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Home/Blog/Scaling ABM with a Strategic Focus: Lokalise’s Industry Approach

Scaling ABM with a Strategic Focus: Lokalise’s Industry Approach

Stewart Hillhouse
Posted by Stewart Hillhouse|Published on June 12, 2024
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When Brittany Brown first joined Lokalise, the company had a sales team of around 30 SDRs and 10 AEs —a significant imbalance between the pre-sales and sales functions. The sales reps were choosing their accounts ad hoc, which wasn't a scalable or strategic approach.

To address this issue, Lokalise decided to revamp their sales strategy to be more strategic and scalable by shifting to an industry-focused approach for their ideal customer profile.

By narrowing down their target market and concentrating on specific industries, they could better tailor their sales pitches and improve their chances of success. This strategic move helped them optimize their resources and achieve better results with a smaller, more efficient team.

In this post we'll share some of their ABM tactics and a breakdown of how their new ABM funnel works.

Using An Industry-Focused ABM Strategy for Scale

To further improve the coordination of their GTM team, Lokalise’s marketing and sales teams joined forces to align on their objectives for account-based marketing (ABM) efforts. The marketing team took the lead in warming up target accounts and defining clear engagement stages to guide the ABM process.

Brittany Brown, now Head of Growth and Brand and a key player in the initiative, emphasized the importance of this alignment: "The reps were randomly choosing their accounts on their own. Sales already saw a pain in that and knew that that wasn't a scalable or strategic way to operate."

By working hand-in-hand, marketing and sales created a unified go-to-market strategy that leveraged the strengths of both teams. Marketing focused on B2B personalization tactics to engage target accounts, while sales provided valuable insights into the pain points and needs of potential customers. This collaborative approach laid the foundation for a more effective and efficient ABM program, setting the stage for improved response rates and ultimately, increased conversions through targeted website personalization.

Warming Up Accounts with Targeted Campaigns

To effectively warm up accounts and pique their interest, Lokalise's marketing team runs highly targeted campaigns that mention upcoming conferences or potential sales interactions. By highlighting relevant events and opportunities, they increase familiarity with the brand and make prospects more receptive when sales reaches out.

They do this in two ways:

Event-Based Campaigns – If Lokalise is going to attend or have a booth at a particular tradeshow event, they will run ads to their key accounts mentioning that they'll be there so that they develop some brand recognition before their prospects hit the tradeshow floor.

Ads that Lokalise runs before an event
In-person ads Lokalise uses for events

Pre-Outbound Campaigns – Before the BDR teams start to reach out to prospects from certain accounts, Lokalise will begin to run ads to these accounts so that they recognize the brand name when the BDR introduces themselves.

Ad that Lokalise runs for ABM

Initially, marketing had to prove their value to get buy-in from the sales team. They accomplished this by providing valuable intent data on accounts that were already in the buying process. Armed with this information, sales could prioritize their efforts and focus on the most promising leads.

Through strategic website personalization, Lokalise was able to significantly improve sales response rates. By tailoring the content and messaging to each visitor's specific interests and needs, they created a more engaging and relevant experience. This B2B personalization approach not only captured the attention of potential customers but also demonstrated Lokalise's commitment to understanding and solving their unique challenges.

As Lokalise continues to refine its account-based marketing strategy, the collaboration between marketing and sales becomes increasingly crucial. By working together to identify, engage, and nurture high-value accounts, they can drive more conversions and achieve their growth objectives.

Implementing an Account Qualification Framework

To further align their account-based marketing efforts, Lokalise's marketing and sales teams collaborated on creating a clear account qualification framework. They defined specific stages based on both marketing and sales actions, which helped them systematically progress accounts through the funnel.

Here's what their "split funnel" looks like:

Lokalise ABM funnel diagram

Lokalise's research revealed that having multiple engaged individuals from a target account significantly boosted conversion rates. Armed with this insight, they implemented two key stages in their qualification process: Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQA) and Sales Qualified Accounts (SQA).

MQAs were determined by marketing's assessment of an account's engagement with their website personalization, content, and campaigns. Once an account met the MQA criteria, it was passed to sales for further outreach and qualification.

The SQA stage involved sales validating the account's fit against Lokalise's ideal customer profile, budget, and readiness to buy. By establishing these clear hand-off points and criteria, marketing and sales were able to work in lockstep to efficiently move accounts from initial interest to closed deals.

Implementing this account qualification framework was a game-changer for Lokalise. It allowed them to apply B2B personalization at scale, tailor their messaging and outreach, and ultimately drive more conversions with their target accounts.

Results of the New ABM Strategy

By revamping their sales strategy and aligning marketing and sales efforts, Lokalise achieved impressive results with their new account-based marketing approach. The shift to an industry-focused ideal customer profile and the implementation of a clear account qualification framework allowed them to be more strategic and efficient in their go-to-market efforts.

One of the key outcomes was improved response rates from target accounts. By leveraging intent data and website personalization, marketing was able to warm up accounts and make them more receptive to sales outreach. This led to higher engagement and ultimately, better conversion rates.

The alignment between marketing and sales also resulted in a more unified and effective B2B personalization strategy. With both teams working towards the same objectives and using the same qualification criteria, they were able to progress accounts through the funnel more smoothly and efficiently.

Overall, Lokalise's new ABM strategy proved to be a success. By focusing on the right accounts, aligning their teams, and leveraging personalization and intent data, they were able to drive better results and scale their sales efforts in a more sustainable way. The lessons learned from their experience serve as a valuable case study for other companies looking to implement or optimize their own account-based marketing programs.

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