Imagine how efficient the sales process can become if you don’t have to waste your time selling to unqualified leads. Your efforts are likely to become more focused as you will have more time to sell to best-fit and qualified accounts. This means that instead of wasting your important hours of the day on unproductive prospecting, you can shift your attention to the phases of interacting and persuading your target customers.
Wondering how is this possible? Account-based marketing is the technique that can cut-down the stages involved in your sales cycle and further enrich the buying experiences for high-value and qualified accounts. According to ITSMA, 87% of B2B marketers have reported that their ABM initiatives have given them excellent results in terms of ROI over other marketing investments.
That’s a big number, isn’t it?
So, let’s take a look at some more compelling numbers to reassure you that incorporating ABM strategy into your business is likely to deliver your business fruitful results:
Account-Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.-Engagio
Before knowing the 7 powerful techniques for super-successful Account-based Sales & Marketing, let us delve deeper into the concept of ABM and how it can be proved advantageous for the growth of the organization.
Benefits of ABM
Here are 5 remarkable benefits that can perhaps give you a good head start to apply ABM strategy in the growth & development of your organization:
#1- Collaboration of Marketing & Sales Brings Consistency
In some situations, you have to follow-up quick. Taking your own sweet time to respond to an online lead may cost you at some point in time. The rule of thumb is that if you have initiated contact with a lead, or if it comes via some inbound channel, you shouldn’t delay and follow up as quickly as possible. According to a study by IRC Sales Solutions, if you follow-up with a lead within 5 minutes, you are 9 times more likely to convert them. In fact, 30-50% of sales go to the company that responds first. So, the ideal time to follow-up is within an hour. However, if that is not possible, you should be responding within 24 hours.
#2- Creates a Better Image of your Organization
You receive dozens of email messages every day, but which message catches your attention the most? The one which has your name in it, isn’t it? In ABM, it becomes necessary to personalize everything (campaigns, content, communications, and more) for any client you invest your resources. Consequently, you just do not increase your chances to encourage conversation with him but also maximize the relevance of your company in his mind. This happens because you design every interaction perfectly to explain how your products/services can fit in their lives to solve their problems. Thus, ABM directs your communication in a way that your business’s offerings become an ideal solution for your potential accounts.
#3- Assesses ROI
Let’s face it; the ultimate goal of every organization is to drive a greater ROI. Account-based marketing helps you to achieve that goal while boosting the efficiency of your organization at the same time. When you have a confirmed way to ascertain if a certain account was ideal for the growth of your business, better decisions can be made in long-term. Needless to say, if ABM tactics make a positive difference in your ROI, the results can also be used as a strategy to not only improve the overall working but also identify and target similar accounts in the future.
#4- Smoothens the Sales Cycle
It is normal to be drained of all energy when more than 50% of the time and efforts are invested in the first three stages of the sales cycle itself. These stages typically include Prospecting, Connecting & Researching.
With Account-based marketing, this cycle gets streamlined since you can devote more time to the stages that are actually beneficial for the growth of the business. Since ABM ensures your target accounts are perfect for your business, it becomes easier for you to plunge into building and retaining relationships with your clients. The chances of converting those accounts into your clients also become high due to the continuous alignment of the marketing and sales team. A report from Marketo states that the companies deploying ABM are 67% better at closing deals.
#5- A Better Image Expands your Business
Do you know 92% of consumers rely on suggestions from friends & family over other methods of advertising? The use of ABM strategy allows your accounts to expand your business among their network through referrals, word-of-mouth marketing, testimonials by making your clients your best marketers. How? When you choose to deliver quality over quantity by giving the customers a personalized and consistent experience, the prospective accounts are likely to become more loyal towards you. Not only does their trust in your deliverables increase but also you imbibe a positive image of your business in their mind. This development makes them your best marketers.
The ultimate goal of a customer marketing ABM campaign is to increase revenue, decrease churn, and build lasting relationships with your clients.-Jason Katz
Key Challenges with ABMs
In your road to success, while integrating ABM strategy in your organization, you may come across various challenges and obstacles. Here is the list of the most painful ones:
#1- Delivering the Right Content
Account-based marketing requires you to personalize the content for each account and so, delivering a good content experience that can keep his attention engaged is critical. A business needs to ensure that every account gets an enriched and compelling content experience that is distinctive at each buying stage after properly understanding its pain points. Better the personalization, better is the experience.
