What is ABM?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a method used by firms to align and collaborate sales and marketing teams in order to perform research and identify critical clients, and then design customised marketing programmes to reach and convert these accounts. ABM methods typically need more resources than traditional marketing efforts, but they can be more effective at attracting and maintaining high-value clients.
Account-based marketing is critical for developing company within existing client accounts when marketing complex business propositions (where, for example, wider industry marketing would not be targeted enough to appeal to an existing customer). It has been observed that account-based marketing increases the customer’s long-term worth in instances where the initial transaction took several months. ABM can also be used to support the initial sale with key prospect accounts. Northrop Grumman, for example, used ABM to assist in the successful conclusion of a $2 billion sale.
According to research, buyers expect their existing suppliers to keep them informed about relevant offers, yet they are frequently disappointed. Existing suppliers came out on top of all the numerous information channels that IT buyers use to find new solutions in a UK study, but more than half of respondents said their suppliers’ marketing was inadequate. [needs citation] The study also shows how much easier it is for businesses to generate more sales from existing customers than from new customers: 77% of decision-makers believe that new supplier marketing is poorly targeted, making it easy to justify sticking with their present supplier. [needs citation] Account-based marketing activity can be targeted more precisely to address the audience by considering each account individually.
Purpose of ABM
Why is ABM used? Using Account Based Marketing has numerous advantages:
1. Greater ROI: Because ABM allows you to focus on the accounts that are most likely to buy from you, it often has a higher ROI than other selling methods.
2. Increased Engagement: When you personalise each account’s sales experience, you generate a more engaged buyer who is more inclined to purchase from you.
3. Improved Prospect Intelligence: ABM gives you superior prospect intelligence because you’re just targeting the best accounts and hence have more data on them.
4. Increased Sales Efficiency: ABM allows you to better target your resources, allowing you to spend more time interacting with the right buyers and less time chasing leads that aren’t qualified.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
A corporation might get various advantages by using ABM into their marketing strategy. These include:
- More streamlined sale cycles
The sales cycle looks something like this, depending on your company, industry, and resources:
i) Prospect → ii) Connect → iii) Research → iv) Present → v) Close → vi) Delight
This cycle is streamlined with account-based marketing because you save time and resources by focusing your efforts on select high-value target clients, which means you’ll have more time to focus on the stages of the cycle that positively impact your bottom line:
i) Identify Target Accounts → ii) Present to Target Accounts → iii) Close Target Accounts → iv) Delight Accounts
ABM helps you stay efficient and streamlines your sales cycle. ABM ensures the accounts you target are the proper ones for your organisation and vice versa, rather than trying with multiple strategies to prospect and qualify a big pool of leads. Your marketing and sales alignment, as well as the consistent and tailored customer experiences you give, help to shorten the sales cycle.
- Personalization Saves Time and Money
You attract prospects who are already warmed up, familiar with your organisation, and ready to decide using account-based marketing. In the long term, this form of tailored marketing saves time and money.
- Easier to Measure ROI
When we restrict the funnel, we concentrate on a smaller number of prospects. This makes calculating the ROI and delivering improved results much easier. For example, we know our account-based marketing conversion rate is 10% if we reach 100 ideal clients and convert 10 of them. This is preferable to launching a marketing effort throughout the entire east coast, converting ten people, and then having four of them leave after the first month. Rather, you’re cultivating long-term, well-qualified leads who will stick with you.
Process of ABM
Account Based Marketing plans are often created and implemented by a team of people who are solely responsible for this strategy. This team will collaborate with Sales, which will identify opportunities and target accounts, as well as other departments within the organisation, such as Product and Engineering, to ensure the success of an Account Based Marketing campaign.
The first stage in launching an Account Based Marketing campaign is to compile a list of potential customers. This list can be compiled utilising tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or by reaching out to your current client base and asking for referrals. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential clients, construct a profile for each one that contains details about the company’s size, industry, budget, decision-makers, pain problems, and so on.
After you’ve generated your target account list and profiles, you can begin developing content exclusively for those accounts. eBooks, webinars, case studies, and even blog articles can be used to provide this information. The idea is to make sure the content is relevant to the account’s business needs and answers any pain points they may have.
Once the content has been created, it’s time to begin contacting your target accounts. Direct mail, email campaigns, and even telemarketing can be used to do this. The idea is to get in front of the organization’s decision-makers and begin creating connections with them. Measurement and assessment are the final steps in an Account Based Marketing approach. You must keep track of how many leads were produced and how much revenue was earned from each account targeted. This information will assist you in determining the performance of your Account Based Marketing activities and making required adjustments along the way.
Guidelines for successful implementation
In order to ensure that the implementation of ABM is successful, there are some guidelines that you’ll need to follow:
1. Plan out every detail:
You’re targeting a specific account, so the marketing campaigns need to be highly targeted. Information like competitors, customer relationships, buying points, selling points, and best-selling products/services are all important.
2. Align with sales team:
Make sure everyone is on board, from the president of marketing to the new trainee in sales. There should be no miscommunication on either side since everyone has the same goal of securing these high-ticket clients.
3. Build a dedicated Account-Based Team:
You should have a team of dedicated account managers working with these prospects before they become clients. Their focus should be on building relationships and understanding the needs of each account to streamline communications and limit the number of people you need to speak with before a close can happen.
4. Have a Small Target:
Avoid spreading yourself too thin. You may ensure that your campaigns speak directly to their individual requirements and paint points by restricting your emphasis to two or three high-value accounts. You risk alienating some or all of your target accounts if you go too broad too soon with your campaign.
5. Work with Decision Makers Only:
You’re investing a lot of time and money into just two or three accounts, so make sure you’re not squandering anything. The idea is to solely deal with company decision-makers. They’re not a high-value target if you can’t target individual decision-makers.
6. Target Warm Prospects Only:
Work with your sales team to identify the warmest targets in addition to reaching decision-makers. These people are familiar with you and have expressed interest in the past but have never converted.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Adjust:
Make sure to track your progress, adjust as needed, and collaborate with everyone involved to figure out what you can do better.
To summarise, account-based marketing is a sensible choice for businesses of all sizes since it helps you to build a stronger relationship with your customers who are more important to your bottom line. Using this method will attract the type of clients you need to maintain high retention rates and establish a robust client base. Work with your sales team to find the suitable accounts, establish your ideal buyer persona, and choose a channel to reach out to that group.