Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been on the marketing horizon for a couple of years now and is lately becoming a buzzword among B2B sales professionals. While in the old days, every potential customer used to get targeted with the same message and roughly the same budget, more and more companies realize that the majority of their revenues comes from a minority of their customers (the good ol’ 80:20 rule). This ‘minority’ of customers refers to the number of these customers and not the size of each customer, however. The size is the all important factor in AB Marketing, because the bigger the size of a single customer, the more it is worth to target them with an individual marketing campaign, tailored to the specific customer’s business.
ABM works best for companies that serve accounts with a certain size within a specific industry; or have a few large, so called ‘key accounts’.
Benefits of operating an ABM strategy:
- Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) is simpler. Because you target your message (campaign) to a single business, the response of that business allows you to see whether it worked, or not. Alterra Group did a study recently, which concluded that 65% of B2B marketers agreed that ABM provided significant benefits for attracting new clients. Think about it: if you want to reach new clients (plural) you better do your homework and figure out one by one, what each targeted business (singular) is most worried about and how can you help it specifically with your product or service.
- In connection with the above, ABM is accepted more by clients, because it sounds personal. And it is. You did your homework and your prospects will take note of this.
- The account handling on your side involves less risk. Because you developed a structure and system to do your ABM process, it gets easier for your sales team to keep track of each account, ultimately leading to less wasted resources in your business. Your people will simply need to find relevant connections within any given company as a prospect to make the equation work. You will establish a much more intimate relationship and knowledge of a prospect’s business and who works there.
- Marketing is also onboard. How? If you can define a given company from a sales perspective, your marketing department can also support your sales team easier, and harmonize the marketing message for that account.
- Using Google Analytics and a lead generation software, such as Leadberry will help you figure out who to target. Lead generation software has the ability to decode IP addresses and name companies behind an IP address. If you see a potential lead is really interested in your website, it becomes easier to create an account based marketing campaign and offer for them. According to a RainToday.com report, fewer than 25% of new leads are sales-ready. The other 75% are in need of further nurturing. So go and nurture them with a tailor made campaign and message.
Follow these steps to get started:
- Use a B2B lead generation tool, such as Leadberry to identify your leads who viewed your website (hook up Google Analytics to your website, Leadberry will take care of the rest).
- Go after each account and see who are the ‘whales’: the really big ones that deserve an ABM approach. Figure out which account is where within the buying journey.
- Once you identified them, create a tailor made ABM plan for that account and work together with marketing and finance to create adequate messages with relevant budgets for the given accounts…and generate sales.
- Pay attention to serving adequate content on your website. Most of the time, your customers need information on certain topics and are not looking for a specific product. Selling comes at a later stage only. A content marketing plan will be worth gold, if you want to excel and get relevant visitors and potential leads to your website. Ask your current customers about their interests and pains: what would they appreciate seeing, reading, viewing? What would (in their eyes) make you a thought leader?
- Once your leads turn into customers, integrate all the information into your CRM system to keep track of what’s happening.
- Measure your performance per account and fine-tune accordingly.
It might be a big decision to switch from a traditional marketing and sales approach to an account based marketing and sales approach, but believe us, it is worth it! There are tons of clever semi-automated tools to complement human efforts in this daunting online world, so we encourage you to exploit them to your advantage. Yes, ABM takes time to bear fruit and gain traction. Leave at least 6 months to evaluate your effort, otherwise you would be making hasty judgments.
Let us know how you are progressing, and what you observed in this process!