- Tobias Geiß
What your Sales Team should know about Account Based Marketing
Account based marketing is quickly becoming the go-to strategy for sales teams. It drives higher revenue and saves a lot of time, energy, and headaches. But before you implement this new strategy, it's important that your team has the right tools in place. This blog post briefly discusses how account-based marketing can help your business, as well as what you should be doing to get started with ABM on your own website or elsewhere.
Account-Based Marketing is a relatively new marketing strategy that is growing in popularity, especially as marketers seek more efficient ways to target consumers. In the past, traditional marketing was based on mass marketing towards large segments of the population. This approach was often ineffective because both the time and costs for targeting a specific audience were high.
Account-based marketing can be used to increase sales, reduce costs and reach customers via online advertising.
What is Account Based Marketing?
Account based marketing originally started as a strategy aimed at creating individualized sales content based on specific target accounts. Over the past few years, the scope of the strategy expanded beyond marketing to include the entire sales and marketing team. It has become a primary channel through which sellers acquire leads, nurture and convert them into qualified candidates, and develop long-lasting relationships with customers. ABM is an excellent way to create increased awareness among audiences and then engage with them.
Thus, Account-Based Marketing is all about making the right connections and doing the right work for your customers. This is best done by understanding who they are and what they need. Key to this approach is recognizing who your customers "actually" are, which can be much different than who they say they are. When you have a firm grasp on this knowledge, you can begin to work towards building a relationship with these accounts.
Central Premise of Account Based Marketing
The central premise of account based marketing is that your sales team should create a personalized relationship with potential clients on an individualized basis. It has become a key strategy when using CRM tools because it allows your team to respond to a client's unique needs while expanding the scope of influence beyond the account. As more and more companies are now using Salesforce, Hubsport & Co. , these companies have expanded so that sales reps can target prospects based on content already indexed for them in the CRM. In some cases, sales reps can even use the CRM to reach out to the prospect directly if they have identified a need that isn't being met by their current service provider.
Why Should You Implement Account Based Marketing?
Simply put, ABM is valuable because it allows you to scale your sales efforts in a way that was simply not possible before. This strategy allows you to focus on customers who are most likely to buy from you and present them with customized offerings that better meet their needs. When building on your sales or marketing strategy, it's also important to consider the growth of your business.
We suggest that you implement ABM when:
Your sales team has predictable buyer personas and high conversion rates.
Your marketing channels are reaching their targeted audiences.
Your company has access to the CRM accounts that allow for auto-populating the account profile pages
In these cases, you will find that your sales reps can effectively target prospects in an individually-tailored manner through account based marketing. However, not every company has the means to implement such a tactic in-house or relies on third party CRM systems. That's not a problem. You can still find plenty of options to help you with ABM while still controlling the experience your customer has with your organization.
Managing Account Based Marketing Campaigns
Managing your account-based marketing campaign can be much more difficult than managing a generic sales or marketing campaign because you have a diverse range of resources that you are trying to present in an organized and informative manner. This can make it very difficult to track which leads are "hot" and which ones need more attention. The best way to solve this problem is with a dedicated CRM system that allows you to easily manage your customer accounts and know how they are using your services. This also allows you to keep track of your individualized customer profiles, allowing for easy reporting on how each account is progressing through the sales funnel.
Typical ABM Tools
Salesforce, Hubspot or Pipedrive for example allow your team to securely automate the sales process within the platform. These tools allow you to quickly and easily define who is a target account and which actions should be taken with prospects. The reps can then use this information to connect with accounts through email, personalized sales calls, and more.
There are many other CRM and marketing tools, however, and it is important to keep your options open when choosing which tool to use for ABM. For example, for companies who don't have a CRM system in place or who don't have desktop access to the data within their accounts, there are some great third-party platforms that provide similar capabilities.
Using Personalization & Account Based Marketing
A common practice is to create a single, dedicated campaign that is focused on a single persona. However, we recommend adding a new "customer profile" for each company in the account so that you can connect the target accounts using more than just the basic data points. These profiles allow you to gain access to more information and maintain more stable relationships with your clients.
When building your ABM strategy, consider creating a dedicated landing page for each client account. This will allow you to both personalize the experience for each account and provide different offers/content/deadlines based on their unique needs.
Getting the Landing Page Topic right
Consider adding a new landing page for each account within your system that includes the key information from their personal profile. You can always use the same "call to action" for each landing page, but we recommend personalizing the content and calls to action. The first landing page of your account-based marketing campaign can be very simple, giving a general summary for which features you offer and how you can contact them. However, as you continue to add pages to your campaign, use this page as a way to ensure that people who are unfamiliar with the system are able to find their way through.
You should also consider automating the individual pages of each account with calls-to-action that direct visitors towards the targeted offers. Keep in mind that while these platforms are incredibly useful, they are ultimately just tools.
Starting with the Account Profiles
When building your ABM campaigns, it's useful to have a base profile for each target account with information about their demographics, contact information and other basic details. You can then add new "customer profile" entries for each account which include additional information such as: What you do, who you do it for, what they should expect from your company, who they will be working with and how they can reach you. You will want to regularly update the content on the page so that it always contains up-to-date details about you and your services. This will allow you to draw attention to specific features of service that are most applicable to that specific target account.
ABM best suited for SaaS Companies
SaaS companies are particularly hard hit by this problem because there are far fewer barriers between a company and their customer than ever before. Since the product is sold over HTTP, there is a substantial change that your prospects will encounter you online prior to the point at which they purchase your product or service. Because of this, many companies are turning to ABM. ABM allows companies to target specific accounts and create personalized campaigns that can be used to highlight their key advantages over their competition.
What's next with Account Based Marketing?
There are a number of business challenges that arise when implementing account-based marketing strategies with a small or medium organization. Most approaches, including ABM and predictive analytics, rely on data science approaches that require large numbers of consumers, prospects, and customers to generate valuable intelligence in order to make insights and predictions. For example, computer vision algorithms used for image recognition require thousands of examples in order to produce results at an acceptable level of accuracy; while the same can be said for facial recognition systems.