Marketing Ops: How to master enterprise ABM with account hierarchies

Bec Henrich VP of Marketing


Behind the scenes, every marketing operations leader knows the operational steps to stand up an account-based marketing (ABM) campaign. But are you effectively operationalizing enterprise ABM?

If the goal is to squeeze every last lemon from the enterprise jar, you’ll need to make sure every account-based effort is maximized across the account hierarchy. Is the juice worth the squeeze? It most definitely is, if you’re slicing and dicing right.

Let’s say your goal is to bring in enterprise-level logos. You need to have an understanding of the enterprise or corporate family tree. If you don’t, there will be gaps in your strategy. For instance, legal hierarchies often have hundreds of subsidiaries while ABM account targeting is focused on individual accounts. This means you’ll be missing important connections between accounts.

If you’re looking to operationalize your ABM efforts in a way that personalizes touch points, aligns marketing and sales goals, and helps you scale your efforts, read on.

You might also like: 

How to operationalize enterprise account-based marketing

Connect account hierarchies in Salesforce

Although native Salesforce has the functionality to build account hierarchies, it comes with limitations and often doesn’t scale with growing operations. Setbacks like fragmented account hierarchies, outdated hierarchies, and being unable to create multiple hierarchies can be major problems as your team grows and develops different needs.

The first step to automating the building process and overcoming fragmented account hierarchies is to use a unique identifier like the Complete Company ID. It allows users to connect accounts automatically without the risk of incorrect or missing account links.

Automating account hierarchies means being able to quickly provide marketing, sales, and customer success teams with holistic, customizable hierarchy views. This ensures alignment and ownership, helps with prioritizing and personalizing specific accounts, and empowers all teams to advance their strategies.

Pro Tip: Create custom hierarchies that reflect your go-to-market or campaign plan.

account hierarchies

Align enterprise ABM efforts on target accounts with sales

Now you’re armed with a better understanding of the high-value accounts within an enterprise organization.

Sales can use a multithread strategy to close deals, while marketing matches these efforts through targeted campaigns to the same contacts. Unlike the sales rep, who will go through each contact individually, marketing can do this at scale to amplify key messages to multiple contacts simultaneously – while helping the sales team win over buyer committees faster.

While the sales team land and expands within an organization, your account-based marketing efforts can strategically be used to build awareness into other accounts under the same account hierarchy.

For example, if a sister company has a similar buyer committee in terms of persona and, potentially, in terms of network. Perhaps the decision-makers talk across subsidiaries and legal hierarchies. Spreading the same key message across contacts who are likely working together behind the scenes is a promising way of selling across an enterprise company.

At the heart of it all, using account hierarchies helps both your sales and marketing team take an account-based approach and work synergistically towards company goals.

Do: Target multiple personas across the hierarchy. Then, track where leads come from and which accounts in the hierarchy you should hone your efforts on (see more on this below).

Don’t: Rely on one person to find success. Enterprises are notorious for having multiple stakeholders involved in the decision process. Many personas will need to be brought in for you to close the deal.

Implement hierarchy-based lead-to-account matching

As ABM efforts execute and leads start to roll in, it’s key that your team can match leads to not just accounts, but at the enterprise level. You’ll have a clear understanding of where a lead came from and where in the hierarchy of an enterprise the lead belongs.

Enterprise companies are dynamic and thanks to constant mergers and acquisitions, can be hard to keep track of. Lead-enterprise matching coupled by enrichment ensures your sales team’s ability to react quickly and correctly.

What can slow you down and pull the rug from under all the ABM efforts your team does?

If a lead is routed to a mid market rep, instead of the assigned enterprise rep, it could result in an awkward hand-off or account conflicts. Even worse, inaccurate routing could result in a lead not being assigned to a sales rep at all and being missed completely. Account hierarchies are the basis for avoiding these conflicts that hurt your lead-to-op conversion rate, keeping both sales and your marketing team as a result, happy.

account hierarchies

Account hierarchies help take speed-to-lead to the next level and empower sales and marketing teams to act faster and more effectively. Not to mention, the customer experience is improved as a whole.

When a targeted, nurtured lead is assigned and followed up promptly, everyone wins. Marketing operations is excited to see their ABM efforts and lead handoff pay off, sales reps are relieved to receive quality leads, and the potential customer is happy to be getting the answers and solutions they need, fast.

Watch: George Samaras, Director of Marketing Operations and Technology at Coveo explains how his team uses lead-to-account matching in Salesforce and then augments these accounts with 6sense to help qualify leads. Coveo’s go-to-market team focuses on enterprise and mid-sized companies, so its marketing team needs to be built strategically to facilitate these deals.

Track and monitor success across the account hierarchy

Marketing operations’ efforts don’t stop once an account-based campaign is launched. Now it’s time to analyze the data, report, and understand what works and what doesn’t.

Blind spots exist that hinder efficiency of tracking and measuring your ABM effectiveness when at the enterprise level.  Automated account hierarchy solutions like Complete Hierarchies make it possible to roll up stats at the account level across the enterprise. This way, all teams will have insight into the contacts, campaigns, and pipelines being worked on across an entire enterprise.

Being able to report on marketing attribution at an enterprise level also provides the details and understanding required to operationalize account-based efforts more effectively.


With account connectivity being the common denominator between ABM and enterprise ABM, implementing account hierarchies is an effective way of both targeting enterprises and operationalizing account-based strategies.

To learn more about operationalizing enterprise ABM with account hierarchies, talk to our team of experts.

Want to save time, make data-driven decisions, and increase revenue?

Download Traction Complete’s free automated account hierarchies guide or book a demo to get started today.