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Let’s talk ABM: 8 ways to master ABM as a team of one

In a recent episode of Let's talk ABM, we spoke with Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning, about the ins and outs of launching ABM solo. Here, we dive into the key takeaways.


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Nicky Kemp

strategicabm 550 60

May 25 2023 - 10min Read Date published: Date modified: 2023-08-22


ABM takes a village...but what if there is only one of you? 

Does that exclude you from doing Account-based Marketing? 

There is much to do. There are many moving parts. There are many things to orchestrate. 

So, when you’re a team of one – how do you manage it?

In a recent episode of Let’s talk ABM, we had the opportunity to speak with Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning, about the ins and outs of launching ABM solo. 

In the interview (full recording here), we discussed:

  • How to do ABM as a team of one
  • Why a Sales background makes Justin a better ABMer
  • His greatest ABM learning
  • Advice for anyone starting out with ABM

Let's talk ABM

So, let’s take a look at some of Justin’s top tips:

8 ways to master ABM as a team of one

1. Research different methodologies

Account-based Marketing may have been around for over 20 years, but to this day it is still massively misunderstood. 

While some may claim it is nothing more than direct mail, landing pages and personalized ads, the truth is that ABM is so much more than that! 

But the beauty of ABM is that there is no one singular methodology. 

What works for someone else’s ABM program won’t necessarily work for yours, and vice versa. There are countless tactics, methods and approaches to Account-based Marketing – and that’s why it’s leading the way to the future of B2B.

It’s versatile. It’s adaptable. And it’s moldable to your personal business goals. 

As a team of one in ABM, your best chance for success is to research different methodologies, and experiment until you find one that works for your unique business case. Making mistakes is part of the process, so don’t be afraid to try new techniques.

ABM readiness workshop

“There is not one methodology to ABM. And that's what I find so beautiful about ABM... that there's so many different methodologies to it that you can do.” – Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning

2. Adopt a Sales mindset

ABM and Sales are closer than you might think. 

While it may have ‘Marketing’ in the name, ABM is hyper-focused on the language of accounts, building relationships and nurturing loyalty – all of which are strikingly familiar to the world of Sales.

When launching ABM, having a background in Sales can put you one step ahead of the curve. Not only are you better placed to build a strong rapport with your Sales team, but you’re already tuned into the language of Sales. You know how to get their buy-in, how to communicate wins and learnings, and how to build relationships that last. 

That’s not to say you need to have a background in Sales to succeed – but you do have to be prepared to adopt a Sales mindset. 

So, go into the program looking through a Sales lens. What accounts are the best fit for your company? What data and insights can you use to engage with them? And how can you show the decision-makers you understand them, and their struggles?

“Without Sales, ABM is nothing, almost. You need Sales, you need that team to buy into this. Whether that's BDRs, whether that's Account Executives, whether that's whatever – you need the Sales organization to buy into this” – Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning

ABM Lunch and Learn

3. Prepare to be agile

ABM is challenging, and generally requires an entire village to launch successfully. So, if you’re going into ABM as a team of one, you need to be prepared to be agile.

The world of Account-based Marketing is fast-moving. There are always new technologies to explore, techniques to adopt, and creative strategies to test – so you have to be ready to think and act fast if you hope to stay ahead of the curve.

While having support on your ABM journey makes a world of difference, going it alone allows you to make decisions quickly, with less friction from other team members. You have the freedom to experiment and change direction without conflict, but that doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself.

Throughout your program, the insight, expertise and skills of every department will be needed to help you take flight. 

“I think that's one of the good things about being a team of one, is that you can move quickly. And if things don't work, you can stop it, replace it real quick, and move on.” – Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning

4. Manage your time effectively

As a team of one, you’re going to be stretched thin. From creative to reporting to strategy – you’ll be expected to manage multiple projects at once, and it’s going to take a lot of time and effort.

That’s why learning how to manage your time effectively will be paramount to the wellbeing of you and your program. 

Block out your calendar, prioritize what’s most important, and know how to get the most out of your time.

“You've got to run multiple projects at once. And being a team of one, that can be really difficult. Can be a bit stressful. So, you’ve got to manage your time and manage your calendar effectively.” – Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning

ABM Playbook


5. Build relationships with other teams

ABM was never meant to be a single-person effort. Even if you haven’t yet built a fully-fledged ABM team, you shouldn’t feel like you’re on your own in the trenches. 

Every team in your organization has different strengths. The key is to use each to your advantage – from Product Marketing to Customer Success, to Sales to Demand Gen.

Squeeze them for insights, trends and expertise that you otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to, and build trust between your teams so everyone feels comfortable sharing successes and learnings. 

That cross-team collaboration is the secret ingredient of ABM. Without it, you risk siloing yourself and closing the door to new opportunities and methodologies – ones that could take your program to the next level. 

“I think, if you do a good job of building relationships, you have a great number of teams around you that are willing to help.” – Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning

6. Build a strong foundation

Whether you’re a team of one or a fully supported ABM function, the foundations of your program will determine your success. Get it right, and you’ll go from strength to strength. Rush it, and your strategy could well crumble before it even starts. 

So, what should you be doing to set these foundations for the rest of your program?

  • Make sure you are ABM ready
  • Define your ICP
  • Gather insights into your target accounts and key decision-makers
  • Build a supporting tech stack
  • Get the right team members in place – you’re going to need organization-wide support
  • Secure internal buy-in
  • Align all teams around one common goal
  • Know what success looks like for your business

Account-based Marketing is not something you can dive into headfirst without the right preparation. Think of it like a marathon – you wouldn’t dream of running it without the right training and running equipment. 

In this case, the training and equipment covers everything from your CRM and reporting software to the right partnerships that can help unlock data and insights. [We talk more about ABM Readiness here]

“What's most important, I think, in that first year of ABM, is building a strong foundation that's going to start bringing in some traction; that's going to be able to bring in some business at top of funnel; that's going to create some strategies, and tactics, and methodologies that's strong, that you can build off of.” – Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning

ABM Case Study

7. Strategy before technology

Who doesn’t love shiny, new technology? There’s nothing wrong with keeping your ear to the ground and staying on top of the latest trending software that can take your program to the next level, so long as you maintain the right mindset.

Strategy should always come before technology.

There are more than 8,000 MarTech companies out there. Believe it or not, you don’t need to partner with all of them! 

In fact, when it comes to technology, less is definitely more. Think of your tech stack as an accessory to your ABM program – it enhances and complements the statement piece, which should always be the strategy and creative. 

Focus on building a small, yet powerful tech stack that will enhance what you already have, rather than something that will drown out the true star of the show. 

“If you don't have strategy behind that tech stack, all you have is a very expensive tech stack with no direction.” –  Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning


8. Define what success looks like

How can you know that your ABM program is successful if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve?

Determining what success looks like for your organization is one of the first steps you need to take before launching your program. Your ABM goals should be aligned to your business objectives and needs, and it should be agreed upon by all stakeholders – from Marketing and Sales, all the way up to the C-suite. 


Aligning your teams around what success looks like won’t be easy. What defines success for one team won’t always look the same for another – but, your job is to tune them into the language of ABM, and ensure everyone’s on the same page. 

Communication will be key throughout your program. So, start off on the right foot by nailing down your ABM goals, and ensuring every team member understands what is needed of them to get there. 

“I think you'll have a successful ABM program moving forward, as long as everybody's on the same page, understands what does success look like.” – Justin Fordham, Head of ABM at 360Learning

Keen to find out more about the world of ABM? Check out our monthly e-newsletter, DashDot, to stay in the loop with all the hottest Account-based Marketing trends, insights and strategies.

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