The Art of Account Planning: Mastering the High-Stakes Game

October 13, 2023
5 mins

Account Selection: More Art Than Science

Embarking on account planning is like mastering an art form—a mix of precision and creativity shaping marketing success. In this blog, we explore the details of account selection, providing insights into choosing the right accounts and reducing the risk of investing in the wrong ones. Choosing the right accounts in B2B is crucial, akin to walking a tightrope where one misstep can be costly. Investing in the wrong accounts diverts budget and time from potential customers ready to make a purchase. Dive into the basics of ABX (Account-Based Everything) selection, and discover tips to improve your approach and minimize the risk of choosing the wrong accounts.

The Three Steps of ABX Account Selection

1. Define Your Ideal Buyer: Painting a Vivid Picture

Constructing your ideal buyer persona is not merely a data-driven task,it's an artful process of vivid description. Rather than confining your understanding to existing data, imagine and detail your perfect customer. For instance:

Imagine your perfect customer:

- Firmly rooted in the tech industry

- In need of cutting-edge software solutions

- Seeking digital transformation within the next six months

- Employs a diverse IT team with expertise in cloud computing

- Operates in a competitive market and values innovation

- Displays a preference for vendors with a strong commitment to sustainability

Now, let's break down the data needed to pinpoint this ideal buyer:

- Intent: Absolutely crucial to gauge their readiness for digital transformation

- Industry Code (SIC or NAICS): A definite yes to ensure alignment with the tech sector

- IT Team Size: Essential to understand the scale of their technological operations

- Keywords in Job Postings: Valuable for uncovering the language and priorities of their recruitment efforts

- Growth Trajectory: Critical to ascertain their trajectory and scalability in the competitive market

- Technographics: Vital for understanding their existing technology stack and compatibility with your solutions

While Company Revenue, Total Number of Employees, and Number of Locations can provide valuable insights, they may not be immediately necessary for crafting your initial buyer persona. Consider prioritizing these details as you refine and expand your understanding over time.

2. Identify High-Probability Accounts Using Intent Data

In the world of picking the right accounts, think of it like using a handy acronym: FIRE—Fit, Intent, Relationship, and Engagement. Focus on Intent and Engagement, they give you a good sense of an account's readiness to decide. Grab hold of intent data to widen your perspective on the overall market and prioritize selected accounts based on how likely they are to make a purchase. It's like having a compass to guide you toward the accounts that are truly ready to engage.

3. Pick an ABX Style: Choosing Your Canvas

Choosing your ABX style is a bit like picking your canvas before creating art. Imagine it as deciding whether you want a personalized 1-to-1 approach, a more intimate 1-to-few strategy, or the broader strokes of a 1-to-many initiative—it's all about finding what works best for your goals. If you're just starting out, pick one style and become a pro before exploring others. It's like mastering one stroke at a time to craft your marketing masterpiece.

Navigating the Data Maze:

In the world of data, it's like navigating a maze—tricky but crucial. Be cautious, especially with techno- or firmographic data. Sometimes, specialized info might not be spot-on, and relying too much on it can steer you in the wrong direction. Resist the urge to get too fancy with data, instead, keep it simple and stick to information that's reliable and directly relevant to avoid unnecessary detours in your decision-making journey.


In the world of ABX account planning, things might not always have clear answers. Your role is more like an art than a science because of this uncertainty. Get inspired by the details we covered in this blog and let the artistry of ABX account planning lead your strategic decisions. It's all about blending precision and creativity for successful marketing.

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