The Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing – Part 2

By Kirsten Oelrich 4 min read

In our previous post, we talked about Account Based Marketing and its benefits, and the common barriers to implementing an ABM program. Now, let’s talk about how you can get started with an Account Based Marketing program for your business. Below are the six steps to get you started in your journey to ABM glory.

Step 1: Identify Your High-Value Accounts

This is the foundational step in implementing an ABM program. Ask yourself − Which accounts have the highest revenue potential? Which accounts are most likely to purchase repeatedly from you? Which accounts have the potential for higher than average profit margins? Make sure to use all the data at your disposal to identify and prioritize your high-value accounts.

You can even go a step further and analyze your existing client base to identify and categorize your ‘ideal customers’. While this definition can vary based on several nuances, it will most often boil down to the most profitable, long-term, happy customers who are a pleasure to work with. In other words, they’re a strong fit for your company, enjoy success with your solutions, and deliver the biggest lifetime value. Keep an eye out for the accounts that have expressed the willingness to expand their association with your company, along with new accounts that satisfy your strategic criteria.

By aligning sales and marketing teams through ABM, companies experience a 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates. || Contact our Digital Marketing specialist to learn how you can increase your retention rate and close sales.

Step 2: Map Accounts & Identify Key Decision Makers

Any deal that involves a significant purchase (i.e. a substantial amount of money being spent) will need extensive consensus building and complete stakeholder alignment. It is your duty to identify and influence these decision makers to make sure the deal passes smoothly. Make sure your sales and marketing teams identify and persuade those who wield significant influence on the final buying decision. The way to do this is by individually targeting these decision makers, appealing to their sensibilities, and connecting their personal concerns with the strategic business objectives of the company.

Here’s an example: Let’s say a company selling CRM software is identifying key decision-maker profiles within its target accounts. The list of individuals might include the CMO, digital marketing managers, CIO, and CFO. For each of these decision makers (CMO/ CIO/ CFO), you need to connect their concerns back to the strategic objective of their company. Your main goal when engaging each stakeholder is to help drive consensus for a purchase decision.

97% of marketers surveyed said ABM had higher ROI than other marketing activities (Alterra Group)

Step 3: Define Content & Personalized Messaging

Personalized content is the cornerstone of a successful ABM strategy. It is imperative for an ABM initiative to employ content that addresses pain points of the target account. The messaging must be expertly crafted to speak to the target account’s specific business challenges and resonate with them. Building and nurturing relationships is central to a successful ABM program and your success rate will most likely increase when your communication is tailored to the account’s buying cycle.

Here’s how you make it happen − Find out the interests, needs, and challenges of each account and every stakeholder. Align your messaging to their individual likes and dislikes, and develop a unique value proposition and relevant content for each stakeholder. If your messages and content are well crafted, there’s a very good chance that your message may result in a conversion. All you need to do is truly personalize the message for each individual within an account. By doing so, you instill confidence in your company as a trusted advisor and partner that has done its homework and is providing useful information and guidance.

Step 4: Determine the Ideal Channels

Be present wherever your audience is. Make sure you communicate with your audience across channels − web, mobile, email, etc. Ask yourself – Would certain channels be more effective for specific roles or industries? Also be mindful of legal restrictions and opt-in rules in your region. Do your homework and figure out which channels your target accounts and key stakeholders use the most to research trends and solutions.

Companies that implement ABM have reported an 84% improvement in reputation and 74% improvement in customer relationships. || Sign up today for the latest news about your Digital Transformation.

Step 5: Execute Targeted & Coordinated Campaigns

Coordinate your campaigns across channels and align the marketing and sales teams’ efforts for maximum impact. Technology is enabling marketers to coordinate and execute ABM campaigns at much greater scale and more efficiently than ever before. Marketing and sales engage with accounts on an individual level using a personalized strategy that makes sense for each contact. Campaigns can include an array of tactics, including email, special events, direct mail, ads, and more. Since relationships drive ABM strategy, use that to guide your outreach. For example, maybe a specific team member reaches out because they went to the same college or share the most professional connections with the contact. That team member can then make introductions to the team member who owns the account.

Step 6: Measure and optimize

Measuring ABM results is different than measuring the impact of standard lead-generation tactics. Marketing and sales are jointly accountable for driving pipeline and revenue when it comes to ABM. You care about moving accounts – not individuals – through the purchase process. In addition to tracking account engagement, tally opportunities created, along with closed-won deals and their value. Give your teams enough time to generate results – in line with the typical purchase cycle – and then adjust your strategy and tactics as necessary.

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Kirsten Oelrich

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Kirsten Oelrich