So you’ve probably seen my posts about Account Based Marketing (ABM), but do you know what it is and how it works? Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.
So, let me break it down for you.
The B2B buying process has changed due to the power of digital content which means:
- Buyers are well informed
- And the number of stakeholders involved in purchase decisions has increased
This creates a challenge, who do you reach out to? Sales? Marketing? Finance? HR?
And the challenge gets tougher with larger organisations.
Businesses still operate with marketing and sales teams working in silo, with zero collaboration or transparency. You need to step away from this approach and align the two together to target key accounts.
Enter Account Based Marketing also known as ABM.
Account Based Marketing in my eyes is ‘Zero Waste Marketing’, where sales and marketing work together to target key personnel in your key targeted accounts, rather than individuals. This allows for the overall focus being on having full visibility about your buyer needs and building with specific targeted accounts.
Wikipedia Definition of ABM is:
Account based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.
So what’s the difference between ABM and traditional funnel based marketing?
The diagram above shows the difference between traditional funnel based marketing and ABM. As you can see, traditional funnel based marketing is broad in nature, a wider funnel, more workload for sales on leads that are not ready to convert. It concentrates on what needs to be said, where to say it and who to say it to.
With ABM we ‘flip’ the funnel around. It groups leads based upon the account, resulting in more focused leads, which ultimately lead to conversions. Personalised messages to the right people at the right time means more targeted efforts which result in higher conversions.
Let's examine how the ABM and sales process works in more detail.
Your B2B marketing and sales teams collaborate on a list of target accounts. For that to be done, you need to create an ideal customer profile (ICP) by examining your existing customer base to determine the industry and size of the companies that have been most successful with your product.
From your list of accounts, expand the company information with contact information based on personas which define the job description, role, and responsibilities of the contact you want to find in your ICP. Those contacts will be the people you engage with directly during the sales process.
Execute your marketing plan through such tactics as content like whitepapers or e-books, webinars, events and connecting on social media. Engage with them!
Even after you've successfully closed your accounts, you can do more.
Creating customer advocates is one of the most organic types of marketing, as your clients are touting the success they've had with your company.
Benefits of ABM
ABM delivers the highest ROI of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic according to ITSMA. As mentioned, I like to think of ABM as ‘Zero Waste Marketing’ as it’s targeted, precise, personalised and accurate. Which makes it easier to measure ROI.
75% of customers prefer personalized offers according to Aberdeen. ABM takes this on board and allows you to map personalised messages and content to your buyer personas at the different stages.
Convenience is key and engaging with your targeted accounts on the correct channels by giving them relevant and valuable content is perfect. You need to understand which channels are relevant to your target audience, and focus on optimising your content for these identified channels.
Shorten Sales Cycle
With ABM you remove unqualified leads which shortens the sales cycle and allows you to focus on the accounts most likely to purchase from you.
You can identify which accounts generated the most revenue and use this as a profile to target other accounts and fill up your ABM funnel. You ideally want to look at purchase history, sales feedback, account profiles and buyer behaviour to name a few.
To take your business to the next level and ensure long-term commercial success, deploying a strong ABM strategy and reaching out to leads in a more account focused and targeted fashion is a no brainer.
Start your ABM campaign today and reap the rewards tomorrow. It's really that simple.