#2- Identifying the Right Target Accounts
A proper manageable process has to be developed for the identification of the right target accounts. Else, all the efforts will go to waste if you miss out on the right opportunity. It is advisable to use inbound leads to identify some good opportunities for ABM. This process helps to nurture accurate accounts with the proper scaling of activities.
#3- Measuring the Contribution
The collaboration of sales and marketing teams requires a systematic evaluation of their respective contributions. Both the departments have to come to a mutual agreement after understanding the goals to figure out the best approach. Since ABM is a full-funnel activity, keeping track to measure every aspect becomes necessary.
#4- No Communication between Prospective Buyers and Sales Team
The prospective buyers, generally, do not like speaking to sales team reps because of a pre-conceived impression they have in their mind. They will only prefer talking to them once they have decided to go with your product after knowing about it thoroughly. You can avoid this situation if you train your sales team properly. Remember the objective is to offer a solution to the accounts after understanding the problems faced by them.
#5- Maintaining Consistency
Data is an important factor in the entire ABM process and so, the business has to keep going with its efforts of collecting and analyzing it. Consistency is also required in the delivery of your programs so that you can develop a long-term relationship with the target account and retain it in the long-term.
7 Most Effective Tactics for Successful ABM
Now when you know about the concept of ABM and the challenges you can come across; the next step is to comprehend and apply the right tactics to drive your organization growth forward. Below is a list of 7 ultimate strategies that have proved their aptness from time to time:
#1- Align Organization with ABM Strategy
All the internal stakeholders need to be on board and rightly aligned with several factors related to ABM strategy. This process ensures consistency in delivering positive experiences to the high-value accounts by verifying that the strategy is highly efficient.
For example: The Head of Marketing and Head of Sales should secure organizational alignment and communicate clearly regarding the members of both the teams involved in the strategy, the ABM goals, the ABM budget & resources, and so on.
#2- Build a Team
Imagine two misaligned teams working together; what would it be resulting in? Complete chaos. So, building a proper team is only the first part. The second most important thing to do is to assign them specific roles to avoid confusions in working for several accounts. Since these people have to work together to curate the content for accounts and manage and close deals after an assessment of the account’s requirements, a clear understanding of each one of the members is necessary. Identifying a few internal key players who have good experience in dealing with the public is also a good idea to better align your ABM strategy.
#3- Use Social Media to Engage with Target Accounts
Social media provides an opportunity for marketers to directly access their audience. You can find all relevant information on Twitter, LinkedIn. or other specific industry platforms after developing a list of ABM target accounts and pinpointing the ideal ones out of them.
When you follow and connect with them, you get a better idea of what they like to speak about on social media. Once you gain that knowledge, you can design your communication accordingly. This is a good approach before you approach them directly to interact with them about your product/service.
#4- Customize your Email Campaign
Email marketing become far more effective when it consists of a personalized subject line. With your research in place, the customization of the email messages for the particular recipient becomes easier. In addition to it, your past interactions play a major role in designing the right message which engages and pushes your target account to go ahead with your business. Thus, the delivery of the right content to your target account is the key and a customized email message is a relevant tool to make your message reach him.
#5- Use AI for Better Efficiency
After setting the data infrastructure, you should integrate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the ABM strategy to bring better personalization, accuracy & efficiency. AI can help in saving weeks and months of efforts that go into analyzing multiple data sources to develop a profile of high-value accounts. This AI-powered approach gives a more personalized touch to the ABM strategy, increasing chances to turn the engagement into a deal and consequently, resulting in high ROI.
#6- Give a Personalized Experience to your Accounts on the Website
Account-based marketing is target-specific and so it is even more critical to delivering high conversion rates. The creation of personalized landing pages is an effective tool to achieve the desired outcome. Account-specific landing pages should be created by marketers that display customized elements on the page. Most potential buyers will be compelled to view it as they will feel valuable.
#7- Analyze ABM Results
Monitoring success in terms of ROI after analyzing ABM results is crucial to figure out any gaps in the strategy that needs to be partially or completely changed. Additionally, the regular exercise of measuring the results allows you to implement changes and make the strategy more effective for the growth of your business.