guide, coming soon), and here are the results you can expect in one quarter:

  • 40-50 interviews
  • 7-10 sales-qualified opportunities
  • 1-3 closed deals


Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

  1. ABM OS – the entire playbook to launch your first ABM campaign here.
  2. Lead with Excellence – the podcast about B2B SaaS growth here.
Scroll to Top