Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategies To Help Your Business Grow
Account-based marketing. You must have heard this from someone somewhere in a salesy environment. It didn’t sound like something interesting, but in this changing world of limited budgets and resources, it definitely is a big deal.
In your pre-pandemic world, you were selling to companies varying in sizes and verticals. But today, when you don’t have so many resources to invest in qualifying and following your regular lead generation strategies, why not look at selling from a different angle? What if instead of sieving your prospects from 100 to 1, you started out with 1 and made more progress than targeting the 100?
Let’s see how.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM), to put in simple words, is a marketing strategy where you direct your resources to target a specific set of companies or accounts. No, it is not your regular B2B lead generation plan.
In account-based marketing, the sales and marketing teams are compelled to align and work together because you are personalizing your messaging and approach to the account and it is only possible if both your teams work together. The normal lead gen strategy is an inverted funnel where you qualify and eliminate prospects, but account-based marketing follows an upright funnel, where you first take a specific account, increase contact, nurture, and convert.
How to create an effective ABM campaign?
Step 1: Evaluate whether your organization is ready for ABM
As much as I would like to say that ABM can help everyone grow, it is not the case. The strategy works best for companies that provide valuable B2B products or services, have a definite target market, and have seamless communication across the organization.
You must first review your company and decide if ABM is for you. Is your product super expensive? Do you need more integration in your sales and marketing departments? Are you looking for better deals that also close faster? Is it difficult to get in touch with a prospect because of the customization?
If you say yes to these, say yes to ABM.
Step 2: Choose your people and build a team
Sales and marketing collaboration or ‘smarketing’ as it is now called, is an important characteristic of ABM. Investing in this initiative is worth the effort because organizations that are aligned can show up to a 208% uplift in marketing revenue. You need a separate team to handle ABM and it must have reps from both departments. Also, ABM delivers a 50% reduction in sales time wasted on unproductive prospecting.
Start off with a small team – one rep from each wing, assuming your star marketer can support up to ten salespeople. When you expand your team, get more sales reps on board. Restrict accounts to ten per salesperson, so they can invest enough time and resources to work with the marketers and especially target the accounts.
Step 3: Identify high-value accounts
Now that you have a team, they need to be given ‘high-profile’ accounts to work upon. Identify an inventory of the rich-asset accounts you want to prospect and define metrics or your key performance indicators (KPI). 86% of marketers rate measurement as critical to their success when transitioning to ABM metrics and strategies
When you are approving accounts, make sure you check their industry, revenue, and location. Measure the amount and kind of technology they use, the number of times they visit your website, and how much they fit your Ideal Customer Profile. Encourage your ABM team to use these criteria to identify accounts. Once they are satisfied with the answers, the account can go up on the list.
Step 4: Draft a Plan of Action
This is the ‘HOW’ of your ABM. Your team will design a strategy to focus on particular accounts to be targeted and engaged. Everything from the kind of content to be marketed to them to the kind of communications they must receive will be decided here.
Identify the buying committee members, like the decision-maker(s), the champion, the influencer, the blocker, and all the other kinds of people you find on a committee. Decide on the content you want to put up before this extremely crucial-to-please panel.
While you’re working on how to get them on your side, remind yourself that these are different people with different preferences and personalities, and the better you tailor your content to them, the more chances you have in the conference room.
Step 5: Make efforts to attract shareholders
A successful ABM strategy also takes into account the shareholders in a company. You MUST take small actions to leave a good impression on their minds. But how do you do that, considering the trade conferences and seminars are now no-one-really-pays-attention webinars and workshops?
Attack their accounts. Every professional is now on LinkedIn and you have most of your credibility on that platform. Use the ‘Sales Navigator’ to reach out to the target company and the people in their job profiles. Collab with influencers and industry experts and definitely measure your metrics – contacts made, conversion rates, etc.
Why all this with ABM? Because 83% of marketers say ABM increases engagement with target accounts.
Step 6: Build relationships with consumers
Just because ABM marketing is a slightly different approach from your normal B2B marketing, it does not mean that you can rule out all your basics. ABM is essentially a form of B2B, which means the customer is king. But with ABM, 76% of marketers say they have been able to build better relationships across their accounts.
Building trustworthy relations with the buying committee is a tedious task, but you cannot leave it out. Constant nurturing and engaging with individual members is required if you want to build a good rapport with them. Take out tricks from the book – personalize content, meet regularly one-to-one (virtually, of course), host events, educate and bam!
Step 7: Leverage ABM Tools
Yes, the tools. Before I forget. Nothing in marketing and sales really happens without tools nowadays. The same goes for ABM.
HubSpot has an all-in-one campaign manager that integrates, gets your reminders, prospects a bit for you, and just keeps you going. LinkedIn is your Instagram for ABM. When you are done prospecting, Slack integrated with HubSpot helps you meet smoother and better, and while you’re working on all of this, Supermetrics will let you know how you’re progressing. You can use whichever of the tools you’re already using.
Sounds cool, right? It is.
Since 2020, every company has gone digital – small and big across all B2B services. They have settled into the new concepts of remote selling, smart selling, and the expert use of technology. But all that everyone has wanted is bigger ‘fish’ and better revenue.
Believe it or not, ABM targets lesser accounts, but it brings in quite a bigger amount of revenue and boosts your brand image because you’re dealing with some really big names in the industry. 91% of companies using ABM increase their average deal size, with 25% reporting an increase of 50%. If you are looking for an effective way to get good accounts while simultaneously saving your resources and time, ABM is the way to go.