To help align marketing better to drive more sales, Account-based marketing (ABM) is a marketing strategy borne out of this necessity. It is a highly effective strategy used by companies whose efforts focus on B2B to maximize the resources of existing databases and interactions.
If you haven’t tried this approach yet, it’s a strategy worth looking at to really hone in on your best prospects. It also focuses on alignment with marketing and sales to accumulate insights. ABM is designed to give you a higher return on investment, better deals, better margins, and customers for life, so develop KPIs on what your business goals are before you begin your strategy to meet those objectives. To help you get started, we have compiled 5 steps for you to craft an ABM marketing strategy.
- Choose your target accounts
Choosing the right accounts is as important as your strategy when it comes to an ABM strategy. Remember that account-based marketing focuses on fewer accounts, but all of great value. So the first step is choosing who you are going to target.
- How can I be sure that I made the right choice?
To know that you’ve chosen your accounts well, we recommend that you develop a scoring model based on your objectives, data, performance, and projections, among others. But for starters, you can validate your selection with these questions:
- Which companies, industries, and segments have I sold to before?
- What types of accounts have generated the most sales?
- Which companies, industries, and segments have given you the most strategic value?
- What traits of the company have been correlating with your sales successes?
- Which characteristics of a company should eliminate it from being considered?
- With which accounts do you already have a good relationship with?
- Identify key people and positions
Recent research shows that as many as 12 people take part in the purchase decision of a high-value product. That means your focus should be on key people in that organization.
Search your databases, LinkedIn, social networks, forums, events, and any other activities that you have acquired, the data on people with high influence in the company. Use tools available on the internet to find out the emails of those profiles or buy databases from a reliable source.
When you have it ready, try adding other data such as title, hierarchies within the company, account affiliation, experience with your category, and their latent needs to develop an influence matrix with which you can rate your accounts and reduce the sales cycle.
- Create custom content
An ABM content strategy is all about personalization, so you need to create content that is tailored for each account to stay one step ahead and deliver true value. The goal is that your prospects are more interested in the information you send them because it should respond to the challenges or goals of the company and how your product can help them solve them.
- How do I know if my content is personalized enough?
Take into account the following aspects to develop high-value materials to show:
- Awareness, knowledge, and understanding of their business problems.
- Awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the industry or sector.
- That you have innovative and fresh ideas for their business.
- Organize account-centric campaigns
Once you’ve identified WHO, It’s time to take action! Send specialized content to the accounts that you already identified. Contrary to other marketing strategies where the customer “bumps” into your content, ABM directly maps that content for the specific prospect to see.
Some strategies with which you can accompany ABM are virtual and in-person events, personal and direct emails, or personalization of your product website.
- Measure your success
All the effort you have made so far must be measured so you can compare the performance versus other strategies and do adjustments for the next time. Your strategy should be reflected in the numbers, so don’t forget your metrics! We recommend including ROI, offer size, win rate, sales cycle, retention rate, and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
When transitioning from one strategy to another you are likely to encounter some challenges and your first attempt might not be what you expected. One thing to keep in mind is that ABM is a long-term endeavor, more like a marathon than a sprint, which means you have to be consistent and intentional to reach (and even exceed) your goals.
Are you ready to start?
MarketLogic has an international team of experts ready to help you put an ABM approach in place in your company.
Contact us to make it happen.
Source: Cylinder and BBN
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