Terminus Unveils Account-Based Marketing Cloud for Salesforce.com

Account-based marketing (ABM) platform provider Terminus today introduced the ABM Cloud for Salesforce.com, a software partner program that aims to guide B2B marketing and sales organizations as they select the solutions to add to their ABM stacks.

While many companies have expressed interest in adopting ABM strategies, choosing and piecing together the appropriate technologies to accelerate those efforts has been a challenge, according to Sangram Vajre, Terminus's cofounder and chief marketing officer. The ABM Cloud for Salesforce is designed to address those difficulties by offering guidance on what tools to invest in, and how each might support a company's plan of attack.

The ecosystem classifies participating vendors according to the "five core components of any ABM strategy": identification, expansion, engagement, advocacy, and measurement. Identification tools aim to help companies discover potential accounts they should be targeting; vendors in this category include Avention, Infer, and InsideView. Expansion software assists companies in growing contact lists within each identified account; vendors include Datanyze, Dun & Bradstreet, Leadspace, and ZenIQ. Engagement tools provide the means for holding customers' interest; vendors include Vidyard, provider of a video engagement tracker, and Act-On, a company that offers social media engagement analytics tools. Advocacy concerns getting customers to become champions of a company to spread the word among peers and stimulate sales; vendors include Influitive and customer success management vendor Gainsight. The final component are tools for measuring the effects of ABM efforts, to understand how they've paid off in terms of engagement and attribution; vendors include BrightFunnel , LeanData, and KickFire.

So far, 35 software providers have joined the program; all of them offer integrations with Salesforce.com. Terminus has established product integrations with several ABM Cloud companies and plans to make them available in the first quarter of 2017. Recent integrations include PrintingForLess, Infer, Social123, and Dun & Bradstreet. Future projects will include blogs, webinars, whitepapers, a referral program, and roadshows.

Cindy Zhou, a vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, commends the ABM Cloud for Salesforce, saying it gives vendors—often smaller ones—"a way to come together collectively."

Brent Leary, cofounder of CRM Essentials, highlights the impressive quantity and quality of the participating vendors. "By coming together in this fashion, it should accelerate the adoption and increase the scale of ABM acceptance," Leary wrote in an email.

But while "partners working together to educate and evangelize ABM through live events and thought leadership content is very important, one of the main keys to the large scale success of ABM will be the product integrations," Leary adds. "And while there are three integrations named in the press release as being ready to go, it looks like we'll have to wait until early next year for the number of integrations with partner applications to significantly increase."  

Salesforce.com is the first major CRM company to offer such an ecosystem, but Zhou wouldn't be surpised if other big players, such as Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics, followed suit with similar programs.

"As the market evolves, and as our customer base grows, we might have to develop integrations for different CRM platforms,” Vajre wrote in an email to CRM Magazine.

"The ABM Cloud for Salesforce is a partner program and the hope is it will become a true platform with multiple different integrations for B2B marketing and sales software solutions in a best-in-class stack," Vajre adds. "It's an evolution from 'Here are the ABM solutions that integrate with Salesforce' to 'Here are ABM technologies that integrate with each other.'"  

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