Sorry, Your Sales Team is Too Late
How ABM can help them catch up and win
Do you really want tangible results from your B2B marketing? Then, focus on the accounts that your sales reps have a realistic chance to close in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, these accounts are no sitting ducks. Long before they even showed up on your radar, they were already discussing their needs internally, and anonymously scouting for reliable, reasonably unbiased information online.
So, once your sales reps do turn up, they usually have some rather fixed ideas about their business needs, future challenges and, not least, their business-critical product and supplier expectations. That’s a pretty steep uphill scenario for any sales rep.
Don’t sell your idea – destroy theirs!
In this situation, it seems pretty meaningless to confront the targeted buyers head-on, pushing your own take on their business challenges. First, you need to question and, when required, break down whatever ideas about their business challenges and opportunities. And, behind their self-confident front there are almost certainly some factual uncertainties and personal insecurities screaming for confirmation and reassurance. Use them!
In plain English, you start out by creating interest around a hidden or underestimated business problem and its potential business consequences. To add the pondus of a recognized thought leader, you prove your point by providing statistic highlights, industry leader quotes, scientific references or other unquestionable proof.
Then, and only then, you move on to clarify and visualize your own understanding of their business and work situation.
Sales + Marketing + Customer insight
This fundamental approach is entirely consistent with a well-conceived and implemented ABM strategy. ABM, as in Account-Based Marketing, presumes the effective alignment of marketing and sales, but also a thorough understanding of each prioritized customer account.
In the daily avalanche of messages, relentlessly fighting for your buyers’ attention, you need to stand out. But ”loud and crazy-creative” doesn’t cut it anymore, especially not for your sophisticated buyer groups. The only way to seek the meaningful attention from the right buyers is to offer relevant and worthwhile, useful information. Personalizing the customer challenge or ”pain” is therefore more important than ever.
Real, effective Account-Based Marketing also requires a great deal of self-discipline. One of the most common (and costly) mistakes in ABM is the ever present urge to sell, sell, sell. In contrast, your customized content should strive to emulate the feel and touch of their favored industry or business publications. That’s the best support your sales reps could ever wish for.
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