Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been around since the 1990s, ever since marketers began to explore alternatives to mass marketing and focus on more customized campaigns targeted at a customer. Simply put, Account Based Marketing is a highly customized campaign where the sales, sales development, marketing and executive team work synergistically towards building engagement with a specific set of accounts or customers.
What Makes ABM Different From Outbound Sales?
Account Based Marketing is a multi-pronged campaign that uses the coordinated efforts of the account team, which usually comprises an account manager, sales development executive, marketing manager as well as an executive sponsor. Unlike outbound sales, which are handled solely by the sales executive or team using tactics such as phone calls, emails and social networks, in ABM, every member of the team has a specific role to play. The sales rep set ups and drives meetings with executive-level contacts. Marketing develops account-specific campaigns, and the executive sponsor helps in connecting with executives in the target company by sending personalized emails.
Focus on Customer Requirements
Rather than hard sell tactics, ABM shifts the focus on finding out what a customer needs and directing the campaign towards meeting that requirement. Account profiling plays an important role in Account Based Marketing. By researching and analyzing the target’s business initiatives and growth strategies, a customized campaign can be built around what is relevant to the customer.
Build and Nurture Relationships
Account Based Marketing is quite different from a hard sell technique where the relationship comes to an end once the sale concludes. Instead through building and nurturing contacts at various levels of the target account, the stage is set for an easier conversion whenever the opportunity arises.
What ABM Tactics Work Best?
Personalization is Key
With mass marketing, one campaign or strategy goes out to all customers or accounts. However, a single program might not be relevant to everyone. The success of an Account Based Marketing campaign is dependent on creating relevant offers or strategies. For instance, if the target company is looking at expanding markets, a personalized campaign focusing on that aspect is more likely to convert a customer. Similarly, a personalized landing page for an account, which has target specific content and images, can help to make an impression on the account users and win them over.
Get a Meeting
The purpose of a campaign is to get a meeting with the account’s executives or managers. Follow up the personalized offers with a request for a meeting where a free trial or assessment can be offered. This is aimed at making direct contact with a lead with whom a relationship can be slowly built up.
Use Online Advertisements for Retargeting
One of the best ways to retarget the users or employees of a particular account is to feature your company’s advertisements on the sites that they visit. You can use the services of B2B retargeting companies for doing this effectively.
Match the Right Sales Person to An Account
Moving away from geographical allocation of sales territories, ABM looks at identifying the sales person who is most suited to engaging with a particular account. Some of the factors to be considered include past sales history (for example, a sales person who has successfully sold to the account in the past) and existing contacts or relationships with the target account.
Connect Using Social Intelligence
With social networks, it is easy to keep track of a company’s activities and leverage useful information thus obtained to build a relationship. For example, an executive from your target account might post news about the company winning an award. Sending out a congratulatory message to him can help to build a relationship, which can be used in the future for connecting with him.
Build Peer Level Relationships
For making one-to-one connections, assign responsibilities to the ABM team for building relationships with their peers or people at the same level in the target account (CEO to CEO, executive to executive, etc.)
Collate a List of Contacts in the Target Account
Since connecting with the right contacts is important in Account Based Marketing, building a database of role based contacts can help in easily matching a sales rep with the right person in the target account. Don’t restrict your efforts to the sales and marketing team. Use social or professional networks such as LinkedIn to explore whether employees in other roles or departments are connected to contacts in the target account and use them to nurture the relationship. You can even purchase leads from a lead generation company by specifying the list of target companies, rather than purchasing the entire list. The cost per lead might work out more expensive, but it will produce more effective results.