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Account Hierarchies: The Key Ingredient in Salesforce ABM Strategy

Account Hierarchies: The Key Ingredient in Salesforce ABM Strategy

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Account-based marketing (ABM) is a powerful strategy to target and engage high-value audiences. But to work effectively, it requires a significant operational lift to ensure that your team is making the most out of every marketing effort. That’s where account hierarchies are essential.

For starters, understanding and focusing on your audience of interest will help your team start to develop their strategy. But trying to identify target accounts, understand where those accounts sit within an enterprise-level company, and hone in on key stakeholders is frustrating with misaligned and disconnected account data. 

This is especially true when you’re targeting companies with hundreds of subsidiaries or ones that have gone through recent mergers or acquisitions. You could be throwing marketing dollars down the drain and creating friction between sales, marketing, and your customer.

If you want to ensure your marketing team’s success, they need the right tools, processes, and insights in place to manage and nurture leads into customers. And the groundwork for this starts with an account hierarchy strategy that has clean, connected account data to serve as a frame of reference for your entire go-to-market team.

Don’t know what an account hierarchy is? We’ll explain.

What are Account Hierarchies in Salesforce?

An account hierarchy in Salesforce is an organizational structure that creates a connected view of a company. Account hierarchies can help visualize the subsidiaries of a parent company, business units, important contacts, opportunities, and other valuable information. 

Why should you care? 

If you’re all about bridging the customer journey between systems and teams, having a full view of how your accounts are connected is the difference between looking at a pile of puzzle pieces and putting them together to make a complete picture.  

Aligning target accounts between marketing and sales makes your account-based strategy more effective. If everyone has the same view of the enterprise account structure, everyone works together for a more complete customer journey.  Your sales teams will have the context they need for quality conversations and your marketing operations teams can make data-driven decisions for their campaigns. 

Why Account Hierarchies Take Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy to the Next Level

For your ABM strategy to be as effective as possible, it’s critical to have a clear picture of your target accounts. When marketing operations can effectively understand the relationships between the accounts, the risk of mistargeting is reduced and your account-based marketing strategy becomes an account-based everything strategy. 

Here are four reasons why account hierarchies are key to the success of an ABM strategy: 

1. Enhance targeting & segmentation with a complete view of accounts

It’s difficult to make data-driven decisions when you can’t trust your data. Having an automated account hierarchy tool in place helps marketing operations teams better understand the relationship between different accounts and the individuals within them. 

With this information available, your team will have the knowledge they need to influence an ideal customer profile (ICP) and identify the most high-value accounts to target. This is the foundation for creating personalized marketing campaigns and increasing the likelihood of generating a high ROI.  

2. Strengthen marketing & sales collaboration with enterprise account alignment

Implementing a strong ABM strategy helps you optimize the time invested by both your marketing and sales teams.

 Are you sending leads to sales that aren’t being followed up on? Clear account hierarchies provide a common framework that makes it possible to collaborate effectively and ensure all teams are working towards the same goals and target accounts. 

For example, marketing can implement a “land and expand” approach to ABM, where you “land” a deal with one contact and “expand” to other departments or selling across the entire account hierarchy. Marketing matches the efforts of sales by targeting efforts to accounts within the same family tree and everyone is happy.

3. Improve customer experience with more accurate matching and routing

Messy data leads to a messy experience for both you and your prospects. 

Enterprise sales is a complex selling motion and without account hierarchies, you run the risk of ineffective matching and routing or duplicate accounts. Both sales and marketing teams can experience serious consequences as a result of these scenarios.

For example, an account conflict can occur if a small or midsize business is routed to an enterprise representative or lead-to-opportunity conversions can be negatively impacted. This can cause internal confusion and frustration and prospects might even fall under the impression that your organization is not suitable for them to be doing business with.

4. Streamline reporting and analytics with better data quality

At the end of the day, you want to evaluate which of your marketing efforts were most effective. Being able to report on your account hierarchies makes it easier to track customer interactions and attribute different touchpoints to specific contacts and accounts. That’s a big win for marketing attribution! 

Account hierarchies also reduce duplicate accounts. So with improved data quality and a reduced account footprint, it’s easier to make sense of what works and what doesn’t for additional retargeting campaigns.

Hierarchies in action: It’s time to look at the full picture

The key to building a strong account-based strategy is gaining a holistic understanding of your customer. To do that, you need clean, connected account data. Account hierarchies use a framework that can provide you with both to help you supercharge your account-based efforts. 

With insights into an organization’s structure, account hierarchies enable:

  • Better targeting and personalization that improve sales and marketing alignment
  • Enhanced account intelligence
  • Streamlined lead-to-account matching
  • More efficient resource allocation

We’ll also add that it makes life for your revenue team easier, too! Account hierarchies can be built manually or with tools that automate the building and maintenance. Due to the complex nature of account relationships, an automated approach often mitigates the time and effort needed to keep hierarchies up to date and built around your go-to-market strategy. 

To automatically build and visualize account hierarchies in your Salesforce org, Complete Hierarchies can create a complete and accurate picture of an entire corporate family tree. Complete Hierarchies is the first automated account hierarchy solution for Salesforce and has been used by 1Password, Zoom, and Asana to help overcome the limitations of Salesforce. 

Get Help with Account Hierarchies and ABM Strategies

Want to learn more? You can visit Traction Complete to discover their suite of Salesforce solutions for automated account hierarchies, lead routing, and data cleanup. And then reach out to the team at Sercante to get the tools all integrated into your marketing strategy.

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  • David Nelson is the CEO of Traction Complete. The company develops a suite of RevOps apps for Salesforce that automates data cleanup, account hierarchies, matching, and routing – so that people can manage complex data, effortlessly. His mission is to help customers like Asana, Cisco, and DocuSign simplify, save time, and scale faster. Before founding Traction Complete, David was the Director of Product Management at Traction on Demand, the world’s largest solely dedicated Salesforce consulting company that was recently acquired by Salesforce. He previously founded his own company after working as product manager at Blackboard.

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