Building an ABM strategy could be a powerful move for any B2B business hoping to increase sales, bolster consumer relationships, and enhance their brand reputation.
Considered one of the ultimate ways to ensure you can convert prospects into loyal clients, account-based marketing has taken the world by storm.
According to some studies, 94% of B2B companies use ABM strategies, and research suggests the right campaign can improve your revenue by as much as 208%. Of course, like any marketing or sales method, converting high-value accounts with ABM requires the right strategy.
Today, we’re going to walk you through the basics of creating your own account-based marketing strategy, and ensuring it’s optimized for success.
Account-based marketing or “ABM” strategies are an approach taken to converting customers that focuses on building strong relationships with high-value accounts. With an account-based marketing strategy, organizations concentrate on personalizing the customer journey, to ensure every prospective client receives the best outcomes from their product or solution.
A focus on ABM strategies can help organizations to set themselves apart from their competitors, by promising a bespoke solution to every consumer. What’s more, account-based marketing helps companies to better target, engage and nurture leads, turning them into life-long customers.
There are various steps, processes, and methodologies involved in account-based marketing, from creating personalized content for buyers, to leveraging PPC advertising, social media, and email marketing, and optimizing outbound sales outreach.
There’s a reason countless companies are embracing account-based marketing today. 97% of marketers say ABM delivers greater ROI than other campaigns. What’s more, 91% of companies using ABM say it helps them increase the size of deals.
Additionally, account-based marketing can also:
Account-based marketing requires companies to take an alternative approach to their go-to-market strategy than they would with a standard sales funnel. Though your account-based marketing strategy template may vary, the core elements of effective ABM include:
ABM focuses exclusively on your most valuable customers. This means defining your ideal customer profile, so you can qualify each potential lead. To determine what counts as a high-value account for your business, you’ll need to think about your ideal customer’s financial status, scalability, goals, pain points, structure, and potential needs.
As mentioned above, the best ABM strategy examples stem from companies who commit to effectively aligning their sales and marketing teams. A comprehensive approach to account-based marketing ensures sales and marketing teams have access to the same resources, information, training, and support throughout the buyer journey.
Account-based marketing requires companies to adapt their sales pitches, outreach strategies, and methodologies to the distinct needs of every customer. While you might segment your audience in other marketing and sales strategies, ABM goes deeper. It requires you to learn about the specific nuances affecting each business you want to serve.
Building an ABM strategy can be more complex than it seems. Often, it requires companies to invest in specific account-based marketing tools (such as CRM solutions), as well as in-depth customer research and market analysis.
While the exact process you use for account-based marketing may vary, here are some of the key steps you can follow to boost your chances of success.
Any successful business strategy starts with a clear set of goals. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish with your account-based marketing efforts, you can’t determine whether your efforts are successful. Giving your ABM team clearly defined goals will help to keep them focused.
Start by thinking about what you really want to achieve with your campaigns, such as improving customer lifetime value or retention. Then define the KPIs and metrics you’ll track, such as:
One of the first steps in developing an effective account-based marketing strategy, is ensuring you have the right team members in place. Your ABM team is likely to consist of a number of different players, all with their own specific roles, but common aims. Common roles include:
Make sure you arrange a time to introduce all of these stakeholders, and walk them through the goals and vision of your ABM process.
If you’re starting an ABM strategy from scratch, using a template can help save you a lot of time and effort. There are various solutions available online that can help you with the process. These templates typically include points you’ll need to cover when outlining initiatives for each account, such as:
Gaining alignment is one of the most important factors in ensuring account-based marketing success. This means getting all of the internal stakeholders in your team on board with your strategy, so you can create a consistent experience for every account.
Most importantly, you’ll need to ensure your marketing and sales teams are connected. To create custom buying experiences for your accounts, your customer will need a seamless transition from becoming a lead, to becoming a lifelong brand advocate.
VPs of marketing and sales will need to work together to secure alignment between ABM budgets, resources, goals, and KPIs.
Once you’ve set your goals and chosen your team, the next step is selecting your ideal set of target accounts and personas. This process begins with comprehensive research. You’ll need to define the mission, vision, and business objectives of your ideal customer, their revenue model, spending patterns, and even demographics.
Reviewing your findings, you can select your ideal target accounts in a range of ways. For instance, you can set alerts for ideal customer profiles on LinkedIn, create workflows to filter through incoming leads based on qualification criteria, or pick accounts based on a specific geographical region or industry. Make sure your entire team is aware of what your target accounts look like.
A core component of an ABM strategy is creating personalized content for each stage of your customer’s distinct buyer journey. The more personal you can get, the better your results will be. Some key steps to creating personalized content include:
Once you have your personalized content, and your ideal target accounts, it’s time to put your account-based marketing strategy into action. Start distributing the content you’ve created, and ask your sales reps to begin building rapport with clients.
Encourage team members to set up calls for meetings and demonstrations. If your content is dispersed correctly, your buyers will already be familiar with your products, and they may have questions to ask about your services and solutions.
Make sure your team members are prepared to guide your accounts through every stage of their decision-making process, acting as a trusted advisor.
With your account-based marketing strategy in place, it’s time to track the success of your tactics, monitoring the metrics and KPIs you established above. Don’t just wait until the end of a year or quarter to assess the results of your campaigns.
Constantly pay attention to key metrics that can help you to determine how effectively you’re serving your accounts. Watch your customer satisfaction and retention scores. Pay attention to changes in consumer churn, and collect feedback from clients.
When necessary, use the data you’ve gathered to make informed decisions about how you can improve the ABM strategy for everyone involved. Don’t just focus on empowering your customers, ensure you’re enabling your sales and marketing teams too.
Ultimately, one-size-fits-all approaches to sales and marketing are growing increasingly outdated. Today’s consumers are consistently looking for a more personalized and relevant level of service from the companies they interact with. In the B2B world, in particular, business leaders are looking to engage with sellers and companies that can adapt to their needs.
Taking an account-based marketing approach ensures you can serve your customers as effectively as possible, paving the way for long-term loyalty and growth. Although it can take time and effort to ensure your ABM strategy pays off, the results can be phenomenal. Not only will you access a higher number of high-quality leads, but you can improve customer lifetime value and revenue too.
If you want to learn more about building an ABM strategy for your business, join Hypcccycl today. Our gamified training sessions will give you the skills and insights you need to develop the ultimate strategy for ABM success.