Successful ABM: 10 Guidelines
According to 85% of marketing directors questioned, Account-Based Marketing is the strategy that delivers the best return on investment (Source: ITSMA 2016). What’s stopping you from making the switch?
1. Select your target accounts
Target accounts could be prospects your business is particularly keen to attract. It could also be existing clients whom you’d like to sell more effectively to. No two target accounts are alike. For the best results, sales and marketing should jointly draw up a list that reflects the priority status of each account group.
2. Identify the right contacts
Today, an average of 12 people are involved in the B2B purchase journey (Source: Gartner 2016). It is essential—in each target account—to identify a maximum number of pertinent contacts, in order to influence them. Find out which contacts hold a significant purchasing role and ensure you include them in your nurturing campaigns.
3. Aim for quality, not quantity!
Avoid the trap of believing that the volume of leads generated by a marketing campaign is an accurate reflection of success. What really interests your sales team isn’t the number of leads you can provide, but knowing if these leads match up with contacts within their target accounts. Aim for less targets, but make your aim more precise!
4. Don’t leave home without a road map!
Begin first by setting your objectives and establishing a benchmark for evaluation. It is also essential to create detailed plans for each of your accounts. Increase the level of personalization of actions and content depending on the priority status of each account. Determine which channels and formats you are going to use.
5. Stay tuned
Not all of your target accounts will be ready to immediately make a purchase. It is vital to be aware of the exact moment an account commits in order to know when to put your commercial resources into action. Use purchasing signals from your website—even from anonymous visitors—and your marketing campaigns. Monitor target accounts constantly with Google alerts, LinkedIn, and social media.
6. Sales and marketing as allies
It is crucial that sales and marketing teams work hand-in-hand together to identify target accounts. And that’s just the beginning of their close relationship. Communication channels must be kept open continuously. We recommend a daily meeting to discuss current opportunities, results, and actions, to be put in place.
7. Content rules!
88% of marketers use marketing content (Source: CMI and Marketing Profs 2016). Effective content should always match the needs of your target account. Avoid commercial material and boost educative content.
8. A tailor-made experience
Identify the marketing plans—in terms of profile, needs, and level of commitment—best suited to each target account. Customize your website and marketing campaigns. Test out highly targeted Direct Mail campaigns on a few important decision makers first.
9. Evaluating performance
With Account-Based Marketing, results are no longer analyzed in the same manner. When gauging the success of your ABM campaigns, look at the impact they have on sales. Compare the commitment of target accounts with deals closed. In addition to your performance evaluations, set objectives for your teams in line with this strategy.
10. Be patient!
ABM is not a quick fix, but a long-term strategy. Determining the impact on sales will be progressive, especially if you have longer sales cycles. Sometimes midway indicators are needed to gauge progress. Set out your objectives right from the start and launch with a limited number of accounts.