Account-based marketing (ABM) is a premium tactic for businesses. It allows you to focus your efforts on growing your company strategically, rather than wasting time and resources on leads that won’t convert. It also facilitates internal workplace cooperation and strategising, allowing your business to become more efficient in the way different departments operate together.
But what exactly is account-based marketing and what are its benefits. Read on to find out.
What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing is a means of growing your business strategically. It involves sales and marketing collaborating to design personalised buying strategies for a group of high-value accounts that have been mutually identified and targeted.
In short, ABM practices help your sales and marketing teams be aligned completely, allowing them to engage and delight accounts much faster than they otherwise would.
ABM practices also help your company communicate and work with high-value accounts as though they were individuals. In doing this, your business will see an uplift in customer loyalty and a greater return on investment.
What is the difference between traditional and account-based marketing?
Traditional marketing and account-based marketing differ in a number of ways.
Traditional marketing involves attracting an audience to your website to get leads. You then nurture them with automated emails and other forms of targeted advertising. Finally, you convert those leads into sales via a classic sales funnel.
ABM, on the other hand, identifies highly applicable and specific target clients first. You then engage those clients in personalised conversations and build long-lasting relationships for future opportunities. The conversion of these types of leads is more organic than the traditional marketing route.
The main difference between the two is the manner of targeting your leads. ABM allows for the targeting of far more lucrative and efficient leads. Rather than a broad approach, you’re identifying valuable prospects from the get-go.
6 benefits from account-based marketing you wish you knew
B2B companies stand to gain the most from ABM. Here are just five major reasons you ought to invest in ABM as a B2B entity.
Keep your sales and marketing aligned
Improved communication and collaboration across any company are a plus for growth. When it comes to ABM practices, the alignment and transparency ensure your sales and marketing teams are concentrating on the right collective goals. They also guarantee your teams can stick to an agreed-upon budget and grasp the roles of internal stakeholders.
This alignment aids your company in ensuring all interactions, content, communications, and more are properly consistent across the accounts with which you work. This means your team members can quickly and easily pick up where others left off no matter how long an account works with your business. All this ends in a smooth and seamless customer experience.
Stay relevant among high-value accounts
ABM requires that you personalise everything from content to communications to product information. This must be done for every account you sink resources into. This customisation and personalisation will serve to boost your relevance to these accounts.
Why? Because your interactions and content are specifically tailored to show the account what you’re capable of. They quickly come to realise how your services, offerings, team, and products are what’s required to meet their goals and overcome their challenges. All of this means ABM practices facilitate angling your business in such a way that makes it the most ideal and relevant option for your chosen accounts.
Ensure your customer experiences are consistent
As previously mentioned, ABM practices require that you deliver consistency. This plays a big role in your business’ success. ABM is often an extensive process that can take months or even years to pan out so consistency in your dealings with your accounts is paramount.
To ensure your ABM efforts are effective, you have to maintain a sense of satisfaction in your accounts over the long term. You have to make each client account feel like they’re your singular market – that they’re that special. Do this, and you’ll build customer trust and long-term loyalty.
Maintaining these consistent, long-term experiences can be daunting. However, ABM as a process naturally encourages you to engage with it.
Think of it like this: we pointed out the way ABM needs sales and marketing aligned. When there’s an overarching understanding of this alignment, sales and marketing will be able to naturally and effectively deliver consistency throughout everything they share and communicate with each client account.
Properly measure your return on investment
With the practices of ABM, you can quickly and simply measure your return on investment for every account you put your time and resources into. This is a big plus as you can easily identify whether different accounts were right for your company.
This allows you to delight and nurtures those accounts over the long term as well as target accounts that are similar into the future. If your return on investment proves your ABM strategy worked, you can use those results to inform your tactics moving forward.
Perfect your sales cycle
Depending on your industry, resources, and business, your sales cycle probably looks a little like this:
With ABM, this process is streamlined. By concentrating your efforts and resources on high-value accounts, you’re saving resources and time. This allows you to focus more on the stages of the sales cycle that boost your bottom line:
- Identify accounts
- Present to accounts
- Close accounts
- Delight accounts
ABM helps you make your sales cycle more streamlined by increasing efficiency. Rather than trial-and-error tactics to prospect and qualify a massive pool of leads, you’re targeting accounts that are perfect for your company. From there you can dive directly into building business relationships.
The closing stage is also made more efficient by ABM – your chances of converting and retaining accounts in the long run increase thanks to sales and marketing alignment, personalisation, and consistent user experiences.
Expand your company through business relationships
If there’s any saying that sums up ABM it’s “quality over quantity”. These tactics require you to dedicate significant resources and time to delighting and engaging a number of carefully chosen accounts. This is as opposed to trying to rush through closes with less qualified leads that may not fit your business in the long term.
In taking your time and building trusted relationships with your accounts, you’ll be able to expand your company by retaining said valuable accounts for a longer period of time. This is going to affect your bottom line as well – it costs less to retain customers than obtain them.
Additionally, due to thoughtful, consistent, personalised customer experiences, your accounts are likely to be loyal to you over time. This isn’t just good for repeat spending, your loyal customers are more likely to become promoters, marketers, and brand advocates. In short, your existing accounts can aid you in expanding your company among their network through testimonials, word-of-mouth referrals, and more.
Account-based marketing tactics that work
Do not mix up with other tactics. To help you on the right track, here are the 3 principles that you should always stick to.
Secure organisational alignment
Securing your organisational alignment involves getting all your internal stakeholders to agree with your ABM strategy and its various factors. Done successfully, it will facilitate creating consistent experiences for your client accounts and ensure your plan is as streamlined and efficient as possible.
Build your team
Building the ideal ABM team involves consulting your heads of sales and marketing. With their help, you’ll be able to identify a minimum of one sales rep and one marketer that will be entirely dedicated to the client accounts your business pursues and works with.
These workers will design, develop, and publish content for client accounts. They’ll also manage and close any deals with those client accounts that fall within their purview.
As a general rule, you ought to limit the ABM team to no more than one marketer and ten sales reps. This will ensure your account’s content is consistent and stable.
As well as sales reps and marketers, you should find and empower any other internal key players who ought to be across your business’ ABM strategy. This might include a customer success rep, for instance.
Identify your target accounts
This involves finding and selecting your perfect set of high-value target accounts to invest your resources and time in.
Some recommendations on how to do this include:
- Setting search alerts on LinkedIn
- Creating a workflow in your CRM that flags potential accounts from qualified leads
- Looking at past deals that you want to replicate and identifying leads with similar characteristics
Succeed with account-based marketing
Account-based marketing is one of the best ways to strategically expand your business. By targeting high-value accounts, you’re able to boost your return on investment and increase customer loyalty.