Account-Based Marketing has become a widely hyped part of many B2B companies’ strategy over the last two decades. To help streamline this process, HubSpot created the Target Accounts tool. But we’ve found many HubSpot users are not aware this tool exists, much less its power to help identify and market to companies that are a fit for your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Let’s look at this oft-underutilized tool itself, how it facilitates ABM and how you might leverage it for your business.
Enter HubSpot CRM
So, how does HubSpot fit into the ABM landscape? HubSpot was initially built upon inbound methodology and strategies to attract, engage and delight consumers as they journey from interested prospect to loyal customer. But over the last couple of years, they’ve shifted toward a more complete business solution, aiming for alignment between all customer-facing teams – marketing, sales and service. Along with this revops focus comes a shift in their software and thus appeared their ABM tools, dubbed “Target Accounts.”
The HubSpot Target Account tool gives sales and marketing teams the ability to concentrate on accounts with the highest potential. By narrowing their focus in an intentional, targeted manner, B2B companies can increase their chances of engaging with prospects who will become customers.
Not only does the Target Accounts tool help create alignment among all teams involved, it also helps create a more relevant, personalized experience for prospects. When prospects have their pertinent questions answered and see how a product or service benefits them in their current situation, you end up with leads who are a better fit for your products or services. That means sales and marketing staff can weed out the less-than-ideal prospects and put their collaborative effort toward those interested in buying. Prospects who are a better fit mean increased chances of closing deals. Quality over quantity, right? That’s not always the case but winning larger (or ongoing) deals with less effort is sure to boost ROI. Win!
Sounds great, right? Let’s look at how it works, starting with setting up and configuring the Target Account tool. To do so, either Super admin or account access is required. Here you can find detailed instructions but let’s hit the main points.
Getting Started with the Target Accounts Tool
The key to seeing maximum value from this tool is clearly defining your ABM strategy. This is not the place to skimp on careful consideration or time spent. In addition to activating the tool, it’s important to understand the new properties you create for it, clearly identify your ICP tiers and how you will add companies to your Target Accounts index.
To get started, a Super admin or user with account access permission needs to navigate to Contacts > Target Accounts and click “Get Started.”
A series of prompts will take you through the initial setup, starting with three new default properties, one for contacts and two for companies, created by HubSpot. They are:
Buying Role: This property identifies the role that a contact plays during the sales process. Are they a decision maker, budget holder or blocker? Contacts can have more than one role, and they can share the same role with another contact. There are nine out-of-the-box roles, and you can add roles. Generally, the default roles, on their own or in combination with each other, provide you with the insight you need.
Target Account: This ID’s the companies your organization wants to pursue within your ABM strategy. It’s a simple ‘True’ or ‘False’ property; Target Accounts are marked ‘True’ and, as one might expect, they will appear in your Target Accounts Home view.
Ideal Customer Profile Tier: This property is used to indicate how closely a company matches your ICP. Companies who are a terrific fit would be Tier 1. Next-best would be Tier 2. Tier 3 companies might be good candidates but aren’t the very best fit and not a high priority. Note: you can add more tiers here if you’d like, though we recommend only doing so if your tiers are well-developed and thought out. You can also edit this property to align with your strategy.
This property is really the crux of the Targeted Account tool; it lays the foundation for your ABM efforts. Sales and marketing need to work in tandem to identify which accounts will comprise each tier. By analyzing your current client base, you’ll glean insight into their commonalities. Some of those common attributes that can help define ideal customer profile tiers include annual revenue, country/region, industry, number of employees and state/region – all of which happen to be default HubSpot properties. You can also look at properties like lead source, product lines, type of business (e.g., B2B, B2C, or Both), and company lead score. Configure the parameters to best paint a picture of your ICP tiers. Use as many or as few properties as you like – the key is using enough to clearly define each tier.
If it seems like we’re harping on ICP tiers, we are. And with good reason. Zeroing in on them means companies can use a personalized approach when engaging with prospective customers. Marketers can use this valuable knowledge to craft messages that resonate with their audience – speaking to their concerns and solving the problems they face. And that increases the likelihood of getting their attention and starting meaningful conversations. Tailored, intentional messaging helps build stronger relationships with decision-makers, fostering trust and credibility throughout the buyer’s journey. By addressing the specific needs of target accounts, organizations can deliver exceptional experiences that set them apart from the competition and position themselves as trusted partners.
One caveat about your ICP and targeting criteria: they are not “set it and forget it” parameters. They need frequent analysis, refining and tweaking to fully leverage their power. Communication between sales and marketing is crucial in maintaining these criteria, particularly as you expand your ABM efforts.
Integration with Other CRM Tools
The Target Accounts tool works nicely with other aspects of HubSpot’s Marketing and Sales hubs. Users with Sales or Marketing Hub Professional or above can incorporate the following CRM tools with Target Accounts:
Segmentation: The three new properties mentioned above can be used to segment your companies or contacts. Use each of the properties on their own or layer them together. You can also combine them with other properties for further segmentation.
Ads: This feature integrates with the ABM tool. For example, you can connect your LinkedIn Ads account to HubSpot and use it to create targeted Ads audiences. You might sync to a LinkedIn audience based on the companies in your Target Accounts or those that correspond to a certain ICP tier, for instance. This helps place your ads in from of people who work at those selected accounts.
Workflows: You can use workflows to set values for your new ABM properties. It can save time over manually selecting them, especially if your ICP and segmentation strategy are solidly defined.
Lists: Upon activation of Target Accounts, HubSpot automatically adds a folder, titled “Account-Based Advertising”’ to Lists. In the folder you will find active lists of the four default values for your newly created (also automatically!) contact property “Buying Role” as well as a list of all contacts whose Buying Role is known. Rounding out these new lists is “all contacts with buying role” and “all contacts with Target Accounts.” These can be cloned, tweaked and used for further segmentation as you develop your campaigns.
Campaigns: You can use the Campaigns tool to build campaigns that align with your marketing endeavors, just as you can with regular campaigns. By associating the various assets used in your campaigns, you can track their performance and efficacy.
Leveraging Tool Insights
The HubSpot Target Account tool offers advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling teams to measure the effectiveness of their strategies and campaigns. All the data is concentrated on the Target Accounts index page, which serves as ‘command central’ for the tool. By tracking key metrics such as engagement rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated from target accounts, sales and marketing professionals can gain valuable insights into the success of their personalized outreach efforts. These insights allow teams to refine their strategies, make data-driven decisions, and continually improve their targeting and messaging, resulting in increased efficiency and higher conversion rates.
As you can see, HubSpot’s Target Account tool (when used and managed properly) can be a game-changer for sales and marketing teams aiming to maximize their impact and success. By thoughtfully implementing, using and maintaining the tool, companies can concentrate on high-potential accounts. It’s one more tool that can increase chances of driving sustainable growth.
Interested in learning how this valuable tool can work for your business or have general questions about HubSpot CRM? Give us a shout; we’re always happy to help.
Christine is a Marketing Technologist at Simple Machines Marketing. She has a background in marketing, sales & journalism – and likes to blend them together to help clients expand their business. Outside of work, you'll find Christine whipping things up in the kitchen, hanging with family & friends or exploring all the fabulous things Minneapolis has to offer.