14 Jul Ultimate Guide For ABM: Everything You Need To Know
B2B business strategies are often more complex and require tighter strategies. Account-based marketing is one of the ways B2B businesses can target their ideal customers and increase their chances of selling. In the past, businesses would broadly target potential customers, including leads that may have no interest in their offer.
It resulted in wasted time and resources as many of these leads would fail to convert. Marketers had to develop a better strategy for meeting with like-minded companies.
They discovered sales and marketing teams must work together to get the most out of communicating with prospective clients, customers and investors. When both teams are aligned, they can eliminate the companies with no value that’re less likely to convert while prioritizing high-value companies. The main goal of influential account-based marketing is targeting high-value and best-fit companies or leads with personalized communication encouraging them to convert.
What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that combines a company’s sales team and marketing expertise. Their combined skills are used to target a group of potentially high-value customers with a personalized buying experience. It’s usually done at the beginning stages of marketing when prospects are identified and classified into different groups. Each group is then targeted with a custom strategy with the best chance of getting them to convert. ABM emphasizes allocating resources to where they matter the most in your sales funnel, on best-fit customers. It works hand in hand with inbound marketing, where inbound marketing attracts the best potential clients, and ABM does the magic of getting them to convert.
How does ABM work?
Identify and understand your ideal client profile
What separates account-based marketing from other marketing forms is how it targets specific prospects. You’ll need to build your ideal client profile or buyer persona for your ABM strategy to work. Identify the clients that fit this profile, understand their pain points, and how you can add value while solving their problems. It’ll help to strategically formalize the account selection process so only you only target the clients most likely to convert clients.
Alignment between teams
One of the highlights of account-based marketing is the alignment between multiple departments in a company. For ABM to work effectively, the sales and marketing departments must agree on their goals for each target group. They’ll also need to agree on resources to allocate each class of accounts and decide what roles each department will undertake. The entire process requires continued collaboration between both teams across multiple channels to ensure a sophisticated campaign. That’ll help them fine-tune clients’ flow in their pipeline as they go from being handled by one team to the other.
Marketing with the right tech stack
The marketing aspect of ABM is a continuous process that sometimes doesn’t end even after the prospect converts. It’s necessary to track the results of your marketing. After both teams have aligned and created a stellar marketing campaign, following its success rate is also essential. These days, numerous tools can help optimize your account-based marketing. Not only can they help with finding the right target clients, but they’ll also provide reports and analysis of campaign changes.
Here’s why you need account-based marketing.
There are numerous benefits to employing account-based marketing in a B2B company. It’s especially useful for companies that target larger businesses with lengthy sales cycles. Here are a few reasons to use account-based marketing instead of traditional marketing approaches.
Shorter sales cycles
Usually, purchase decisions in larger companies involve multiple decision-makers, which can make the sale cycle lengthy. Sales typically begin at a lower level and slowly make their way to top decision-makers who make the final call. ABM streamlines the sales cycle and saves time and resources by nurturing all prospects simultaneously.
Consistent, personalized customer experience
Each client feels uniquely taken care of as you deliver consistent messaging making them more likely to convert. Marketers curate a personalized experience for each account and create content and campaigns tailored to each client’s needs. Delivering timely, custom product information, communication material, content and pricing details goes a long way in ensuring your clients remain loyal.
Compelling account-based marketing has excellent Returns On Investment (ROI). Knowing exactly how much time and resources you’ve invested in each account makes it easy to measure your precise ROI. ABM marketing delivers much higher returns than traditional marketing, as you can measure which accounts were most beneficial to your business. That’ll give you insights on the types of similar accounts you can target going forward to get similar results.
A crucial part of ABM marketing is the combination of the sales and marketing departments. In some instances, the customer success team is also aligned in the process, which benefits the organization’s growth. Transparency between all departments ensures all groups have the same goals, understand their roles and know where to allocate resources. Aligning your teams also creates a better experience for the customer as all their interactions, communications, and content are consistent across the board. It also means continuity is possible. New team members can step in at any point, whether they’re targeting clients, creating custom content and successfully moving the client through your sales pipeline.
Best practices for account-based marketing
Build a list of high-quality contacts
There are several tactics used to build a healthy list of high-quality contacts with ABM. It’s advised not to consider only titles as you seek to connect with prospects. Some may have unimpressive titles but looking into their roles and responsibilities gives an idea of their influence on the company. Social media is also a great way to connect with business contacts. You can learn where to engage with social media connections after researching the platforms they frequent. Another way to build your contact list is attending industry events and conferences. Inviting industry leaders for public events can help connect you with their networks. Other techniques you can use are to sponsor events, ask for referrals, build compelling landing pages, and distribute relevant, valuable content.
Learn what matters most to your audience
You can use social data to learn what matters to your prospects. Learning their pain points and how your company can solve these problems helps you create personalized communications. It’s vital to remain updated on customers changing needs so your content is relevant and hits home for your audience.
Create offers that attract meetings
Design your offers to generate interest in your brand, so prospective customers agree to a meeting. For example, your offer could include a free security audit in exchange for a meeting if you’re a security company. You can also assign at least one person from both the sales and marketing team the role of cultivating relationships with C-Suite executives. They can begin the campaign with an email from your company’s c-suite executive. It can include real and personal reasons business executives should meet on a c-suite to c suite level. The ABM marketing team can work on the messaging and follow-up calls, but the executive should sign off on it. Thus matching the company’s relevant executives with that of the prospects.
Linked Strategies has years of experience generating leads and scheduling meetings with prospects. Contact us today to learn more about how account-based marketing can benefit your business. We have eight years of experience helping top companies like IBM and The Pacific Institute secure best-fit clients using proven solutions.