An account-based marketing (ABM) strategy can be incredibly useful for connecting with business-to-business (B2B) clients, generating quality leads, and driving sales. In fact, as of 2021, 70% of marketers were using ABM.
However, if your organization wants to reap the benefits of account-based marketing, it must craft a balanced strategy first. Of course, this is often easier said than done — developing a quality marketing campaign often requires significant trial and error along the way.
While the best way to get better at ABM is to do it, you don’t have to learn everything the hard way. Instead, you can soften the learning curve and accelerate your path to success by utilizing a few tried-and-true tips and tricks for account-based marketing.
Whether you need to reinvigorate your existing ABM strategy or are stepping foot into this innovative marketing arena for the first time, these best practices will help you achieve meaningful results. Let’s dive in.
Account-Based Marketing Defined
Account-based marketing is a client acquisition strategy focused on identifying and targeting high-value accounts. This is done by determining which current clients or prospects are most valuable to your business and creating a tailored campaign for each company’s decision-makers to better guide them down the sales funnel.
This way, instead of creating generalized content and casting a wide net to attract potential leads, you develop unique marketing materials for each account. This approach significantly increases the efficacy and efficiency of your marketing efforts, as you will no longer be wasting time communicating with entities that are a bad fit for your brand.
The key to a successful ABM campaign is aligning sales and marketing teams. Traditionally, your marketing staff would obtain and nurture leads before passing them to sales. Then, the sales team has to seal the deal by building on the foundation of trust created by your marketers.
Unfortunately, this approach can cause friction during the sales journey and lead to suboptimal conversion rates. ABM solves this challenge by getting everyone on the same page. Sales team members assist with marketing and vice versa to provide a more seamless, targeted client journey.
Does Account-Based Marketing Really Work?
Account-based marketing is an effective strategy that you can leverage for great results. However, like with all other forms of marketing, you must manage your ABM campaign properly to yield desired results. Creating and managing an account-based marketing campaign requires careful planning and thoughtful execution, and enough missteps can lead to wasted time and marketing dollars, both of which are bad for your bottom line.
One of marketers’ biggest challenges when creating an ABM strategy involves deciding who to target. Even if you correctly determine which accounts best align with your business goals, you must still identify which decision-makers to market to. From there, you must create high-quality content that speaks to their unique pain points and challenges.
By executing all three steps correctly, you will have a dynamic ABM campaign capable of delivering strong results for your business.
5 Best Practices to Launch Your ABM Strategy
Creating a winning ABM strategy is not as hard as you might think. You can transform your ABM initiative into a well-oiled machine by leveraging a few proven tactics, tips, and best practices.
Here are five tips to jumpstart your efforts:
1. Put Your Data to Use
The hardest part about creating an ABM strategy is deciding which accounts to prioritize. The good news is that you already have the data you need to make this decision — you just have to put it to use.
We recommend using your customer relationship management (CRM) tools to assess account performance over the last year or so. From there, separate your accounts into three tiers, based on their value to your business. Naturally, your tier-one accounts will be the clients generating the most revenue for your company.
Next, pinpoint what those top performers have in common regarding industry vertical, company size, etc. Once you identify patterns among your accounts, you are ready to start building your ABM strategy.
2. Identify Stakeholders to Target
Here is where things get tricky. Determining which accounts to target is only the beginning. You must also identify specific stakeholders within each company before you begin marketing to your client.
While your first instinct may be to target the C-suite, this is not always the best approach. Although these individuals will be responsible for completing the transaction, getting in touch with them can be tough. Instead, you should target stakeholders that are involved in the decision-making process.
For instance, let’s say that you offer a robust cybersecurity tool via a SaaS delivery model. In this case, instead of reaching out to a company’s V.P., connect with the head of cybersecurity. If your solution makes the cybersecurity manager’s life easier, they will become a strong advocate for your brand.
3. Develop Detailed Personas
Remember those patterns that we talked about earlier? Now is the time to put them to use.
As part of this process, you will need to create detailed personas for various stakeholders that you come into contact with. For example, if the head of cybersecurity was your champion for several of your top accounts, develop a persona for that person. This persona should be a general template that outlines a stakeholder’s pain points, concerns, challenges, and goals.
Creating personas helps you generate tailored marketing content for various decision-makers that you will encounter along the buying process. In addition to any business leaders that will play a role in a client’s purchasing decision, you should have personas for each C-suite executive so your sales team will be ready when they get involved.
4. Create Client-Specific Offers
By creating client-specific offers, you can take the personal touch of your ABM strategy to a whole new level. To develop these offers, you will need to conduct extensive research on each prospect. This research will reveal their:
- Employee count
- Past spending habits
- Pain points
After you know more about your client, make them a product offer that appeals to their goals and needs. For instance, if their top priority is reducing operating expenses, create an infographic that illustrates the cost savings capabilities of your product or service.
5. Align Sales and Marketing Teams
After you’ve laid out a basic framework for your account-based marketing strategy, you must align your sales and marketing teams.
Get together with leadership from each department and host an idea-sharing session. Find out what barriers hinder collaboration between the two teams, and eliminate those roadblocks.
Additionally, establish standardized processes so that sales and marketing staff members can easily exchange information. This will enable them to more efficiently support one another’s objectives and drive sales for your business.
Bonus Tip: Connect with Insights ABM
If you want to expedite your ABM journey, you need an experienced partner like Insights ABM in your corner.
Insights ABM has partnered with clients in a wide range of B2B verticals and has delivered powerful results with our dynamic account-based marketing strategies.
To learn more about Insights ABM’s suite of services, contact our team today.