Account Based Marketing is a high-impact practice for marketing/sales at your company. However, many people still don’t understand how to use ABM to fully take advantage of its benefits. It has never before been so simple and cost-effective to personalize for high-impact clients.
What is Account Based Marketing?
It may seem like marketing to a wide variety of audiences and slowly filtering through the funnel to sales is the most logical method in marketing. “Casting a wide net” is considered a safe strategy. However, in many, if not all B2B firms, there are a few anchor clients who could become an enormous share of the company’s business, giving them security and profitability for years to come. Account Based Marketing works on the principle that a few high-value accounts, possibly even only two or three, are a better bet than a wide, less personal net.
While ABM may seem like an expensive proposition at the outset, requiring more one-on-one sales and personalized marketing, the ROI cannot be beat. Follow this structure to reach your marketing and sales goals.
Identify The Targeted Accounts and Find Your Openings
Your marketing team, rather than generating enormous quantities of quick campaigns, will focus in on market research: which clients need your product/service, and which clients are large enough operations for their business to really put you on the map?
In addition, this research should identify the person to contact who could reasonably make the decision: general outreach is much less effective than putting the sales team in contact with the decision-maker in the company, so this stage is the most key stage for ABM.
Strategize About Channels Of Communication
Rather than picking omnichannel marketing options, focus on the channels that are most likely to reach your ideal accounts, and create content that is perfectly suited to those channels and those accounts. This can feel odd, but remember that the “top of the funnel” was actually back when you were doing market research: these campaigns are deeply targeted.
These kinds of campaigns take time to develop, but you can use analytics to evaluate what your target accounts respond to.
Once Marketing Generates Leads, Pass All Valuable Information to Sales Representatives
At this point, marketing should be comprehensively “handing off” their research and information to sales, as interested prospects begin making contact or responding to marketing efforts. Sales should have all the information so that they can be personalizing their outreach from the first sales call.
The CRM is a great way to do this; create account profiles and records of all outreach and response for each account. The sales team can be sure that they reach out frequently and strategically. Each salesperson can work to develop deep, long-term relationships with particular account contacts.
Revise Strategy Based on Successes and Failures in the Metrics
The first time around, you may or may not land the ideal clients; however, by choosing to focus on those target accounts, you guarantee that you’ll get some valuable information about what does and doesn’t work for them. Take time to get the sales and marketing teams together and discuss what the surprises along the way were.
Then, make a plan for the next round of campaigns and outreach efforts. Use as much data as you can to drive these decisions, since the work of marketing and sales has costs, and you want to gain as much information as you can as if each campaign was an experiment.
Why ABM is Important to B2B Companies?
B2B companies are often hoping to achieve implementation of their product/service throughout a large client company; rather than many small sales, they need to pour energy into making those huge deals. One of the big benefits that people point to once they’ve successfully implemented Account Based Marketing is the fact that marketing begins to operate more like the sales team.
Aiming for a few key accounts may still draw in unknown, valuable additional leads, but that focused pursuit of the best possible clients gives your sales and marketing teams a really similar mission. No longer will your marketing team lament that they create leads that languish, and the sales team won’t complain that all the leads generated are uninterested, ultimately, in what your company has to offer. Sales and marketing working together to get a few big-name clients can be the best way to gain momentum as a B2B company.
Recent Changes to ABM Marketing
Modern CRM technology offers a variety of valuable tools for extending ABM Marketing and broadening its reach. By noticing the metrics of both the marketing campaigns and the results of sales outreach efforts, your teams can narrow their focus even further as they do a new round of outreach campaigns. Every piece of information, from a particularly effective marketing channel to a great time of day to call prospects, makes it possible to further optimize and streamline the process.
The time and money you save by avoiding less valuable marketing channels can be funneled directly into more and better personal outreach to those top-tier prospects, making you appear to have the most helpful and supportive sales crew in the business. Without sophisticated CRM, ABM marketing was not as powerful and required extensive, easy-to-lose documentation that was expensive to produce.
Do’s and Don’ts of ABM Marketing
- Constantly communicate in the early stages (and later on!) between sales and marketing, and with your target customers.
- Research extensively to ensure that you are targeting high-value clients who have the capacity to either begin using your product/service or who can switch to your product/service.
- Take every bit of data and feedback you receive into account and invest time in evaluating how to iterate for next time.
- Expect instant returns or magic; this is still a sales process, and personal relationships take a long time to cultivate.
- Let Marketing and Sales focus on separate, different accounts; complete alignment is needed to make every aspect of the process personal for your highest-value prospects.
- Neglect to update your CRM constantly while sharing out information to all necessary stakeholders. All people in contact with the target accounts should be fully appraised of past communications and campaigns that have connected with that account.