ABM is not a new concept, but it’s one that’s gaining popularity in the B2B world as more and more companies adopt it. In fact, according to a recent study by Forrester, nearly 60% of B2B marketers say they plan to increase their ABM budgets in the next 12 months.
There are a number of reasons why ABM is gaining traction. Firstly, the traditional ‘spray and pray’ approach to B2B marketing is no longer as effective as it once was. With the rise of the Internet and social media, buyers are more informed and empowered than ever before. They can research your products and services on their own and don’t need to rely on salespeople to provide information.
Second, the buying process has become more complex. In the past, buyers would typically go through a linear journey from awareness to purchase. But now, with so many options and sources of information available, the buyer’s journey is much more complex. As a result, it’s become more difficult to reach and influence buyers with traditional B2B marketing tactics.
Finally, the competitive landscape has changed. In the past, companies could rely on their product or service alone to win business. But now, with so many companies offering similar products and services, buyers have more choices. To stand out, companies need to find new ways to reach and engage their target buyers.
ABM is an effective solution to these challenges. By taking a holistic view of the customer journey and aligning sales and B2B marketing around a shared goal, ABM can help you close more deals and drive higher ROI.
Here’s a closer look at how ABM works and how you can use it to drive better results for your business.
How ABM Works
ABM is a strategic approach to B2B marketing that focuses on key accounts instead of individual leads. The goal of ABM is to generate more revenue from your target accounts by providing a personalized and coordinated experience for each account. To do this, ABM requires a deep understanding of your target accounts. You need to know who the decision-makers are, what their pain points are, and what they’re looking for in a solution.
This information will help you create targeted content and messages that resonate with each account. Once you have a deep understanding of your target accounts, you can create a personalized experience for each one. This might include creating targeted content, running targeted ads, or even sending direct mail.
The key is to tailor your message and approach to each account so that they feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Finally, ABM requires close alignment between B2B sales and B2B marketing. In a traditional lead-based approach, sales and marketing operate in silos.
Sales is focused on generating leads and marketing is focused on generating awareness. But with ABM, sales and marketing need to work together to generate and nurture leads. This alignment is essential because it ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal. It also allows you to track progress and measure success more effectively.
The Benefits of ABM
There are a number of benefits of using an ABM approach to marketing.
First, ABM is more effective than traditional lead-based marketing. Because it takes a holistic view of the customer journey and aligns sales and marketing around a shared goal, ABM can help you close more deals and drive higher ROI.
Second, ABM is more efficient. By targeting your efforts on key accounts, you can get more bang for your buck. You’ll also save time and resources by not wasting your efforts on leads that are not a good fit for your business.
Third, ABM is more personalized. By tailoring your message and approach to each account, you can create a more personalized experience that resonates with your target buyers.
Finally, ABM is more measurable. Because sales and marketing are aligned around a shared goal, you can track progress and measure success more effectively.
How to Get Started with ABM
If you’re interested in using an ABM approach to marketing, there are a few things you need to do to get started.
Identify target ABM accounts
First, you need to identify your target accounts. Not all accounts are created equal, and it’s important to identify which ones are most likely to generate the greatest return on investment. These accounts should fit your ideal customer profile or ICP.
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting accounts for an ABM strategy, but the most important one is fit. An account is a good fit for ABM if it meets the following criteria:
- The account is a high-value target.
- The account is strategic to the company’s growth.
- There is a high likelihood of success.
- The account has a decision-maker who is an influencer.
You’ll also need to define your buyer personas. After all, while ABM is focused on accounts rather than leads, each account is still made up of individuals with diverse roles and priorities.
Next, it’s time for marketing and sales to determine precisely which accounts to go after. Selecting accounts that are already familiar with your brand will increase your chances of success, and reduces the amount of touchpoints needed in your campaign.
Agency client Hotwire used Lead Forensics for one of their clients’ ABM campaigns, to create a realistic list of target accounts who had already visited their website and so were already aware of their business and had a need for their services. This resulted in a pipeline growth of over $100 million – read the full case study here.
Select Your Channels and Craft Your Messaging
Account-based marketing is so effective because it allows you to proactively engage best-fit accounts rather than waiting for qualified leads to come to you. Which channels will you use to reach those accounts? You can deploy your ABM campaigns using channels and activities such as:
- Direct mail
- Social media
- Display ads
- Search engine ads
- In-person events
- Webinars and virtual events
- E-books and white papers
You should prioritize your channels based on which have historically been the highest revenue drivers for your business.
Create targeted content
Once you’ve selected your key account marketing channels, it’s time to create targeted content that will resonate with your audience.
You may choose to create marketing assets for different buyer personas, verticals, company sizes, deal sizes, or stages of the sales cycle. Or, you can get even more personal by creating one-to-one messaging for each account.
In account-based marketing, targeted content is key to success. By creating content that is specific to the needs and interests of your target account, you can more effectively reach and engage them.
Here are some examples of targeted content that can be used in account-based marketing:
- Customized content: Creating content that is specific to the needs of your target account can be very effective. This could include case studies, white papers, eBooks, or even blog posts that are tailored to their specific industry or pain points.
- Personalized content: In addition to customized content, you can also create content that is personalized for your target account. This could include using their company name or logo in your collateral, or addressing them directly in your communications.
- Relevant content: It’s also important to make sure that the content you create is relevant to your target account. This means creating content that is about their industry, their specific pain points, or even their company size or location.
- Engaging content: Finally, your content must be engaging in order to be successful. This means using strong headlines, interesting visuals, and compelling copy to grab attention and keep readers engaged.
By creating targeted, relevant, and engaging content, you can more effectively reach and engage your target accounts in account-based marketing.
Align sales and marketing
Third, you need to align sales and marketing. In order for ABM to be successful, sales and marketing need to be aligned around a shared goal. This alignment will ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that you can measure success effectively.
Sales and marketing alignment is critical for success when using an account-based marketing (ABM) approach. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult things to achieve.
The reason alignment is so important is because ABM is all about targeting specific accounts with personalized messages and offers. This requires sales and marketing to be working together closely so that they can share information and create a coordinated approach.
The first step to achieving alignment is to get everyone on the same page about what ABM is and why it’s important. This means having a shared understanding of the goals and objectives of the ABM program.
Once everyone is on board, the next step is to create a process for how information will be shared between sales and marketing. This should include a system for tracking progress and results so that everyone can see what’s working and what isn’t.
Finally, it’s important to create a feedback loop so that sales and marketing can continue to refine and improve the ABM program. This can be done through regular meetings or even just a simple email chain.
The most important thing to remember is that alignment takes time and effort. It’s not something that will happen overnight. But if you’re patient and persistent, you can achieve the perfect sales and marketing alignment for your ABM program.
Execute ABM Campaigns & Begin Sales Outreach
It’s finally time to put your messaging into market! Use your shiny new ABM strategy to deploy your digital ads and engage your target accounts across the web, at events, and via direct mail.
Once your message has been in market long enough to make an impression on your target accounts, it’s time for your sales reps to begin outreach using more traditional channels like phone calls and emails. At this point, your marketing team will have already used ABM programs to generate brand awareness and engage decision-makers at your target accounts, setting the stage for more effective sales conversations.
But your job as a marketer isn’t over just because sales has started outreach. If you’re running display ads, for example, make sure you refresh your creative approximately every 45 days to prevent ad fatigue.
This will ensure your audience is getting the most relevant, effective messaging that will move your accounts through the buyer’s journey.
Measure your results
Finally, you need to measure your results. Once you’ve implemented your ABM strategy, it’s important to measure your results. This will help you determine whether or not your strategy is working and make necessary adjustments.
As the account-based marketing (ABM) movement continues to grow, more and more companies are looking for ways to measure their ABM results. While there are many different ways to measure ABM results, some of the most common include:
- Pipeline contribution:
One of the most important ways to measure ABM results is by looking at the contribution that ABM makes to the overall sales pipeline. This can be done by tracking the number of new opportunities created, the value of those opportunities, and the conversion rate of opportunities to closed deals.
- Engagement metrics:
Another key way to measure ABM results is by tracking engagement metrics such as the number of contacts engaged, the number of emails sent, the number of meetings held, and the number of phone calls made. Website visitor tracking software like Lead Forensics can also help you to track which accounts have visited your website and what content they engaged with.
- Account coverage:
Another important metric to track is account coverage, which measures the number of contacts at an account that have been contacted by the ABM team.
- Customer satisfaction:
Finally, another key metric to track is customer satisfaction. This can be done through surveys or other feedback mechanisms.
By tracking these various metrics, companies can get a good sense of the overall contribution that ABM is making to their business. Additionally, tracking these metrics on a regular basis can help companies to identify areas where ABM is performing well and areas where there is room for improvement.
In summary, ABM is a powerful B2B marketing strategy that can help you close more deals and drive higher ROI. If you’re interested in using ABM, start by identifying your target accounts, creating targeted content, and aligning sales and marketing. Then, measure your results to ensure that your strategy is working.
Thank you for reading our latest best practice guide on our B2B Marketing Blog – “ABM: how to close more deals with Account Based Marketing” We publish new blogs every week, so please subscribe for alerts, or head back here for more.
You may also be interested to read “Sales qualified leads (SQLs) – what they are and how to get more of them”
And, if you’re interested in knowing who is visiting your B2B website, you can request a demonstration of Lead Forensics here.